NU Online News Service, Sept. 9, 2003, 5:47 p.m. EDT – U.S. group disability insurers are reporting lower new sales for the first half but higher revenue, according to results of a market survey conducted by John Hewitt and Associates Inc., Portland, Maine.

JHA, a unit of GeneralCologne Re that provides disability risk management and consulting services, compiles regular disability market reports.

The 39 carriers that participated in the group disability market survey increased premium revenue on all long-term disability and short-term disability policies about 6% from the first half of 2002, to $4.9 billion, JHA says. The increase was about the same for STD and LTD plans.

But revenue from new sales of group LTD plans fell 1%, to $788 million, and new sales of STD plans fell 7%, to $335 million.

“Although overall industry sales are down compared to mid-year 2002, sales results of individual companies fall across a broad spectrum, ranging from significant increases to sharp decreases,” Drew King, JHA’s president, says in a statement about the survey results.

Companies seem to be basing their group disability growth strategies on their own objectives and results rather than following the same path, King says.