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Businesses are more likely to protect their printers than their people

Businesses are more like to insure easily replaceable assets such as printers and mobile phones than they are their people, according to new research.

The research, commissioned by Income Protection specialist Unum, reveals that more than two fifths (42%) of companies have insurance for easily replaceable assets, such as printers. This is despite less than a fifth (13%) admitting they would be extremely concerned if these were to break.

Conversely, despite 96% of businesses recognising that employees are one of their company’s most important assets, over a third (33%) believe that they only offer adequate employee benefits packages or that they could do more to protect their staff. A further 17% – almost one in five – admit to not offering any form of benefits package to their staff, highlighting a mismatch in what companies value versus what they protect.

Sickness absence costs around £620,000 each year for a typical business with over 500 employees , and 90% of businesses admit that long term sickness absence is a concern for them. However, fewer than one in five (17%) companies protect against long-term sickness by offering Income Protection as part of their employee benefits package.

The research, which polled over 500 senior business people across a range of company sizes, found that:

  • Almost half (45%) have buildings insurance
  • More than two fifths (42%) have contents insurance
  • Almost a third (31%) have comprehensive insurance for their company cars
  • Less than one in five (17%) provide Income Protection for their staff
  • Less than one in five (17%) companies don’t offer any form of employee benefits to their staff

Peter O’Donnell, Chief Executive Officer at Unum, said: “Whilst companies do understand the importance of employees to their business, there is clearly a mismatch between what they value and what they spend their money on protecting.

“Around one in ten employees will go on long-term sick leave during their working lives, so it is concerning to see so many employers without a plan in place to protect against this eventuality. Employee benefits are an important differentiator when it comes to recruiting and retaining staff, so we are calling on companies to do more to protect their most important asset.”

1 “The benefits to private sector employers from the adoption of Group Income Protection as an employee non-salary benefit” Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR) supported by Unum, 2012

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