Insurance group cover is a form of business insurance which allows businesses to purchase income protection, life insurance, and health insurance for their employees as a group.  

Rather than purchase an individual policy, employees may obtain insurance cover provided by their employer as an employee benefit.

Insurance group cover is a form of business insurance

What is group cover for insurance?

Group cover is insurance which provides benefits to a group of people, usually purchased by an employer for a group of employees.  

Each employee will have their own individual insurance policy, but rather than arranging their own cover through an insurance company or an insurance broker, they will obtain the insurance as an employee of the company.

Group or corporate insurance cover is provided by the following companies:

Aviva - Home Insurance

(income protection, life insurance)

(income protection, life insurance, health insurance)

Zurich - Home Insurance

(income protection, life insurance)

(income protection, life insurance)

(corporate health insurance)

(corporate health insurance)

What types of insurance offer group cover?

The types of personal insurance available as group cover include income protection, life insurance, and health insurance.All offer distinct benefits to employees.

  • Group Income Protection Insurance
  • Group Life Insurance
  • Group Health Insurance
types of insurance offer group cover

Group Income Protection

Group income protection offers income protection to employees as a benefit of employment.  Income protection insurance is designed to replace a proportion of your income if you are unable to work due to an illness, or injury.  

Income protection provides the employee with a monthly payment (up to 75% of their salary) for as long as they are unable to work, or for the remainder of the policy term should they be unable to return to work.Employees will receive benefits from their income protection plan following a period of time known as the deferred period which may be a number of weeks or months.

Income protection insurance policies usually include therapeutic and rehabilitation supports to facilitate the employee’s return to work, be that full or part time.

Who offers income protection insurance in Ireland

Group Life Insurance

Group life insurance provides a lump sum should the employee die during their employment or during the term of the life insurance policy. 

Group life insurance is also available which provides for a spouse’s pension to be paid monthly to a former employee’s spouse or children’s pension to be paid as a monthly income to the former employee’s family until the children turn 18 or 21, if they are in full time education.

Generally, the employer will decide on the amount of benefit provided to the employee’s family or beneficiaries.This may be a multiple of their salary or a lump sum specified by the employer.

Group life insurance may offer life insurance protection with less medical questions or underwriting than individual life insurance, depending on the amount of benefit offered to the employee.

Group life insurance may also offer additional benefits such as GP access or a second medical opinion, as well as supports such as counselling and/ or bereavement support to an employee’s family, depending on the plan chosen by the employer.

Life Insurance pays a lump sum to your dependents following your death

Group Health Insurance

Group or corporate health insurance offers financial benefit and access to healthcare for employees.   

Health insurance in Ireland will cover at least a minimum of inpatient and outpatient care, maternity care, psychiatric care, convalescence, and substance abuse treatment.  

Typically, corporate or employee health insurance will offer access to private health care as well as additional benefits such as screening and insurer provided rapid access healthcare.Group or corporate health insurance plans may offer more comprehensive benefits than one purchased by an individual.

This supports employees’ engagement and productivity in the workplace and may reduce levels of sick leave in the business.

What is health insurance

Who is group insurance cover for?

Although insurance group cover has traditionally been associated with larger, corporate firms and the public sector, it is available to any business with more then three members who could avail of insurance group cover.

Insurance group cover premiums are considered an allowable expense for tax purposes, so it may be more viable than expected for smaller businesses.

Insurance group cover provides a way to manage potential expenses of long term sick leave. Paying for insurance group cover in predictable, monthly payments may be preferable to paying longer term sick pay.

For any organisation that wishes to attract and retain staff, it is worth considering.As it is an attractive employee benefit.

Benefits of group cover for employers:

There are a number of benefits to providing group insurance to your employees.Group insurance, be it group income protection, group life insurance, or company health insurance can provide the following benefits to employers.

Group insurance cover may be offered to new recruits as an incentive to join your company. Given recent price increases, for example for health insurance, group insurance offered as part of a remuneration package may attract employees.

Having the protection of group insurance in place may encourage employees to remain in your employment and feel part of a team.

Making provision for employees and their families should the employee fall ill, be unable to work, or pass away during their employment may be something that you wish to provide for employees as an employer.

Access to private healthcare and rapid access healthcare will support your employee in the diagnosis and treatment of their illness and will help them to get back on their feet sooner.

Offering income protection group insurance to your employees will provide them with benefits should they be unable to work due to illness or injury. 

Many income protection group insurers also offer support to employees to assist them to return to work. The financial protection offered to employees as well as the targeted support in returning to work may reduce the sick pay burden on the employer.

Speedier and easier access to healthcare afforded by group health insurance may facilitate quicker and more comprehensive medical treatment for employees who are unwell, allowing them to return to work sooner as well as alleviating their health issues.

Contributions made by employers to group insurance plans are an allowable business expense for tax purposes.

Benefits Group Income Protection Employers

Benefits of group cover for employees:

Employees who are covered by group insurance as part of their employment will not only benefit from protection provided by their employer.They will also benefit from the following:

Employees will enjoy peace of mind knowing that they have a safety net to fall back on should they be ill, unable to work, and that their families will be provided for should they die while in employment.

The free provision or availability of more affordable insurance cover, be it life insurance, income protection, or health insurance, is an attractive benefit for employees.  

Should your employee be ill or unable to work, they will be able to access healthcare and/ or have a reliable income to make ends meet.They will also benefit from supports to return to work, when this becomes a possibility.

Income protection will support employees who are unable to work for many reasons. These may be physical or mental health issues, musculoskeletal issues such as back or neck pain, or long term illness such as cancer.

Health insurance offers speedier access to private healthcare for an employee who is ill.  

They may also be able to arrange cover with the same provider for their families.

Taking up a group insurance policy may be arranged through HR of the company, if relevant, making it easier to arrange insurance and protection.Although insurance policies are individual, they are purchased collectively making administration easier.

Typically, group insurance cover can be arranged with less medical information required by the insurer, depending on the level of cover, as the risk to the insurer is spread across the group availing of cover.This may be a benefit to an employee who may have difficulty in obtaining insurance cover as an individual. 

Benefits of group cover for employees

Is group cover standardised?

Group insurance cover can be tailored to the needs of your business – may be part of a benefits package to attract/ retain senior staff or it may be available to the whole workforce.

This is for the employer to decide, depending on what remuneration they wish to offer their staff and their available budget. 

Levels of cover can likewise, be tailored to the needs and budget of the employer. 

For example, group life cover can be for a fixed lump sum paid on the death of an employee to their dependents, it may be a spouse pension paid monthly to the employee’s former spouse, or a children;s pension paid to the former employee’s family until the children turn 18, or 21 if in full time education.

These monthly payments can be index linked to protect against inflation as an additional option.

Do employees contribute to group cover or is it covered by the organisation?

Insurance group cover is a benefit provided by employers to employees.It is paid for by the employer for the benefit of their employees.

This expense is a tax allowable expense for employers who can deduct it from their tax.

Learn more about group cover insurance today.

Group insurance cover is available to businesses of all sizes, with cover available for as few as 3 members.

It is a strong incentive in recruiting and retaining employees and can help employers provide for employees and their families as well as manage absence from the workplace.

Take an assessment and speak with a Qualified Financial Advisor today to see if insurance group cover is right for your business.

Get your free home insurance quote today

Get the lowest premiums by comparing all the policies in the Irish market

Choose your insurance type, fill out the relevant assessment and speak to a central bank regulated insurance advisor