AVON, CONNECTICUT, USA (August 16, 2005)-Continuing the trend of the last few years, voluntary group products grew at a faster pace in 2004 than did individual plans, according to a recently released study by Eastbridge Consulting Group entitled, U.S. Worksite Study.
However, because both lines grew only slightly from 2003, the mix stayed pretty constant, according to Eastbridge vice president Bonnie Brazzell. �Group product sales grew at four percent in 2004,� states Brazzell, �while individual grew at just one percent.� Overall, the mix between group and individual stayed fairly level at roughly 57 percent individual and 43 percent group.
�The growth of group voluntary products and its share of the worksite market is largely driven by a few issues,� says Gil Lowerre, president of Eastbridge. First, group carriers are (finally) getting serious about voluntary products. �We see more and more group carriers deciding that voluntary products are the future and investing money and human resources into developing a robust and competitive value proposition,� adds Lowerre.
�In addition,� notes Brazzell, �we are seeing companies that were traditionally on an individual platform adding group platform products. Some are doing so slowly, some as an alternative, but others are moving very purposely and quickly.�
�When we looked at the biggest winners in terms of net increase over 2003, we were not surprised to see many traditional group carriers at the top of the list,� says Lowerre. Eleven companies reported double-digit increases and net sales increases of $5 million or more. Of these, six are traditional group companies. The other five are carriers that offer a mix of both group and individual plans, but all are rapidly moving most of their products to a group platform. There were no traditional worksite/individual carriers that met these growth criteria.
For more information on the 2004 U.S. Worksite Study, contact Eastbridge at info@eastbridge or call (860) 676-9633. Eastbridge Consulting Group, Inc. is a marketing advisory firm serving insurance and financial services organizations in the United States and Canada.
Eastbridge Consulting Group, Inc., is a marketing advisory firm serving insurance and financial services organizations in the United States and Canada.