Munich Re subsidiary Ellipse has moved into the group income protection market with a product that includes an absence management service designed to reduce long-term claim costs.
The absence management service, called Interact plus, from outsourcing specialist Absence Care, identifies any patterns of absence that may indicate potential long-term health problems and allows employers to identify the appropriate support, such as physiotherapy, for example, for staff.
Employees notify an Absence Care call centre if they will be absent, which takes all the necessary details and then informs the employer by email or text message. The service also provides the facility to analyse absences for each employee.
In terms of product features, advisers can select benefit levels of between 50 per cent and 75 per cent of salary, decide which state benefit is required and chose from a range of own or any-occupation options. They can also select cover for between two and five years, as well as a range of escalation options.
The cost of the cover depends on past history of absences, state benefit options, retirement age and the level of salary protection required.
Ellipse chief executive John Ritchie says: “If an employer’s absence processes are not strong, its income protection insurer has pricing methods to punish it for that, so if you guarantee early intervention, then it should show up in lower incidence rates and less cost.”
Finance & Technology Research Centre director Ian McKenna says: “This service has the potential to be an enormous benefit to employers.”