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Vision, Critical Illness lead voluntary benefit sales to fourth straight year of growth

Insurance Forums Staff

WINDSOR, Conn. — The latest results from LIMRA’s U.S. Worksite Sales survey, released in late April, shows voluntary benefits sales increased 5% in 2014 compared to 2013.

Leading the way, vision insurance sales increased 24% last year followed by critical illness at 19%, and accident insurance at 12%. Each of these products has grown by 12% or more in the past four years. Life insurance products saw increases too, with stand-alone accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) sales up 11% percent and universal life sales increasing by 7%.   (See chart)

“Voluntary benefits are on a growth trend, in part because they allow employers to enrich their employee benefits portfolio at no direct cost,” said Ron Neyer, assistant research director, LIMRA Distribution Research. “In a recent LIMRA study 7 in 10 employers who offer voluntary benefits said these options help improve morale for existing employees and assist them in attracting and retaining new talent.”

Companies that sell voluntary benefits products are also giving them more emphasis. Of the 46 companies that participated in the LIMRA survey, 26 experienced an increase last year. Of that group, 20 companies grew by at least 10%.  “Carriers are more focused on voluntary benefits offerings because the worksite offers an opportunity to efficiently reach the middle market,” Neyer said.

Earlier LIMRA research found nearly 60% of employees prefer to buy health insurance benefits at work and nearly half prefer to buy life insurance through their employer. They like to use payroll deduction and they trust their employer has done some vetting on selecting the carriers.

Voluntary benefits consist of various health and life insurance products employees can choose to purchase through the workplace.  The employee usually pays 100% of the premium cost through regular payroll deductions.

About LIMRA: LIMRA is a worldwide research, consulting, and professional development organization that helps more than 850 insurance and financial services companies in 64 countries increase their marketing and distribution effectiveness. Visit LIMRA at www.limra.com.



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