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  Group Income Protection

Group Income Protection
With Group Income Protection, you can help your clients provide financial and practical support to employees when they’re unable to work, due to long-term illness or injury. Allowing employees to focus on their health, recovery and returning to work.

It’s important to understand the details of our Group Income Protection policy, for more information on it, please contact your account manager. Full details of features and benefits are listed in the product’s brochure. Non-standard terms may apply to your client’s policy.

Getting employees back to work is our priority. Through early intervention our Group Income Protection policy can help reduce the impact long term illness and injury can have on a business.

Our Group Income Protection cover offers flexibility, through a range of deferred period, benefit level and payment term options.

How to quote and apply?

If you are applying for a business with under 100 lives you can use our online system, Aviva Group Protection Online.

Find out more

For applications or for more information phone us on: 0800 145 5684

Calls to and from Aviva may be recorded and/or monitored. Lines are open Monday-Friday 9.00-17.00. Calls are free from a landline and mobile phone.

Helping your clients’ employees

Through our Group Income Protection policy your clients will have access to services that can help their employees make a faster return to work - we actively promote early intervention and assist in rehabilitation wherever possible.

We think that early intervention is one of the best ways to prevent long-term sickness and protect both employers and employees. That’s why our claims process and early intervention support are such an important part of our Group Income Protection benefits package.

Features of our Group Income Protection policy

Employee absence can present challenges to a business, not just in terms of cost, but also in productivity and levels of morale. By introducing a Group Income Protection policy to your clients, you could help them to improve productivity and morale, whilst providing access to initiatives that could help reduce ill health in the workplace, and cut both costs and administration for the business. You can copy and paste these points to use them in a presentation or letter to your clients. Please note, we cannot accept liability for your letters created using the guidelines below.

  • A flexible policy; This policy can be designed with options that can meet each individual business’s specific immediate and long term needs, budget and overall best interests of employees.
  • Choice of deferred periods; Choose when the policy’s benefits start, either after 13, 26, 28 or 52 weeks of absence due to long-term illness or injury. This way, the payments can complement existing sick pay arrangements – and the longer the deferred period, the lower the premiums.
  • Free cover limit; We offer up to a maximum of £150,000 without the need for medical underwriting, in many cases. We also offer Once Only underwriting on standard unit rated schemes, which means in most circumstances members will only need to be medically underwritten once.
  • Cover that helps to meet employees’ expectations; Employees can have cover that provides up to 80% of their salary when absent from work due to long-term illness or injury, up to a maximum of £425,000 basic benefit.
  • Optional pension fund contributions; Employer contributions can be insured for up to £75,000. We will also cover 'cash in lieu' of employer pension contributions included within and subject to this figure. Employee contributions can also be covered but will be included within the overall maximum of 80% of earnings up to £425,000. Employers’ National Insurance contributions can also be insured.
  • A choice of benefit payment terms; Costs can be contained by choosing a limited benefit term of 2, 3, 4 or 5 years. Or cover can be provided to pay benefits until the chosen policy cease age.
  • A lump sum option; We will make a lump sum payment if the employee is still unable  to work and satisfies the definition of incapacity at the end of a selected limited benefit term. This could be used to fund a career change or enhance a pension fund, for example.
  • Pay Direct option; If your client has selected our Pay Direct cover, they have the option at claims stage of authorising future claims payments to be made directly to the employee, which can reduce administration burdens for your client.

Our approach to underwriting Group Income Protection

We want to help your clients by reducing administration whenever possible. Using our experience in the Group Protection sector, we operate an underwriting process that we think your clients will appreciate.

  • Our free cover limit (FCL) formula can reduce administration by limiting the extent of medical underwriting required. Our ‘once only’ underwriting approach for standard group schemes can reduce that administrative burden even further as future increases in benefit, in most cases, won’t require further medical underwriting.
  • When an employee chooses to undergo a tele-interview, our staff capture all the essential information that’s needed. This means that employees don’t have to complete forms, which can potentially help to reduce cases of non-disclosure due to our experience of asking the right questions in the right way.
  • If employees don’t want to take part in tele-interviews, they can complete a medical declaration to capture information about their work, health, lifestyle and medical history.

The tele-interview process

A tele-interview (TIV) is a telephone conversation, in which essential medical information is captured. Our tele-interviewers have the skills and are aware of medical details that can help them interpret the conversation and record the details. This helps us gather details about an employee’s health and medical history that can provide faster underwriting decisions (if required), and potentially help to reduce incidents of non-disclosure.

