The 2020 Voluntary Carrier Commissions and Compensation Practices Spotlight™ Report updates Eastbridge’s past studies on the same topic by examining the compensation practices and policies of top voluntary/worksite carriers. Some of the specific topics covered in the report include commission schedules by product line and by company, takeover commission rates, vesting requirements, advance and payment practices; commissions paid for different enrollment types, bonuses and other compensation paid, and planned changes to compensation programs and future trends.
The objective of this report is to is to identify the current product trends in the voluntary/worksite market. This is the tenth survey on voluntary product trends conducted by Eastbridge Consulting Group, Inc.; surveys have been conducted biannually since 2002. Some of the topics covered include overall voluntary product trends, areas of greatest pressure for voluntary products, new or revised product plans for 2020, product profitability and growth products for carriers specifically and the industry overall. Where applicable, comparisons are drawn between this year’s results and those of the past several studies.
IN THE 2019 BenefitsPRO/Eastbridge survey, brokers said that, increasingly, their “goto” voluntary products are accident, critical illness and hospital indemnity, rather than just life and disability. But despite this finding, 72 percent of all employers do not offer a hospital indemnity/supplemental medical plan. Maybe more important, just 27 percent of employees currently own a hospital indemnity plan. That means 73 percent do not own it, but when asked about products they might like to purchase on a voluntary basis, 43 percent of those employees are interested in buying one.
THE VOLUNTARY BENEFITS market has, at times, seen certain trends that overshadow market realities. It was just a few years ago that there was still an expectation of growth in private exchanges. For a time, it was frequently forecast that such platforms would be the most common destination for benefit enrollment. While this concept may see more adoption in the future, the original forecast for growth has not yet come about. It’s important that we recognize that sometimes getting ahead of the market might have us living in “future possibility,” rather than “present reality.”
BROKER RECRUITMENT IS considered a pivotal factor in a voluntary insurancecompany’s success. Historically, employee benefit brokers preferred to source a client’s voluntary products from one carrier to streamline administration. This is a preference that many insurance carriers have catered to in their recruitment efforts. However, a recent Eastbridge report, Voluntary/Worksite Marketing: An Executive Perspective, found that producers are increasingly likely to seek “best-of-breed” products, resulting in less business going to any one carrier. This statistic almost doubled from 12 percent in our 2017 study to 22 percent this year. These changes suggest that the ease of one-carrier administration is becoming less important than having the right product design.