With remote working becoming the norm for many employees due to COVID-19, there has been considerable demand for a change to working practices that could shift the focus of the employee benefits market.
A poll by data analytics firm GlobalData showed that 46% of respondents would look for a mix of remote and office-based working once lockdown measures are eased, while 27% would prefer to work remotely full-time if they are given the choice.
Commenting on these developments, GlobalData senior insurance analyst Daniel Pearce said that the spread of COVID-19 is expected to raise awareness of life insurance products such as group term assurance and income protection. There will be more awareness of how these products could be used to help protect against unforeseen financial difficulties according to him.
He sees heightened consumer interest in these products, combined with a shift towards remote working, placing greater focus on employee benefits that offer financial protection.
“The employee benefit market should look to capitalise on this trend and grow the uptake of financial protection products such as group life insurance, critical illness and income protection, which are currently offered by only 46%, 47% and 44% of SMEs, respectively.
“Growth in the uptake of such policies may not come entirely from new policyholders but also from those that currently only offer certain benefits to management, expanding coverage to the wider workforce,” he said.