Eastbridge Reports Another Year of Growth in the Worksite Market for 2004

AVON, CONNECTICUT, USA (July 26, 2005) – Worksite carriers recorded another year of growth in 2004, according to a recent study by Eastbridge Consulting Group, Inc. New worksite sales (U.S.) totaled an estimated $4.223 billion, a three percent increase over 2003 results. Growth improved from the 1.8 percent increase realized in 2003 (based on revisions several companies made to their reported 2003 sales). [Note: As a result of these revisions, total sales for 2003 were revised downward to $4.1 billion.]

This year’s survey represents the sixth 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. �Clients tell us that our study is still the most comprehensive of any in the marketplace today,� says Bonnie Brazzell, vice president of Eastbridge. �We track both group (voluntary) and individual (worksite) carriers/products. And this year we have detailed data on the performance of 60 worksite marketing carriers.�

This is the second year in a row where the industry did not realize double-digit growth. �We don�t believe this represents a fundamental change in the industry trends,� shares Gil Lowerre, president of Eastbridge. �We did some extensive analysis to determine if there has been an industry-wide shift or if the slower growth is concentrated in just a few companies. The results showed that 68 percent of companies registered sales increases and 51 percent of all companies had double-digit sales growth.�

�In fact,� adds Brazzell, �it appears that the slower overall growth is due to a handful of companies being �off momentum� in their sales.� The study identified six companies that had decreases of $5 million or more in premiums for a total decrease of $160 million in 2004. �Had these six companies sold the same amount of new premium in 2004 as they did in 2003, the industry growth rate would have been 6.9 percent,� says Lowerre.

Inforce premium showed growth of around 11 percent. The study estimates that the 2004 inforce worksite premium was between $12.5 and $16.6 billion.

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. Visit www.eastbridge.com