NU Online News Service, March 28, 1:49 p.m. – John Hewitt & Associates Inc., Portland, Maine, a disability consulting firm, says revenue from group short-term and long-term disability insurance policies that were already in place increased 8% in 2001, to $9.1 billion.

But revenue from new group disability policy sales increased only 5%, to $1.7 billion.

Revenue from sales of new short-term disability policies and from existing short-term disability policies grew 11%.

In the long-term disability market, in-force revenue grew only 7%, and sales puttered along at 2%.

John Hewitt researchers say group sales growth may have softened because of a shift in the way insurers sell disability coverage for workers.

Instead of focusing mainly on group sales, to employers, insurers have been working to sell more individual coverage at the worksite, the researchers say.

John Hewitt based the figures on a survey of 39 insurers that account for more than 95% of U.S. group disability premiums.