Life Insurance Articles


If your business has found Keyman Insurance to be too expensive, take a look at Group Critical Illness Insurance. At around half the price it's a snip.

Group Critical Illness Insurance - The cheaper alternative to Keyman Insurance.

Michael Challiner 19/01/06

If you manage a small business you'll dread the possibility of a member of your team being be taken seriously ill or dieing. Apart from the personal upset, your business would be hit hard. Sales or production could take a dive, key skills could be lost and the general pace of the business could fall. All this costs the business money.

Insurance is available to offset those financial risks, risks that can be especially serious for smaller businesses. After all in smaller businesses other employees can't be moved across to fill the gap - there's simply no one spare. So the problem remains until the person either returns to work or is replaced.

If the person is off sick with a serious illness such as a stroke or a heart attack you simply don't know when, or if, they'll return to work. It could be a month, six months even a year or more. Management is then caught in a cleft stick. Do you take on a temporary employee, contract out or recruit a permanent employee? Or are you forced to tread water and wait for matters resolve themselves? That's risky. And how much will all this cost the business in terms of extra overheads, lost sales and profit?

Keyman Insurance has traditionally absorbed these very real financial risks but nine out of ten small businesses still don't carry that insurance. It's either because they haven't addressed the problem or they've found Keyman Insurance to be too costly.

A Simon Briault, a spokesperson for the Federation of Small Businesses said, “In an ideal world, small firms would be insured against everything, but reality demands the businesses prioritise threats and occasionally take risks”.

But there is a cheaper alternative. It's called Group Critical Illness Insurance. And it's about half the price of normal Keyman Insurance!

With Group Critical Illness Insurance, the management decides which employees to insure and how much to insure them for. The business then pays the premiums and receives any lump sum payout. A claim can be made as soon as any of the insured employees are diagnosed with any critical illness which is scheduled within the insurance policy. As you would expect heart attacks, strokes and cancer are the biggest three biggest reasons for a claim but the full list of insured critical illnesses is much longer. For example, kidney failure, meningitis, paralysis and even blindness.

The important point to realise is that to make a claim, the insured employee must survive at least 28 days after their critical illness is diagnosed. (Some insurance companies have now reduced this to 14 days so please check before you buy.) Therefore, if the employee were to die before the end of the survival period, any claim would be invalid. In that context, it's not as comprehensive as full Keyman Insurance – but at around half the price of there has to be some compromise!

Simon Burgess, the MD of British Insurance says: “Group Critical Illness Insurance is a real alternative to full Keyman Insurance - and at around half the cost, it's great value for money. If managers find Keyman Insurance too expensive there's little excuse for not covering the biggest part of the risk with Group Critical Illness Insurance. Don't pay the price for apathy”.

Readers please note : You should undertake your own background checks before taking any action on any aspect mentioned in this article. Where the author has mentioned specific product details or given examples of how companies have reacted to specific situations, these should be correct as far as the author is aware when this article was written. In some cases additional background information not mentioned in the article has been used in obtaining the examples. Some examples or quotes may have been taken from information available in the public domain where all the background details may not be available. Insurers do change policy conditions and underwriting approach. They will view each situation on its own merits.

You should be aware that details of the topics written about within the articles can change. Therefore, always check out the current position before taking any action. You should also check that any action you are considering, or any proposed purchase, is suitable for your personal circumstances.

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