Research from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) shows health and protection insurers produced the equivalent of £6.1bn in benefits for the UK in 2021.
The Futureproofing Workplace Health research, commissioned by the ABI and carried out by WPI Economics, showed that in 2021, services provided by insurers prevented 14 million sick days and helped 12,500 full-time workers to stay in work rather than leave their jobs due to ill health.
That broke down to £2.6bn across businesses, £2bn in the wider economy and £1.5bn for the exchequer in 2021, by reducing the number of days employees needed to take as sick leave.
Through insurance, employees accessed services including vocational rehabilitation, timely mental health support and speedy access to diagnosis and treatment. That meant that with fewer people off work, businesses were £2.6bn better off, and the wider economy saved £2bn.
Consequently and ahead of the Autumn Statement next week, the ABI said it is continuing to call on the government to cut the rate of Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) on health insurance to help widen access for employers and individuals and help boost workplace health.
Yvonne Braun, director of policy, health and protection, ABI, (pictured) said: “These striking figures show that health and protection insurance is vital for the health of UK plc.
“Our sector provides services which have a material positive impact on people’s health and financial resilience, while also supporting businesses and the productivity of the UK economy.
“By helping employers to invest in the health and wellbeing of their employees, insurers also complement the vital work of the NHS. Government must include insurance in its plans to tackle the record levels of economic inactivity.”
Joe Ahern, head of policy at WPI Economics, added: “With the health of the nation at the top of the agenda in recent years, it’s more important than ever that we look at all options for healthcare, including the role
of workplace health solutions.
“Our research has shown that health and protection insurers can provide significant support to the health and the wealth of the nation.”