Voluntary Short-Term Disability Products

Cost: $3,500; published 2023

Short-term and long-term voluntary disability products accounted for about 18% ($1.6 billion) of total new voluntary sales in 2022, according to the most recent Eastbridge U.S. Voluntary/Worksite Sales Report. Voluntary short-term disability represents the majority of those sales at just more than $1 billion, an increase of 10% over 2021 sales. Demand for and purchase of this product remains strong in the marketplace, with renewed awareness from employers and employees of the importance of this coverage due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic.

The Voluntary Short-Term Disability Products Spotlight™ Report helps inform carriers of the various VSTD products available in the market and emerging trends or issues affecting the product and market. Some of the topics covered include:

  • A market overview for voluntary short-term disability products
  • Product structure, features and benefit specifics
  • Scope of coverage and portability options
  • Underwriting/eligibility guidelines and practices
  • Costs and commissions
  • Product differentiators and results including 2022 sales, profitability, participation, etc.
  • Current product challenges and future trends

With this data, carriers can better understand how their own VSTD product and processes compare to the competition.


View Table of Contents

1. Executive Summary

A. Report Objectives

B. Methodology

C. Key Findings

2. Market Overview

A. Sales Trends for Short-Term Disability Products

B. Employer Perspective

C. Employee Perspective

D. Broker Perspective

E. Key Competitors

3. Product Details by Carrier

A. Product Structure and Specifics

1. Product Platform

2. Definition of Voluntary for Short-Term Disability

3. Types of VSTD Sold

4. Employer-Paid STD Plan Offered

5. Most Recent Changes to VSTD Plan

6. Minimum/Maximum Benefits

7. Benefit Type

8. Maximum Percent Salary Replacement

9. Off-Job Only or On- and Off-Job Benefits

10.Benefit Period Options

11.Definition of Disability

12. Coverage for Partial Disabilities

13.Covered Earnings

14.Elimination Periods

15.Pre-Existing Exclusions

16.Limited Benefits for Pre-Existing Conditions

17.Waiver of Pre-Existing for Takeovers

18.Coverage for Mental and Nervous Disorders

19.Coverage for Pregnancy

20.Coverage for Elective or Cosmetic Surgery

21.Other Exclusions

22.Coordination with Other Plans/Offsets

23. Waiver of Premium

24.Waiver of Premium/Continuation of Coverage for Layoffs

25.Rehabilitation Benefits

26.Additional/Optional Benefits or Riders

27.Additional No-Cost or Value-Add Services

28. Utilization of Optional or Value-Added Benefits

B. Scope of Coverage and Portability

1. Employee Options at Purchase

2. Renewability

3. Portability Options and Rates

4. Conversion Option

5. Multiple Plan Options Allowed

6. Unique Designs by Industry

7. Nonintegrated Plans in Statutory/PFML States

8. Changes to VSTD Products and Impacts Due to STAT/PFML

9. Product Differentiators

C. Underwriting

1. Account Eligibility Guidelines

2. Ineligible Accounts/Industries

3. Employee Eligibility Guidelines

4. Types of Underwriting Used

5. Guaranteed Issue Guidelines

6. Action if GI Participation Requirement Not Met

7. Simplified Issue Guidelines

8. Simplified Issue Underwriting Questions

9. MIB/APS/Pharmacy Checks

10.Full Underwriting Guidelines

11.Open Enrollment Options

12. Length of Initial Enrollment Period

13.Underwriting Requirements for Adding Coverage

14.Renewal Process

D. Costs and Commissions

1. Published or Census Rates

2. Issue-Age or Attained-Age Pricing and Age Bands

3. Composite Rates

4. Rate Classes

5. Rate Differences for Group Products

6. Rate Guarantees

7. Monthly Premium Rate Comparisons

8. Writing-Level Commissions

9. Heaped Commissions Requirements

4. Results and Future Trends

A. Claims

1. Claims Problems

2. Average Speed of Claims Payment

3. Percent of Claims Denied

4. Current Loss Ratio

B. Results

1. 2022 VSTD Sales

2. Product Profitability

3. Average Participation Percentage

4. Typical Policyholder and Account Demographics

5. Average Annual Premium Per Employee

6. Persistency

7. Takeovers vs. Virgin Cases

C. Challenges & Future Trends

1. Product Challenges

2. Product Trends


To purchase Reports: Call (860) 676-9633 or email [email protected]

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For more information, please contact us at [email protected] or (860) 676-9633.



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