A straightforward process
We’ll call your client’s employees and ask them about their work, health, lifestyle and medical history. All information is treated in the strictest confidence. The information is only used for their application, it’s not shared for any other purpose. Afterwards, we’ll issue a copy of the report, which they’ll be asked to check thoroughly. If they need to make amendments, we ask them to do this in writing.

We collect the information that’s necessary
In many cases, our underwriters can make a decision based on the report from the tele-interview. Sometimes we need to ask for more information from their doctor or other medical professionals. Occasionally, we’ll ask an employee to attend a short medical examination with an independent clinician – otherwise, all they need to do is sign and return the tele-interview report for us to assess.

Workplace wellbeing and helping people get back to work

  • We believe that early intervention can prevent a significant claim occurring in the future. Using our clinical experts, we may be able to help employees return to work quicker. To do this, we ask your clients to let us know about employees who are absent for four weeks or more irrespective of the deferred period on their Group Income Protection policy.
  • A Case Manager will discuss the absence with the employer over the phone. They may then give the employer some guidance on how to handle the absence, discuss potential rehabilitation support or agree to review the absence further on a future date. With the employer's consent, the Case Manager will contact the employee directly and then discuss any potential support with our clinical experts.
  • If the employee can return to work the Case Manager will work with both the employer and employee to help to facilitate this as appropriate. This could include a gradual phasing of duties; changes to hours or responsibilities; or even retraining. In either case, if the deferred period has been completed, the employee can receive a proportionate benefit until they are fully fit and able to return to their full range of duties and working hours. For example, if a member returns part time and their earnings are reduced by 70%, we will pay 70% of the total benefit.
  • Our claims process is designed in a way that helps us identify ways in which we can help members return to work when they are able. We use clinical evidence based processes, and our claims team is trained to flag opportunities for early intervention.
  • More details on our workplace wellbeing solutions

Helping you sell Group Income Protection

Our Group Income Protection policy can help individuals financially – but we’d like to help you explain the practical benefits of Group Income Protection to your clients and show them the value that our Group Income Protection policy could bring to their business. Our tools, videos and sales aids are an ideal way to engage clients on the subject of Group Income Protection.

Key points to cover with your clients

Explaining the key points of our Group Income Protection policy is a simple way to communicate the benefits, show its limitations and explain the value of your clients putting this cover in place for their employees.

  • Our Group Income Protection policy offers the flexibility of when you would like the benefit to start; after a 13, 26, 28, or 52 week deferred period. This means the payment of benefit covered by the policy would not be triggered until the absence has reached this period. Generally, the longer the deferred period, the lower the premium.
  • Unless the agreement is to pay benefits until the policy cease age, your client can also contain costs by setting a limit on the amount of time we pay a benefit: 2, 3, 4 or 5 years.
  • By selecting our Lump Sum Option, clients could receive a one-off payment at the end of a limited term.
  • With our Pay Direct option, the income benefit can be paid directly to the employee.
  • Your client’s employees become eligible for income protection benefit when their injury or long-term illness has kept them away from their usual workplace for longer than the deferred period. We encourage clients to let us know about absence as early as possible. This gives us an opportunity to offer our clinical and case management expertise to support the rehabilitation process, as well as ensuring we can assess the employee’s entitlement to benefit prior to the end of the deferred period.
  • We recommend that the employer contacts us with details of any employees who are absent for four weeks or longer, so that we can offer early intervention support where appropriate. Our focus is on helping people return to health, and get back to work.
  • Our Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) offers additional benefits: find out more about EAP on our EAP page.
  • In line with our understanding of current taxation legislation, in most cases our Group Income Protection policy’s premiums will qualify as a trading expense and therefore attract corporation tax relief. This depends on the employer's circumstances and tax rules may change.
  • We’ll do everything we can to assist your client’s business, when this policy is set up. In most cases we will offer a Free Cover Limit (FCL) which means employees with benefits below the FCL will not normally be subject to medical underwriting.

Issues that could affect your clients’ decisions

We want to help you be prepared for conversations with your clients about factors that could affect a decision when selling our Group Income Protection policy.

We want your clients to be assured of their position. Our focus is on making sure that our policies can accommodate changes in legislation – now and in the future.

Opportunities to sell Group Income Protection
As a result of government legislation, most people claiming incapacity benefit from the state will, in time, be encouraged to reintegrate into the workplace. Benefits are often limited to motivate employees to return to work when able to do so and employers are encouraged to support employees in getting back to work.

