Almost half of voluntary executives describe their policy administration system as outdated and the percentage that think it holds them back increased 7 percentage points to 16% in 2019 compared to 2017, found Eastbridge’s bi-annual survey, Voluntary/Worksite Marketing: An Executive Perspective. Just over half of executives plan to make some kind of change, either major or minor, over the next five years. The new Report tracks these executives’ thoughts and insights on the obstacles facing the industry today, as well as what they might expect for the future.
As the expectations of employers for efficient and integrated administration continue to rise, billing is one of the top aspects of administration carriers must get right to win broker and employer business. In fact, Eastbridge research suggests it is the top administrative pain point with carriers for brokers. Good enrollment capabilities and products are necessary but not enough to compete in today’s voluntary marketplace. Back-end administration — the quality and reliability of billing processes in particular — is equally important.
WITH THE ABUNDANCE of technology service providers vying for your employer clients’ attention, making decisions using bad data or alluring sales propositions can leave employers vulnerable. Payroll vendors, enrollment and benefits-administration platform providers and billing services promise cost-effective, efficient and effective solutions to ease an employer’s pain points. It’s not to say that these technologies will or will not deliver what they promise, but an important element in the decision-making process must be the preferences of employees.
MORE AND MORE we find that employers want to use the same system to enroll voluntary that they use for other benefits. In fact, 63 percent of the 1,000 employers surveyed last year in our Market-Vision: The Employer Viewpoint survey, said they want all benefits enrolled on one platform regardless of whether different carriers are used. More than half said that they want online enrollment to be part of their ben admin system rather than a separate system.
YOU’VE MADE THE sale and the employer has said, “Yes, let’s add the newly proposed voluntary benefit.” But of course, we haven’t sold anything until we get employees to elect. The most successful brokers make sure that when selling a product into a case, they include the enrollment method to be used.
This is the last in our series of columns on the voluntary industry sales results for 2018. The first article looked at overall voluntary sales for the year, while the second reviewed sales by product line and platform. This column takes a closer look at sales by distribution segment.
Last month, we reported that voluntary new business annualized premium sales for 2018 was $8.5 billion, but since that time, the results have been updated to $8.513 billion, up 4.5 percent over 2017 sales. This article spotlights sales by product line and platform.
According to our annual U.S. Voluntary/Worksite Sales Report, new business annualized premium (voluntary sales) increased at a rate of just over 4 percent in 2018, while total sales for the year were $8.5 billion. The first graph below shows the industry’s sales since 1997.