Group income protection

Give your employees the surety of a regular income should they be unable to work with group income protection insurance.

What is group income protection?

Group income protection is a type of insurance policy that gives your employees financial support if they cannot work due to ill health or injury. It allows employers to offer valuable extra support to their staff for the price of a monthly premium.

Why you may need group income protection

Providing financial protection through illness or injury is a precious benefit to your employees. However, paying an employee's salary is expensive, especially when they're not working. Group income protection policies cover employers for this expense, paying the employee a monthly benefit in exchange for a monthly premium.

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How does group income protection work?

While your employees can purchase their own income protection insurance to cover their salaries during long-term absence, it's great for companies to offer it to their people as a benefit.

Here's how it works:



Compare policies with us, choosing the amount of cover, length of the policy and your desired deferred period.


Start paying your monthly premiums and claim if an employee is absent due to illness or injury.


Once your deferred period ends, you’ll receive the monthly benefit you can distribute to your employee, like regular wages.


Once the employee is well enough to return to work or the policy term ends, the monthly payments will stop.

What is the deferred period?

The deferred period is the time between an employee stopping work due to illness or injury and the monthly payments beginning. Employers can choose how long they would like the deferred period to be, the longer it is, the lower premiums will be.  Some insurance providers offer deferred periods of 8, 13, 26, 28, 41 or 52 weeks. Select the most suitable deferred period for you and your employees.

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What our customers say

Benefits of group income protection

Group income protection is a valued benefit to offer your team and takes into account that Statutory Sick Pay for many wouldn't be enough to live on.

For employees

  • Financial support - Employees can use their income protection pay to meet monthly outgoings (mortgage, energy bills etc.) and maintain their family's lifestyle
  • Better than SSP - If they don't have insurance to protect their income, employees may only have tiny state benefits like Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) or Employment Support Allowance (ESA) to live on while they cannot work.
  • Rehabilitation support - Some group income insurance providers offer rehabilitation services (e.g. physiotherapy) to help your employees return to good health.
  • Wellbeing services - Providers also offer early intervention services to help you avoid health issues and live healthier lives.

For employers

  • Financial protection - Paying an employee who cannot work for an extended period is expensive. Group income protection insurance covers this cost. It can also help you hire a temporary replacement.
  • Staff retention - Employees regard income protection as a valuable benefit. It helps lower staff churn, which maintains productivity and enables you to avoid recruitment costs.
  • Employer brand - Income protection alongside other flexible benefits shows the world that you're a great employer and attracts top people to your company.
  • Healthier workplace - Your provider's wellbeing services can help make your company a healthier, happier place for your employees.
  • Tax efficiency - Group cover premiums are usually regarded as an allowable business expense for tax relief.

Buying group income protection insurance is as simple as purchasing any insurance policy, such as group life or critical illness cover. Talk to our expert advisers to find out more.

What does group income protection cover?

Group income protection covers insured employees for almost any illness or injury that stops them from working. This sets it apart from critical illness cover, which only covers a specific list of conditions. That cover will run until the employees are well enough to return to work, retire, or the policy term ends, whichever comes sooner.

Additional benefits

Most income protection policy providers offer optional add-ons so you can offer even better support services to your staff. Additional benefits include:

  • Rehabilitation services - Private clinical support to get your employees back on track, including physiotherapy and occupational therapy.
  • Wellbeing services - Training, tips, information and rewards to help your employees make better health choices.
  • Medical services - Some policies offer medical support to aid rehabilitation, including virtual GP appointments and second medical opinion services.
  • Mental health support - Often includes a 24/7 mental health helpline where employees can speak to trained counsellors. Higher-level policies may include treatment for mental health conditions.
  • Employee assistance programme (EAP) - Emotional support for personal problems that may affect your work.
  • Dedicated case manager - One single point of contact for your employees to deal with when they need to start the claims process

Typical exclusions

Like other types of insurance, group income protection exclude certain conditions from their cover. Exclusions will vary between insurers and policies. However, most policies will exclude pre-existing conditions, self-inflicted injuries, misuse of drugs or alcohol, and injuries resulting from a criminal act and war. Please speak to us or check your documentation for full details of exclusions on your policy.

