Workplace marketing looks set to take off in the UK. It involves financial services providers visiting employees at their workplace to sell insurance and financial products. In the US, there 158 different providers offering financial services by this method.
In Ireland this type of marketing has also been successful – Irish Life says that 30% of its total premium income comes from deductions made from company payrolls.
In the UK, the trend is being spearheaded by Combined Benefit Services (CBS), a division of Aon Group based in Kingston, Surrey. Since last spring, this company has been marketing its Paymaster policy in this way.
Paymaster is an income replacement plan. According to CBS vice president David Reynolds, only 10% of employees are covered by PHI, and in companies where it is present, cover may be limited to top personnel.
Reynolds said: “As State support ebbs away, many more people are realising the need to protect themselves against the financial consequences of a long term disability.”
Companies pay variable levels of sick pay, from the statutory minimum up to six months, so the CBS policy kicks in at varying times according to circumstance.
Reynolds said the potential of this kind of marketing is ‘phenomenal’. CBS is beginning to market-test other simple, non-regulated products such as term life and family income to sell in the workplace. He added: “The need to cut back on welfare is gathering pace so we are out there trying to help people.”
CBS has so far made presentations to over 20 companies, which have been seen by at least 80% of employees. Of these, some 60% take up the schemes on offer.