“With an increasing demand for employee benefits insurance, we felt the need to launch a Group Life product into the market that is customer oriented, inexpensive, easily understandable and that requires no medical tests,” says Boris Curmi, Chief Commercial Officer at MAPFRE Middlesea. “This unique product offering puts MAPFRE Middlesea at the forefront of innovation in the local market.”
Designed for businesses and organisations that employ a minimum of five employees, and who are engaged solely in professional, administrative or clerical duties, the new Group Life Lite Plan is a simplified group policy offering, with the main highlight being that, unlike the traditional Group Life products, “it is much easier for the client to understand and administer, thus enhancing the overall customer experience.”
“It is essentially a type of life insurance where a single contract covers an entire group of people. The policy owner is the employer or an entity such as an association, and the policy covers the employees or members of the group,” says Mr Curmi.
“The standard policy cover provides a benefit for each policy member in the event of death from any cause. Clients have the option to upgrade to the ‘Plus Cover’ option, which would also include an ‘Accidental Death Benefit’ and cover for ‘Permanent Total Disability’. Cover is operative on a 24/7 worldwide basis.”
Highlighting the advantages of providing insurance as an employee benefit, Mr Curmi says that it is an important tool for employers to attract new recruits, while also satisfying the requirements of their current workforce. “Protecting employees with life cover helps companies improve employee retention, recruitment, productivity and morale. A good life insurance policy can mean a lot to an employee, especially if they have a family or children.”
Indeed, life insurance is a key benefit that employees look for when job searching, and so, Mr Curmi says that offering such insurance protection along with other work benefits can help set a company apart as an employer of choice for desirable candidates.
Notwithstanding the benefits, the outbreak of COVID-19 has forced many businesses to cut costs, which often resulted in scaling back employee benefits, including the provision of such an attractive benefit as life insurance.
However, despite the impact of COVID-19 on the local economy, Mr Curmi says that unemployment has remained contained, and has increased only marginally from pre-COVID levels. “This means that competition between companies vying for the best recruits is still a reality. A good benefits programme helps companies attract and keep the best employees, which leads to happier and more productive workers, and ultimately can help the business thrive – which is why I believe such benefits should continue to be provided.” Mr Curmi adds that the pandemic has transformed work and life, creating new challenges for employees and employers alike across all economic sectors, including the insurance sector and MAPFRE Middlesea.
“There are definitely challenges of promoting such insurance solutions during this climate of economic uncertainty, but our message is that companies need to, more than ever, address the holistic needs of their employees,” asserts the Chief Commercial Officer. “Employees need to feel more protected and cared for, which in turn improves productivity, engagement and reduces stress and burnout. Companies that take this approach are better positioned to meet the evolving challenges of the pandemic, and support both employee and business performance.”
Apart from Group Life insurance, MAPFRE Middlesea offers a range of other products and tailor-made solutions that complement employee benefit packages. Mr Curmi singles out Group Health insurance, which provides coverage to employees at a reduced cost due to the spread of risk across the group. “Employers have the option to carry the full cost of the insurance or share part of the cost with their employees. Cover may be extended to employees’ families or other dependents for an extra cost.”
Group Personal Accident is another policy – a comprehensive benefit insurance that protects employees against accidents leading to disability or death. Mr Curmi says that availing of such coverage could offer financial security to employees, as “accidents not only create physical disablement but can also come with financial crisis for the injured party and his/her family.”
“Moreover, there is the Employers’ Liability policy which protects the legal responsibility of the employer towards the employees in case of injury at the place of work,” he explains. “Through our subsidiary, MAPFRE MSV Life, we also offer a choice of defined contribution retirement solutions to both individuals and employers. All our solutions are flexible and can be individually tailored to meet the needs of both individuals and employers.”
Since launching the Group Life Lite Plan in June, MAPFRE Middlesea has already started reaping its rewards. Mr Curmi describes the feedback received by clients and distributors alike as “very encouraging”.
“Our aim was to provide a simple and inexpensive insurance solution for businesses to capitalise on their employee benefits programmes while retaining the option of full tailor-made solutions through traditional Group Life products,” he concludes.
This interview first appeared in Business Now magazine, the sister brand to BusinessNow.mt
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