Group voluntary products continue to increase their share of total voluntary sales according to the annual Eastbridge sales study

AVON, CONNECTICUT, USA (August 18, 2010) – New voluntary sales in 2009 were $5.397 billion. This number includes both group voluntary and individual voluntary (often called �worksite�) sales. Over the last decade, the mix of sales between group and individual platforms has shifted from predominantly individual plans to group ones. In 2009, group sales increased their mix to 49 percent of the total sales, up from 48 percent in 2008.

Group voluntary sales growth has exceeded individual voluntary growth for most of these years. The growth rate for group voluntary products in 2009 was 6.7 percent, down slightly from 8.5 percent last year. However, this was significantly higher than the almost flat individual sales, up by just 0.2 percent.

“We expect to see continued movement towards the group platform product,” says Gil Lowerre, president of Eastbridge. “In fact, if you look at sales without one large individual company, we see that voluntary group sales are already at 67 percent of the total.” Part of the movement to group platform products is the increased use of ‘hybrid’ products. “Hybrid products are products that are filed on a group platform but have some characteristics that are more common with individual plans,” explains Bonnie Brazzell, vice president. “Hybrid plans may offer portability, have shelf premium rates, and retain the issue age rate for the life of the product,” add Brazzell.

The U.S. Worksite Sales Report is an annual report conducted by Eastbridge for the past eleven years. The most recent report includes detailed data on the performance of 60 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 about participating next year, contact Eastbridge at info@eastbridge.com or call (860) 676-9633.

About 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. http://eastbridge.com/