Disability Insurers Talk About Funding A Consumer Ad Campaign
By Allison Bell
Bonita Springs, Fla.
Group disability insurance executives are thinking about organizing a $10 million consumer education campaign.
Executives here for a disability insurance conference organized by John Hewitt & Associates Inc. talked repeatedly about how great it would be if their industry had the equivalent of the milk industrys “Got Milk?” campaign, or a new “AFLAC Duck” who could quack its way into workers consciousness.
Traditionally, group disability insurers have focused on sending group reps to court employers with large pools of male, full-time workers.
Today, companies are employing more women, immigrants, part-time workers and seasonal workers. Sales of traditional group disability products have been soft, and benefits sellers are trying to persuade workers to pay for benefits themselves.
Unfortunately, after decades of going after employers, “were not as expert at consumer merchandising,” said Richard Mucci, senior vice president in the group benefits division at Hartford Life, a unit of Hartford Financial Services Group Inc., Hartford. “Many of us dont even know how many employees we really insure.”
JHA, a disability risk management firm owned by General Re Corp., Stamford, Conn., dubbed one session “Wheres Our Got Milk? Campaign?” The highlight was the premiere of a video survey of consumers in downtown Portland, Maine, a city that serves as the unofficial capital of the group disability insurance industry.