The next twelve months will see product development activity for most voluntary carriers according to recent Eastbridge survey

AVON, CONNECTICUT, USA (September 23, 2008) – Almost eight in ten voluntary carriers plan to introduce at least one voluntary product over the next year or so. This was a finding from the recent study, Voluntary Product Trends. The study is conducted every other year by Eastbridge Consulting Group, Inc.

�This year and early 2009 are likely to be busy years for new products,� says Gil Lowerre, president of Eastbridge. Seventy-eight (78) percent of the carriers in our survey expect to introduce a new product. In fact, almost one-third of companies will be introducing more new products over the next year than is typical for them. Just 22 percent of the companies surveyed do not expect to introduce any new products. Individual companies were slightly more likely to say they will not be introducing new products in 2008 than were companies with group products.

�New term life or critical illness plans led the way in the products most likely to be added to voluntary portfolios in the next two years,� says Bonnie Brazzell, vice president of Eastbridge. �When we look at group and individual companies separately, critical illness was the top new product introduced for individual carriers while term was the top one for group carriers,� adds Brazzell. Universal life/whole life products came in third overall followed by a new cancer plan (4 th) and new vision products (5 th).

Response Percent
More new products than in a typical year 29%
About the same number as in a typical year 49%
No new products (don’t typically introduce new ones every year) 20%
No new products (this is not typical for us) 2%

In terms of discount or non-insurance products, about 20 percent of the respondents said they plan to offer one or more of these products. Common product types include:

  • Discount drug program
  • Identity theft
  • Health/wellness information or coach
  • HR services

The 2008 Voluntary Product Trends Frontline Report updates our 2002, 2004, and 2006 studies on the same topic. Eastbridge Insight and Information Partner Companies as well as survey participants receive the Frontline Report free of charge.

Eastbridge Consulting Group, Inc.

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