Voluntary sales were $7.63 billion in 2016, according to Eastbridge’s annual U.S. Voluntary/Worksite Sales Report. But not all this premium is virgin business—an increasing percentage is business that is moving from one carrier to another. .
The annual U.S. Voluntary/Worksite Sales Report estimates sales for the entire voluntary industry, with detailed data on the performance of 65 carriers, both group and individual, and represents the largest number of carriers included in any sales report for the industry.
This report examines the current voluntary/worksite efforts of Voluntary Brokers and Benefit Brokers as well as their current views on ways carriers can support their voluntary business.
THE GROWTH of voluntary products over the past few years has been consistent. Year over year, the growth rate is in the 3 percent to 5 percent range. This growth has been fueled by more benefit brokers offering voluntary and by employers adding more voluntary products to their benefits.
HOW MANY DIFFERENT insurance companies does your typical client use for their voluntary benefit offerings? Have you brought in one carrier to provide all voluntary products? Have you brought in several companies? And what does the number of carriers say about you?
NEARLY 50 PERCENT of carrier respondents in a 2016 Eastbridge survey indicated that hospital indemnity (HI) will be a growth product for their companies in the next one to two years, more than double the number from the same survey in 2014. Employers participating in a separate study ranked hospital indemnity second in terms of new sales product potential. This jump in expectations at both the carrier and employer levels suggest that many carriers may be preparing to bring more HI plans to market or at least focus on them more, and employers will be open to adding these products to their employee benefits offering.
A RECENT EASIBRIDGE survey of employers found that the use of private exchanges continues to be minimal among all size categories and that a positive correlation remains between use and employer size (with use increasing as employer size increases). Many times, it is the broker who influences these employers to adopt the exchange model, and to offer more options to their employees or to move to a defined contribution approach.