Both carriers and brokers expect persistency and retention to improve, according to the latest Eastbridge Voluntary Industry Confidence Index

AVON, CONNECTICUT, USA (January 24, 2008) – Nearly half (41 percent) of the respondents to the latest Voluntary Industry Confidence Index study expect improvements in worksite/voluntary persistency and retention over the next 12 months. This is an improvement over the December 2006 results (at 36 percent), a slight decrease over the mid-year 2007 results of 46 percent. Even more brokers (67 percent) expect these measures to improve in 2008.

Additionally, a significant number (93 percent) of carriers responding to the survey believe that their company will acquire more new groups in 2008 as compared to 2007, which is a slight increase over the prior two surveys (90 percent for mid-year 2007 and 91% for year-end 2006). �Interestingly� comments Gil Lowerre, president of Eastbridge, �100 percent of the brokers responding expect increases.�

The last two surveys also looked at expectations for voluntary sales. In the year-end survey 31 percent of respondents said that their results were higher than expected and another 29 percent said that results were as expected. �Those that had results below expectations shared a few reasons why,� says Bonnie Brazzell, vice president. ��Lower sales by sales reps� and �difficulty getting brokers to use our services� were the top two reasons among those surveyed. This was followed by lack of product quality. For the mid-year survey, enrollment difficulties ranked high on the list.�

The Voluntary Industry Confidence Index is a Frontline Report published semi-annually by Eastbridge Consulting Group, Inc. The study includes responses from individuals active in the market and includes carriers, brokers, and vendors. For more information, contact Eastbridge at or phone the company at (860) 676-9633.

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