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Top 10 predictions for health and protection in 2016

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Increased risk to staff through terrorism and growing employer demand for wellness programmes will shake up health and protection in 2016

The increased risks to staff through terrorism, growing demand from employers for wellness programmes, increases in benefit tax and the increasing use of digital technology will all shake up the health and protection market in 2016. Here Punter Southall Health and Protection gives its top 10 predictions for next year:

  • More development of digital capability as insurers respond to the increasing demand for instant support and access, no matter where an employee is in the world
  • More emphasis on the safety and security of overseas staff in light of recent events and the increase risk of attacks in major cities.
  • Potential growth in the life assurance market as an increasing number of small employers adopt auto-enrolment
  • Employers will increasingly be seeking group life assurance for their staff which offers pension flexibility. As a result there will be a demise of death in service pensions, which only benefit a limited range of beneficiaries and are becoming more expensive
  • The State will increasingly step back from sickness and disability provision and this will impact on income protection offerings and designs
  • In 2016 expect to see the growth of wellness related elements to risk and healthcare products
  • There will be an increase in the number of employers considering funding medical schemes through health trusts to help mitigate increasing costs, such as those brought about by the recent hike in insurance premium tax (IPT), and to build in more flexible benefit design
  • Employers will make greater investment in, and promotion and support of, wellness programmes
  • The cash plan market will increase as employers look to provide more affordable benefits and cash incentives to encourage employees to maintain good health
  • There will be growth in support for earlier diagnosis and screening. For example, instant access to a consultant for breast and bowel cancer with no need for GP referral

Punter Southall Health and Protection is one of the UK's largest health and protection advisers