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Employee benefit market set for a new focus following COVID-19

06 July 2020 GlobalData

COVID-19 has seen remote working become the new normal for many employees and data from a poll by GlobalData shows that 46% would look for a mix of remote and office-based working once lockdown measures are eased, while 27% would prefer to work remotely full-time if they are given the choice.

There is clearly considerable demand for a change to working practices that, should it occur, would shift the focus of the employee benefit market.

GlobalData Senior Insurance Analyst, Daniel Pearce, commented: “The spread of COVID-19 is expected to raise awareness of life insurance products such as group term assurance and income protection, and how they could be used to help protect against unforeseen financial difficulties. Heightened consumer interest in these products, combined with a shift towards remote working, will place greater focus on employee benefits that offer financial protection.

“The employee benefit market should look to capitalize on this trend and grow the uptake of financial protection products such as group life insurance, critical illness and income protection, which are currently offered by only 46%, 47% and 44% of SMEs, respectively. Growth in the uptake of such policies may not come entirely from new policyholders but also from those that currently only offer certain benefits to management, expanding coverage to the wider workforce.”

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QUESTION

The intention with lockdown was to delay or flatten the Covid-19 infection curve and give both the private and public healthcare sectors time to prepare for the inevitable onslaught. Did the strategy work?

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No, the true numbers are not reflected. Almost a quarter of South Africans may already have been infected with Covid-19
It’s too soon to tell. We will likely get a second wave with stringent lockdown regulations in place again
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