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 info@eastbridge.com 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. www.eastbridge.com