  • How does our Group Income Protection policy help? Our Group Income Protection policy offers the levels of benefit and type of early intervention services that can help in this situation. By acting promptly, and drawing on our clinical expertise, we could help employees back to work faster.
  • How are we staying abreast of these issues? Aviva is represented through GRiD, the industry body for Group Protection, as well as being active in other industry forums, to make sure our products are best-placed to compliment the effects of changes in legislation.

What’s needed to set up a Group Income Protection policy?

  • A decision about scheme eligibility; Working with your client, we’ll ask you to let us know which employees need to be covered by the scheme, and the levels of benefit to be provided.
  • We conduct the underwriting exercise; Usually we’ll offer your client a free cover limit, under which no individual medical underwriting is needed.

This helps us speed up the process considerably. If employees do need underwriting, we’ll provide cover for full benefits for up to 90 days (in excess of the free cover limit and excluding any pre-existing conditions), or until our underwriting decision is made, whichever is earlier. We offer tele-interviews as part of our underwriting process, gathering essential medical information over the phone to help us make a prompt underwriting decision.

There may be cases where we’ll want to work closely with your client if they’ve had long-term absenteeism that’s been prevalent in the business over a number of years. One of the main reasons for doing this is that our focus is on helping people to stay healthy, so we’ll look for pro-active ways in which to help your client identify risk areas in the business.

We’re here to help

We’re here to support you, and employers, in helping to keep employees in the workplace.

Our team is here to help you explain the benefits of our Group Income Protection policy, and answer any questions you – or they – may have about all the products in our Group Protection portfolio and how they can work together.

For more information call us on 0800 145 5684
Lines are open Monday to Friday 9.00am – 5.00pm.
Calls to and from Aviva may be monitored and/or recorded.

Or email us on

We can help you submit an application, deal with any queries, and give you information that will help your clients proceed with confidence as they buy a Group Income Protection policy.

Group Income Protection claims – what happens next?

Our Group Income Protection claims process is designed to help people get back to work quickly and provide financial support.

We’ll do everything we can to help your clients’ employees get the advice and support that’s needed. At the heart of our business is a desire to have a claims process that is straightforward, stress-free and creates a return to work strategy that’s beneficial for both the employer and their employees.

Demonstrating our claims expertise to your clients

While clients may focus initially on the Group Income Protection policy's ability to provide financial support, for us the key to success is helping employees return to work as quickly as possible.

Our Employer brochure will help you to highlight the importance we place on using our expertise to identify ways in which we can help employees get back to work as quickly as possible. We use clinical evidence based processes, and our claims team is trained to flag opportunities for early intervention where our rehabilitation experience could make a difference.

Below are fictional examples of how Group Income Protection can work.

Making a difference – early intervention

Intervening promptly

Jenny was a 38 year old team leader who was off work due to anxiety and depression which was related to the recent sudden death of her husband. After an initial call to Jenny by our Case Manager, we offered to fund bereavement counselling to support Jenny through this difficult time. When Jenny and her counsellor felt she was ready, our Case Manager spoke with Jenny and her line manager to discuss some of the work place challenges, and to devise an appropriate graded return to work plan.

From an early stage we supported Jenny and her employer, providing advice on therapeutic work activities, home working, modified hours and finally, a carefully graduated return to full duties in the workplace. Regular calls with Jenny and her employer by our Case Manager during the return to work helped her to address any concerns before they started to impact on her health. We funded additional counselling sessions during the graduated return to work, which she found really helpful. Jenny made a successful return to her full time role over a period of four months.

Making a difference – providing the right support services

Steven, a 54 year old data architect, had been suffering with neck pain which was now preventing him from sitting at his PC to do his work. Although he had already had some treatment, he felt that there had been little improvement in his symptoms and was frustrated by conflicting advice from some of his treating clinicians. He was starting to come to the conclusion that he would no longer be fit to do his job at the age of 54.

After discussion with our in-house clinical team, our Case Manager funded a specialist worksite assessment, by a qualified physiotherapist, who provided both recommendations on workstation adjustments, and on self-management of Steven’s symptoms. Our Case Manager then provided recommendations on workstation adjustments including a specialised chair with head and neck support. We funded a six week Pilates course which the physiotherapist recommended as part of Steven’s self management program.

