10 August 2021

L&G launches ‘next generation’ group protection platform

Legal & General Insurance and Salary Finance have today launched a digital group insurance platform that enables employees to dial up or down cover across group life, income protection and critical illness and buy extra cover on a voluntary basis.

Called Protect, the solution is aimed at businesses with 500+ employees, and aims to bring employees a 24/7 seamless digital experience, extending access group life, income protection and critical Illness cover to entire workforces at no extra cost for the employer.

L&G says the flexibility to change benefit levels offers a level of personalisation not found anywhere else in the market, making cover more individual and increasing engagement.

Employees can access cover on either an employer-paid or voluntary basis. L&G says voluntary income protection is unique in the group market.

Protect provides the flexibility to offer a core level of cover paid for by the employer, with cover top-ups available at competitive prices. Cover can be adjusted 24/7, 365 days a year, with no tie-ins and no need to wait for a once-a-year window to make changes. The provider describes Protect as a ‘next generation group protection offering’.

Legal & General have removed the pre-existing condition exclusions on critical illness cover with upfront digital medical underwriting, which brings more certainty at time of claim. Cover can be arranged in minutes, with instant decisions and generally no medicals required.

The set-up and implementation of the Protect solution comes at no cost for employers. HR communication support is also included to help encourage employees to engage with their benefits, and to help them understand how they can use the embedded mental health and wellbeing support services.

Legal & General suggests the following example scenarios where Protect could help employers achieve more with what they are already spending:

  • Where employers have an existing budget for Life cover and want to offer income protection, but feel the cost is prohibitive – Protect can offer voluntary income protection and critical illness cover alongside life cover.
  • Where employers already offer a core level of cover – perhaps via an existing flex scheme – and want to introduce more choice, flexibility and personalisation for all employees.
  • Employers looking to reallocate existing spend away from any benefits that are assessed as not delivering value for money, in terms of employee wellbeing, engagement and absence management.

Legal & General Insurance CEO Bernie Hickman says: “Protect is a highly digital experience that brings amazing simplicity and great value to employers and employees. It is designed to generate a greater return on benefits spend, with higher engagement, leading to healthier, happier employees and reduced absence. Combining the low cost of group cover with the personalisation of retail products, we can give comprehensive and totally flexible cover at highly competitive prices.

“With Protect we’re engaging employees in the importance of insuring what is their most valuable asset; their ability to work and earn a living.

“To achieve this, we want to work with intermediaries to drive innovation in the group protection market, the way a tech company would. If we don’t, a tech start-up or a big tech company is likely to do it without us.”

Salary Finance global CEO Asesh Sarkar says: “We are delighted to have partnered with Legal & General to launch Protect. Covid-19 has shown that we cannot take good health for granted. Millions of employees across the UK do not have the financial resources or insurance in place to protect themselves and their families in unfortunate and unforeseen times.

“Salary Finance’s Financial Wellness platform, coupled with Legal & General’s protection products, is an important step forward in our joint ambition to tackle the protection gap in the UK.

“We offer salary-linked savings, low interest loans, pay advances, all accompanied with financial education. The extension through this partnership into protection insurance brings a digital first approach, with employee engagement at the centre, to employers at no extra cost and brings employees better value than they can typically get in the open market.”