Unum has launched a new dual benefit group income protection product in a bid to help businesses cope with staff being off work due to illness.
Unlike other group income protection products, the dual benefit plan pays income benefits to both the employee and employer. The employer’s monthy benefit is designed to help businesses finance temporary replacement staff or carry out adjustments to the workplace to facilitate the return of a disabled employee.
Unum’s research found that many employers want to give their severly incapacitated employees financial support in addition to the regular income benefit. As such the dual benefit product can provide an automatic lump sum payment on the expiry of the income benefit period if the employee remains incapacitated from one of a number of serious illnesses described in the policy.
The product, which is initially targeted to firms with less than 100 employees, has four and eight week deferred period options, as Unum found most smaller companies considered long-term absence as anything over two weeks, as well as the standard 13 and 26 week periods.
Head of commercial marketing Wojciech Dochan says: “The product was created following extensive qualitative research with both business decision makers and IFAs and we feel confident that there is a real market for this product. The costs and risks to a business of coping with a long-term absence can be significant. This product will help them to mitigate these risks and improve business continuity.”
Master Adviser senior partner Roy McLoughlin says: “This product will be really handy as it benefits both the employer and the employee. It’s effectively group income protection with keyperson bolted on.”