How much does group income protection cost?

The price of your group income insurance depends on several factors, including:

  • The number of employees covered - Do you want to protect all your employees or a select group?
  • Level of cover - Will insured employees receive a basic benefit, or will you purchase some optional add-ons?
  • Age of employees - Older employees are more likely to fall ill, so they are more expensive to insure
  • Medical history - If your team members have pre-existing conditions, your insurance premiums are likely to be higher
  • Occupation - If your company operates in a more dangerous industry with a higher risk of injury (e.g. construction), your insurer may charge a higher price for your policy.
  • Income - The higher your employees' income or the greater the percentage of their salary you want to cover, the higher your premiums will be
  • Deferred period - You can make your group income protection policy less expensive by delaying payments for a more extended period
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What is a maximum benefit level?

Each policy will have maximum benefit levels attached. Primarily they will detail the maximum percentage of an employee's salary that's covered, the pension contributions included (if any), the largest possible lump sum payment and the maximum duration of payments.

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Who can get group income protection?

In theory, you can register any of your employees for group income insurance. However, many companies use specific criteria to decide who can receive this benefit and who can't. Some companies restrict access by the age of employees or their length of service. Others will only offer cover for specific job titles or even departments. Ultimately, it's up to you to whom you would like to benefit from the policy. You could even set up multiple policies with differing cover levels and deferred periods for different people in the business.

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How does group income protection fit in with your employee benefits package?

Many companies use group income protection as part of a suite of flexible benefits they offer their employees. These benefits bring similar advantages to employers as income protection, including boosting staff retention, promoting your company as a better employer, and making your company a better workplace.

If you're considering group income protection, you should also think about the following:

  • Group health insurance
  • Group life insurance
  • Pensions

How does group income protection differ from critical illness cover?

If you already provide life insurance to your employees with cover for critical illnesses, you may wonder what the difference is and why you would need group income insurance.Critical illness cover pays your employees a tax-free lump sum if they contract a condition on the insurer's coverage list. Because it is a lump sum payment, depending on how long the employee is absent from work, more might be needed to support them financially through the entirety of their illness.Income protection pays out if an employee cannot come to work, regardless of sickness or injury. It also pays out monthly rather than in one large payment. It protects the employee from a long-term inability to work, although it is often used as a short-term solution. Some policies will guarantee an income until retirement, providing long-term security.

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Leading group income protection insurance providers

Let's look at four of the UK's leading group income protection providers.

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Aviva logo


Aviva's group income packages are here to help you help your employees through good times and bad. It aims to take an end-to-end approach to your people's health, promoting healthy living and supporting them when they're sick.

Depending on your level cover, Aviva will:

  • Support your employees with up to 80% of their gross salary if they cannot work due to illness or injury.
  • Provide self-help tools to help your people prevent sickness and manage their health better.
  • Offer your team mental health management toolkits, guidance and support.
L&G Logo

Legal & General

Legal & General aims to simplify group income protection for companies that want better benefits for their people. It promotes a deferred period of 26 weeks before an employee can receive payment, but you can choose a waiting time that suits you.

Benefits for employees include:

  • Financial protection if they cannot work for an extended period because of illness or injury.
  • Access to an employee assistance programme offering round-the-clock support for personal issues.
  • Rehabilitation support to help your people return to work faster.
Zurich logo


Zurich offers group income protection for your employees aged between 16 and 69. It aims to be simple to buy and manage, including the facility of a paperless claims process that includes eSignatures.

Features on offer include:

  • Cover 80% of a sick employee's wages, including pension and national insurance.
  • A dedicated case manager for each claim.
  • A dedicated case manager for each claim.
Talk to our expert advisers today to find out more about what else you can offer your valued staff.

Group income protection FAQs