Eastbridge Reports Another Year of Growth in the Worksite Market for 2003

AVON, CONNECTICUT, USA (July 14, 2004)�Worksite carriers recorded another year of growth, according to a recent study by Eastbridge Consulting Group, Inc. New worksite sales (U.S.) for 2003 totaled an estimated $4.321 billion, a seven percent increase over 2002 results. This represented the first year since 1997 that the industry did not realize double-digit growth. Despite this trend, however, worksite sales since 1997 (the first year tracked) have increased from $2 billion, almost a 120 percent increase over the six-year period.

This year’s survey represents the fifth annual Eastbridge U.S. Worksite Study. Worksite is defined as the sales of life and health products (both group and individual platform) sold at the workplace, with premium paid by the employees through payroll deduction. “Our study is the most comprehensive of any in the marketplace today,” says Eastbridge president, Gil Lowerre. “We track both group (voluntary) and individual (worksite) carriers/products. And, we have data on the performance of 55 worksite marketing carriers, accounting for almost 90 percent of the total worksite sales for life and health products.”

Just 15 companies account for over 75 percent of the total worksite sales (up from 72 percent in 2002). The average sales increase (for 2003) among this group was eight percent, significantly lower than the last two years (17 and 30 percent respectively). “While worksite sales growth slowed somewhat this year, we do not believe that this represents a declining trend,” explains Lowerre. “Several of the top players had slower than normal years in 2003, but expect to be back in the double digits for 2004.”

“While the average growth rate was lower, we did see several companies have extraordinary growth in 2003,” says Bonnie Brazzell, vice president at Eastbridge. One company in the top 15 experienced nearly a 200 percent increase over their 2002 results and three others in this top group had growth of more than 20 percent.

Inforce premium also showed somewhat slower growth in 2003, but the amount was more in line with historical averages. “Based on our tracked premium and estimates of the total market,” says Lowerre, “we believe that the 2003 inforce worksite premium was between $11.3 and $15.0 billion.” This represented a 13 percent increase over 2003, compared to a 17 percent increase in 2002.

Parties interested in participating in next year’s study are advised to email Eastbridge at info@eastbridge.com or phone the company at (860) 676-9633. All participants receive a free copy of the complete findings, including company-specific results.

Eastbridge Consulting Group, Inc., is a marketing advisory firm serving insurance and financial services organizations in the United States and Canada.