Steven’s symptoms improved well with this co-ordinated management plan, and he successfully completed a graduated return to work, using the plan devised by our Case Manager and clinical team.

Why Aviva?

Our focus is on helping employees get better as quickly as possible by offering a range of practical support services and financial assistance.

Helping people stay healthy

Our Group Income Protection can help employees return to work quicker through early intervention. This can result in a reduction in absenteeism and further reduce the costs for a business by supporting employees in their rehabilitation and helping to facilitate a return to work as soon as practical.

Why choose Aviva’s Group Income Protection policy?

  • We’re experts in Group Income Protection; Your clients can rest assured that they have a team of experts helping their employees with their rehabilitation and recovery and to help them return to work as promptly as possible.
  • We’ve made sure our underwriting and claims processes are simple, efficient, effective and accountable.
  • The policy is supported heavily by our clinical expertise; In addition to financial support, we pro-actively look for ways to offer support that could improve health and wellbeing amongst your client’s workforce.
  • It's easy to set-up; We want to reduce the administration necessary for your clients, wherever possible. We offer a generous FCL formula (up to a standard maximum of £150,000) avoiding the need for medical underwriting altogether in many cases. We also offer Once Only underwriting on standard unit rated schemes, which means in most circumstances members will only need to be medically underwritten once.
  • We give employers and employees added value, not extra costs; While our Group Income Protection policy offers benefits such as access to an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) for all employees, we’re also here to offer your clients guidance on other health matters that could improve their productivity.
  • We deliver the service your clients expect; Our claims process has evolved to become a service that prioritises the welfare of individuals who use it. We understand that it can be a stressful time being off work due to long-term illness or injury and therefore our claims process is simple and straightforward. We encourage employers to notify us by telephone to allow a discussion about an employee's absence and so we can provide immediate advice and guidance where possible. We will also speak to the employee where appropriate to remove the need for them to complete any lengthy claim forms
  • Our priority is helping employees return to work as soon as they are able; Because we use early intervention techniques, we can often help your client’s employees return to work, even before the end of the deferred period is reached. Not only does this benefit the employee by getting them back to work sooner, it can benefit the employer by not having to hire temporary staff for a long period and can help keep future premiums down.
  • We stay abreast of industry issues and continually evolve our products; As members of GRiD we are committed to staying abreast of any issues that could affect Group Protection products and members currently covered by these policies.

Added value services

Group Income Protection delivers financial support alongside a range of rehabilitation services designed to help employees return to work.

Employee Assistance Programme

The Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) is provided by Care first and designed to help employees deal with the stresses and strains of life.

Our focus is on helping employees stay healthy, which means offering practical and emotional support that will help them deal with issues such as financial worries, stressful relationships, concerns about childcare or legal issues – anything that could significantly affect their productivity.

We offer an EAP to your clients when they take out a Group Income Protection policy and the service will be available to all employees of the insured company, regardless of whether they are covered under the policy.

Read more about the EAP service in the EAP brochure.

What does EAP cover?

The EAP offers information, guidance and confidential advice that can help employees resolve issues at work or in their personal lives. The EAP offers:

  • Up to eight face-to-face counselling sessions per annum, where clinically appropriate, and unlimited telephone counselling with up to eight sessions per topic. These sessions can support with unexpected issues, as well as day-to-day worries in a range of areas involving debt issues, problems in their personal lives, legal issues, relationships, work, family crises, health and illness. Employees also have the option to phone our counsellors and information specialist for ‘in the moment support’ whenever it is required.
  • Unlimited access to the EAP large online resource of personal, health and work-related information online.
  • The Care first EAP in your pocket - an innovative app that provides employees with easy access to established Employee Assistance services including: 
    Stress Free Island – a proactive digital prevention tool to help manage stress and anxiety.
    Direct access to 24/7 counselling – provided by Care first’s BACP accredited counsellors.
    Care first Lifestyle – an information resource containing advice, articles and webinars on a range of every day topics including relationships, childcare and bereavement.
    Direct access from the app to Care first’s information specialists –  for help and practical advice on a range of subjects either work related or personal.
  • Management support to help your client's managers with expert, impartial advice and guidance on dealing with the many difficult situations they face on a daily basis.


How does EAP help your client?

If we’re helping employees deal with challenges, your client’s business productivity could improve. The management support service is designed to give your client’s senior managers confidential access to a personal adviser – helping them get advice on employee issues and team management. We can also provide a phone-based critical incident service, 24/7, which is there to support managers and employees in the aftermath of a critical incident and help minimise the risk of post-traumatic stress.

