The protection industry’s future is now as much about helping employers and UK workers with prevention and early intervention, as it is about providing financial peace of mind when long-term illness or injury strike.
This is a key conclusion of Legal & General Retail’s inaugural edition of a new series of chief medical officer reports from L&G CMO Dr Tarun Gupta (pictured).
The report, titled Good Work is Beneficial for Health, brings together aspects of both individual and group protection and aims to help evolve industrywide thinking on the role of protection insurance and illustrate how good work is beneficial for health.
In its report L&G calls on advisers to take “full advantage” of training and education resources from providers to help grow confidence in talking about prevention, early intervention and rehabilitation in client discussions and in a way that speaks to an organisation’s bespoke business goals.
The insurer also tells advisers to help employers think beyond traditional insurance elements to encompass the role of embedded wellbeing benefits as part of their wider wellbeing strategies.
It added this could include helping them to identify gaps and overlaps and measuring outcomes in terms of their impact on wellbeing on key business drivers such as productivity.
Among its other recommendations, L&G also said advisers should help employers to make best use of the support they have.
Advisers could also encourage clients with occupational health support in place, to consider how the vocational rehabilitation support included within income protection can work alongside occupational health and human resources to help improve outcomes.
Dr Gupta said: “Work can and should positively impact wellbeing. It serves as the cornerstone of our vocational rehabilitation support for individuals and employers. And it’s a central tenet of our income protection proposition.
“Our in-house vocational rehabilitation specialists can help employers proactively manage employee sickness absence.
“This in turn helps at a societal and economic level as employers face into the multiple challenges of: growing long-term sickness absence in the UK; work-related stress at an all-time high; increasing expectations that employers can and will help with various societal pressures – levelling up health and wellbeing, making a tangible effort to evolve all aspects of environment social governance [ESG] and, in turn, improving UK productivity.
“The protection insurance industry has a strong role to play, but education and understanding about the propositions of today and the future needs to be ramped up to avoid commoditising highly valuable features and benefits.
“Today’s launch of the CMO report series is about playing our part in helping evolve and support new and essential thinking.”