Should Businesses Have Group Life Insurance for Employees?

Running a successful business isn't just about crunching numbers, increasing profit margins, and creating growth charts. It's also about taking care of your people - the unsung heroes behind all your business victories. After all, your team is your company’s heartbeat; without them, even your best-laid business plans could fall short of success.

Part of looking after your team comes down to the benefits you offer. One benefit that's been gaining attention in recent years is group life insurance. But what exactly does group life insurance offer your employees and why could it be a good idea to make it one of your company’s benefits? This blog explores exactly what group life insurance is, how it works and some of the reasons business owners are investing in it.

In This Guide:

What is Group Life Insurance?

Group life insurance or employee life insurance, also known as death-in-service insurance, is a type of life insurance that covers a group of individuals – in this case, your employees. As the employer, you would generally cover the insurance premiums. If an employee were to unfortunately pass away while under this policy, a lump sum payment, usually a multiple of their annual salary, is paid out to their nominated beneficiaries.

How Does Group Life Insurance Work?

Group life insurance is designed to provide a layer of financial security for your employees' families, acting as a safety net during challenging times. But how does adopting a group life insurance policy work? Let's demystify the process by breaking it down into simple, understandable stages:

  1. Procurement of Policy: As a business owner or HR executive, you purchase a group life insurance policy that extends coverage to all eligible employees within your organisation. While it's common for businesses to foot the bill for these premiums, there may be instances where costs are shared with employees. This coverage is typically more cost-effective per individual when compared to separate personal policies due to the spread of risk across the group.
  2. Defining Eligibility: Generally, all employees are covered under the group life insurance policy. However, specific cases might stipulate eligibility criteria, such as full-time employment status or completion of a probationary period. Clear communication about these eligibility requirements to your workforce is crucial.
  3. Determining Coverage Scale: The coverage scale can differ, but it usually corresponds to a multiple of an employee's annual earnings, like 2x or 3x their annual salary. However, it could also be a uniform amount applicable to all employees, independent of their respective salaries. The fine print of your chosen policy will outline these specifics.
  4. Nomination of Beneficiaries: Your employees will need to nominate beneficiaries, the individuals who'll receive the payout in the unfortunate event of their death. These beneficiaries are usually immediate family members, such as a spouse or child, but employees have the freedom to choose anyone they wish.

Why Consider Group Life Insurance?

Employee life insurance may seem like an added expense on the surface, but the multifaceted benefits it offers could make it a worthwhile investment. Here are some compelling reasons to consider incorporating group life cover into your employee benefits package:

Employee Attraction and Retention

In today's competitive job market, talented individuals are not just looking for attractive salary packages. They also value comprehensive benefits. Offering group life insurance can help make your company more appealing to potential hires and can enhance employee retention. It demonstrates that you care about your employees and their families, creating a more attractive work environment.

Cost-Efficient Coverage

Compared to individual life insurance policies, employee life insurance policies tend to be more cost-effective. The risk is spread out among a group of individuals, which typically results in lower premium costs per person.

Simple Administration

Group life insurance policies are easier to manage than individual policies. You deal with one policy for all your employees rather than managing numerous individual ones. This simplifies administration and can save your HR team significant time and resources.


In the UK, the premiums paid by employers for group life insurance are usually considered an allowable business expense and are not treated as a P11D benefit for the employee. This makes group life insurance a tax-efficient way of providing a benefit to your employees.

Support During Difficult Times

Perhaps the most crucial aspect of group life insurance is the financial support it provides to the families of employees in the event of their death. This support can help cover funeral costs, mortgage payments, debts, and other living expenses, providing significant relief during a challenging period.

Enhanced Employee Morale

Knowing that their loved ones are financially protected can provide peace of mind to your employees, which can lead to higher job satisfaction and improved morale. This positive atmosphere can enhance productivity, further benefiting your business.

Group Life Insurance for Small Businesses: What You Need to Know

When it comes to group life insurance, small businesses might feel like it's a benefit more suited to larger corporations. However, this isn't necessarily the case. In fact, group life insurance can be a valuable asset for businesses of all sizes, including those with a smaller workforce.

But what about the costs? Group life insurance is typically more cost-efficient than individual policies. This is because the risk is spread across the group, resulting in lower premium costs per person. This cost-efficiency can make group life cover an accessible and affordable benefit, even for small businesses with limited resources.

It’s also important to remember that group life cover is customisable. Insurers often provide flexible plans that can adapt as your business grows. You don't have to worry about a one-size-fits-all approach; instead, you can tailor the policy to meet the specific needs of your small business.

Finding the Right Group Life Insurance for Your Business

Group life insurance can be an excellent addition to your company's benefits package. While it may seem like just another checkbox on the HR to-do list, its impact runs deep, potentially affecting your team's morale, job satisfaction, and sense of security. At the same time, it also positions your company as a compassionate employer that truly cares for its employees' well-being, a trait that can give you an edge in today's competitive job market.

Remember, the key is in finding the right balance - a plan that not only fits within your company budget but also addresses the needs and concerns of your employees. Like any significant business decision, choosing to offer group life cover should come after careful consideration and thorough research.