The workplace health and protection sector continued to grow across virtually all product lines, with insurers increasing both the number of employees covered and overall number of employer clients across group life, group PMI, group IP and corporate cash plans, according to figures from Corporate Adviser’s Workplace Protection & Wellbeing Report 2022. Group critical illness cover is the one area that saw contraction in employees covered in 2021, but all other sectors saw growth.
The 68-page report benchmarks the propositions, market share and innovations of providers across the workplace health, wellbeing and protection sector, ranking providers by number of employees and employers using their services, year-on-year changes in market share and proposition functionality.
Canada Life remains the biggest group life provider, in terms of employees covered, though MetLife and AIG both added a large number of new employees to their books of business. YuLife’s different model – where it partners with other group life insurers – also saw strong growth.
Unum remains the biggest group income protection provider by number of employees covered, although Aviva has closed the gap to second place.
Canada Life also retains its position as the biggest group critical illness insurer, although it saw a 4 per cent contraction in the number of employees covered.
Bupa remains the biggest group PMI insurer, with all providers in the sector adding employee numbers in 2021 in what was a strong year for the product.
Westfield Health has overtaken Health Shield as the biggest corporate cash plan provider, with a massive 38.8 per cent increase in employees covered in 2021. Medicash has also had a very strong year, growing its book by more than a quarter, while Simplyhealth saw a big contraction in it’s numbers, although it did increase its voluntary-paid book considerably.
Group life is the product line that saw the biggest growth, with the number of employees covered up by 7.2 per cent year on year. There was also a 6 per cent increase in the number of employees covered by group PMI policies.
There are now 10.3m employees covered by group life policies, a 7.2% increase, making it the fastest-growing workplace health and protection product by a significant margin
One in two advisers now rate the ancillary wellbeing benefits, available on group risk policies as being more valuable than the core insurance products
Advisers now cite group life as the insurance product offering the best return on investment for employers
Canada Life retains its position as the biggest group life insurer, although its book shrank slightly in 2021. AIG Life has added almost half a million lives to its group life book of business. This is the biggest growth of any provider in the group life market, up 54.7% year on year. YuLife has also seen phenomenal growth in the group life market
Unum remains the UK’s biggest group income protection insurer, although strong growth from second-placed Aviva has narrowed the gap between them to around 70,000 employees, compared to a gap of 211,000 three years earlier
Both AIG and Zurich have seen strong growth in the group income protection market
Growth in the group critical illness market remained flat in 2021, after several years of strong growth
More than 4m employees are now covered by corporate healthcare, including those covered by healthcare trusts
The group PMI market grew by 6 per cent over the past year. Bupa UK remains the largest group PMI provider in terms of the number of employees, while VitalityHealth has seen the largest year-on-year growth, up by more than 20%. Aviva UK Health added most new group PMI employer clients
ESG looks set to become a hygiene factor for group risk, healthcare and cash plan providers. This year Bupa joined the Sustainable Healthcare Coalition
The cash plan market has grown for the third consecutive year, with a 3.6% increase in the number of employees covered. These products are increasingly becoming a mainstay of health and wellbeing support for employees post-pandemic. The number of employers offering staff a corporate-paid cash plan rose by an impressive 18.4 per cent in 2021
Westfield Health has grown its book of business significantly over the past year, covering almost 40% more employees, meaning it is now the UK’s largest cash plan provider, overtaking Health Shield
Some cash plan providers have seen the average claims ratio rise significantly in 2021, after a significant drop in claims per plan holder due to the pandemic. However a number of providers have refused to disclose data on this metric, making industry wide comparisons difficult. No cash plan providers report paying rebates to members or scheme sponsors, despite the fall in claims
Standalone wellbeing providers have expanded the range of services offered with an increased focus on personalised solutions, with a particular focus on women’s health including menopause support services. Neurodiversity looks set to be an emerging trend through 2022