Insure your business: people, life and health

Insurance as an employee benefit


Life and health insurance is a valuable benefit to offer your employees. It can often be easy and relatively cheap to provide, and can play a major role in helping you attract and retain good quality staff.

It is possible to buy life insurance for employees individually, but more commonly businesses take out life insurance for a whole group of employees. This is called group life insurance and can be arranged alone, though it is also often found linked to a pension arrangement.

A group life insurance scheme might include all employees who have been working in the business longer than a certain period, such as six months.

Usually, the lump sum insured for each employee is a multiple of their wage or annual salary, and is tax free as long as it isn't more than the pension holder's available lifetime allowance. Employers might also set age conditions, eg insuring only employees over 18 and under 65.

It is also possible to buy critical illness cover for your employees, though this is less common, and is usually combined with a life insurance arrangement.

There is a range of other types of insurance available for your employees. The need to provide these benefits may depend on your need to compete with other businesses for the best employees.

Other types of insurance sometimes offered as employee benefits include:

  • private medical insurance - pays for the treatment of agreed acute conditions
  • income protection - pays regular income to employees who are unable to work because of illness or injury

Bear in mind that your employees will pay tax on some benefits, depending on what they earn per year. Your accountant or benefits adviser will be able to tell you which employee benefits are taxable.