U.S. insurers protected 1% more workers against long-term disabilities in 2003 than in 2002, and 3% more workers against short-term disabilities.
In its latest group disability market survey, JHA Inc., the Portland, Maine, disability risk management and consulting firm, found that premium revenue from new sales of short-term and long-term group disability insurance increased 8%, to $1.9 billion, and that premium revenue from group disability policies already in force rose 6%, to about $10 billion.
Premium revenue from policies already in force grew at roughly the same rate for STD and LTD policies, but insurers had better luck at signing up new STD customers than new LTD customers. New STD sales rose 11%, while new LTD sales grew only 6%, JHA says.
The survey covers results for 37 insurers.
The 2003 group disability growth figures are stronger than the 2002 growth figures. In 2002, group disability premium revenue increased just 5% and new sales crept up 1%.
But “the industry continues to face challenges in [its] effort to increase the number of employers offering group disability coverage to their employees,” Drew King, JHAs president, says in a statement about the survey results. JHA is a unit of General Re Life Corp., Stamford, Conn.