Additional options that can enhance the EAP

Employers can choose to add services to the EAP, for an additional charge, potentially making an even greater difference to their business’s productivity levels.

  • Additional face-to-face sessions – your clients will have potentially received eight sessions. There is an option to receive additional sessions where appropriate .
  • Mediation services – helping individuals deal with conflicts, grievances and disagreements.
  • Employee workshops – dealing with bullying, anger management, phone rage, and successful presentation skills.
  • Performance coaching – helping middle and senior managers with the unique challenges they face in their roles.
  • An ethics line – for employees to report their concerns on issues such as fraud, theft, Health & Safety, bullying and harassment in confidence, while helping an employer identify possible risks to the company. This means that action could be taken before the company suffers potential financial loss or litigation.

The EAP service is a non-contractual benefit facilitated by Aviva and it can be withdrawn by Aviva at any time without notice. The EAP service is provided by Care first.

Cancer Work Support Service

Through Working Towards Wellbeing, an award-winning service provider, we offer a range of health and wellbeing services for employees. The service can help employees to come to terms with their illness, help them self-manage their symptoms and where possible, return to work.

Workplace wellbeing support

Engaging a workforce to promote healthy living could lead to lower levels of sickness absence and its associated costs. We offer a range of tools and support services through our in-house wellbeing team, many of which are provided by third parties.

Full information on our workplace wellbeing solutions

As a member of a Group Income Protection scheme, your clients will receive financial and practical support for their employees when they’re unable to work due to long-term illness or injury. Allowing employees to focus on their health and returning to work.

Helping your clients’ employees whilst at work

  • Your clients’ employees will have access to our wellbeing service, helping them promote good working practices.
  • An Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) which provides help for your clients’ employees with a range of issues, such as stress or illness.
  • Access to our 24 hour, seven days a week stress counselling and GP helplines for emotional and practical support.

For more information or a copy of the Technical Guide that applies to your policy, please contact us on: 0800 145 5684

These services are non-contractual benefits facilitated by Aviva and they can be withdrawn by Aviva at any time without notice.

Making a claim

We do everything we can to help your clients’ employees get the advice and support that’s needed.

If one of your clients’ employees needs to make a claim, we'll try to make sure that it causes as little disruption to your client’s business as possible. We advise your client lets us know about any term of absence exceeding four weeks. This is because our experience, supported by clinical research, has shown that working with employees at an early stage of absence is more likely to result in a successful return to work.

Hopefully your client’s employee will return to work before the end of the deferred period, but if they don't, they just need to let us know with as much advance warning as possible. That way we can put together a potential new claim and ensure everything continues to run as smoothly as possible.

Starting a claim

We'll assign a dedicated Case manager to your client who will talk to them about the employee's absence. With your client's consent, the Case manager will then have a telephone conversation with the employee about their circumstances and discuss any additional support that could help them. 

If rehabilitation support is appropriate, the Case manager will discuss this with your client and advise of next steps. We'll also ask for consent to speak to their employee for more information and so they can complete a health questionnaire.

We'll always combine the most appropriate intervention measure and rehabilitation techniques to encourage a rapid recovery. This could help to reduce the costs involved for your client’s business, such as overtime, sick pay, extra resource costs and reduced productivity.

Think of us as part of your team.
For help or queries, call us on: 0800 142 2377
Lines are open Monday to Friday 9.00am to 5.00pm
(calls to and from this number may be recorded and/or monitored).
Or email

Frequently asked questions

What happens if my client wants to add employees to the scheme?
If they take out a ‘unit rated' policy, they’ll need to tell us about any new joiners or leavers at the policy anniversary date. If they have a single premium policy, they must let us know immediately about all new joiners or leavers. For either unit rated or single premium policies they need to tell us immediately of any joiners whose benefits are above the free cover limit or who do not meet the normal eligibility conditions.

Will my client’s premiums stay the same each year?
If the factors used to calculate your client’s premium don't change, then we can usually guarantee their premium for two years from the start of their policy. Any changes in membership will be allowed for by an end-of-year adjustment premium based on the membership at the end of each policy year.

How are my clients’ premiums taxed?
In most circumstances, Group Income Protection premiums count as a business expense so therefore qualify for corporation tax relief. Under current tax laws, Group Income Protection does not count as a P11D benefit in kind. This is our understanding of current tax rules, which are subject to change.

Contact us

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WA14001 08/2018