Colin Fitzgerald, Distribution Director, Group Protection, Legal & General:
“Uber’s announcement that it will give all of its 70,000 UK drivers a guaranteed minimum wage, holiday pay and pensions on top of insurance to cover sickness, injury and maternity and paternity payments could have a positive ripple effect on millions of gig workers. This news follows the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling last month that claimant Uber drivers could be legally classified as workers rather than self-employed. This latest news represents a significant opportunity for collaboration across the group protection industry to help all workers, whose needs and budgets may be flexible, to put in place essential protections – in terms of life, income protection and critical illness cover.
“This will require insurers and intermediaries alike to also adapt to changing ways of working; to respond to challenges that the products lack flexibility and are not always budget friendly. Elevating the discussion beyond price to outcomes for employers will be key, especially given the anticipated growing demand for these protections post-pandemic and the pressing need to now integrate benefit and wellbeing agendas. This will require cost effective models, underpinned by the latest technology, to help deliver benefits that can not only be tailored to individual needs but also delivered in the kind of mobile-first way that workers are used to in their everyday lives.
“Legal & General launched Protect in December to reflect the evolution of working models and the workforces therein. Protect is a mobile-first group insurance solution that allows people to dial up and down life, income protection and critical illness cover whenever they want and according to individual needs. It is designed to help improve engagement with benefits, ultimately helping more people insure what is their most valuable asset; their ability to work and earn a living. At the same time upfront digital underwriting brings more certainty at time of claim, cover can be arranged in minutes, with no pre-existing condition exclusion on voluntary critical illness cover. In short, thanks to the economies of scale afforded by the group business, we can give comprehensive and totally flexible cover at highly competitive prices.”