Annual Eastbridge study finds double-digit growth in disability as well as other product lines in 2006

AVON, CONNECTICUT, USA (May 31 , 2007) — Voluntary disability sales showed robust growth in 2006, according to Eastbridge’s annual U.S. Worksite Sales Study. Total disability sales were over $1 billion last year, an increase of 25 percent over 2005 levels. In fact, disability moved ahead of life insurance in 2006 in terms of overall market share, 23 percent vs. 21 percent.

“Short-term disability accounts for about three-fourths of the sales,” says Bonnie Brazzell, vice president of Eastbridge, “but long-term disability grew at a much faster pace.” Long-term disability grew at 54 percent over 2005, compared to 17 percent for STD.

“We saw several of the large carriers in both the VSTD and VLTD lines have extremely strong growth in 2006,” adds Brazzell.

“Other lines with strong, double-digit sales included cancer and hospital indemnity/ voluntary medical,” says Gil Lowerre, president. “We continue to see growth in products that assist employees in covering health care costs,” adds Lowerre. In 2006, the cancer line also grew at about 25 percent while the hospital indemnity/voluntary medical line grew at 12 percent.

Overall, life sales were down slightly (3 percent) from 2005 but still accounted for about $1.0 billion in sales. Term sales accounted for about 64 percent of the total life sales. Term sales held relatively stable, but universal/whole life sales were down about eight percent.

As for sales results by product platform, not much has changed over the last several years. About 43 percent of the sales are for group products and 57 percent are for individual. Group sales grew at 8.2 percent in 2006 while individual grew at 7.8 percent (compared to three and four percent, respectively, for 2005).

The U.S. Worksite Sales Study is an annual report conducted by Eastbridge for the past seven years. The most recent report (2006) includes detailed data on the performance of 61 worksite marketing carriers, both group and individual, and represents the largest number of carriers included in any sales report for the industry. The report is only available to participants. For more information, 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.