Media - Press Releases

Opportunity is there to grow GIP market

28th January 2016

Unum announces first-time buyer results

Group risk providers have worked hard over the last few years to bring their products into clearer focus and to create the right conditions for market growth. Employee benefits provider Unum has announced that this groundwork is bearing fruit.

Since 2011 the total market has grown. 300,000 more employees were covered by the end of 2014, meaning that 2.1 million have the security of Income Protection1. Unum has seen this momentum continuing. Whilst market results for 2015 are yet to be collated by Swiss Re, the provider’s results showed more than 300 companies of all shapes and sizes buying GIP for the first time – 20% up on 2014. Within these organisations almost 40,000 employees now have cover for illness or injury, who didn’t before.

CEO Peter O’Donnell comments: "From our own research it appears that the battle for talent is a catalyst in driving this change. The world of work has changed enormously over the last few years. Developments in technology, attitudes and society have influenced significantly how we work, and also the make-up of the workforce. Employees expect more than just a competitive salary from their employer, and a third would consider leaving their job due to poor workplace wellbeing2. An effective way for companies to demonstrate they have their employees’ interests’ front and centre is a comprehensive benefits package".

This is particularly true for new companies less than 5 years old. These organisations not only want the best talent to succeed, they also embrace a fresh approach and take on board new ideas. They see the value of building a great place to work in order to attract the right employees, realising leadership, culture, working practices and employee benefits are all vital elements that need to work in harmony for this to happen. Industries like IT, retail, high tech manufacturing and consultancies where employees are central to the success of the business are particularly attuned to this approach.

Now, more than ever before, companies are aware of just how important it is to offer more than money to their employees. Workplace wellbeing is on the agenda at board level and is no longer seen as just the responsibility of HR. In a recent Management Today survey3, around two thirds of respondents said it was the responsibility of all senior managers. There is an awareness that they need to address this issue and employers are ready to make the next step.

O’Donnell continues, "The time is right for brokers to discuss employee benefits with their clients and work with them to find the most effective package that suits the needs of their staff, both now and for the future. Our work over the past few years has given us valuable knowledge and insights to create tools to help brokers have these conversations. We have a wealth of resources that provide practical help and support to employers. We look forward to working more closely with the broker community, combining our skills and expertise, to build on this opportunity and grow this market even further".

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1 Annual Swiss Re Group Watch reports
2 ICM survey commissioned by Unum 2014
3 Management Today survey, commissioned by Unum, 2015