U.S. insurers protected 3% more workers against long-term disabilities in the first half of the year than they protected in the first half of 2003.[@@]

U.S. insurers also protected 2% more workers against short-term disabilities.

JHA Inc., Portland, Maine, has published those results in its latest mid-year group disability market survey. The survey attracted 32 participants.

The disability risk management and consulting firm found that premium revenue from new sales of short-term and long-term group disability insurance increased 2% and that premium revenue from group disability policies already in force increased 6%.

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. STD sales rose 7%, while LTD sales were flat, JHA says.

Although the number of workers covered by LTD policies increased slightly faster than the number covered by STD policies, “it appears that carriers are continuing to target smaller LTD cases with higher average premium per life results,” JHA researchers write in a discussion of the mid-year results.

When JHA calculated per-life averages, it found that average new sales premium increased 4% per life for STD coverage, to $180 per employee, and 9% per life for LTD coverage, to $205 per employee.

Average premium revenue for policies already in force increased only 2% for LTD policies, to $215, but 5% for STD policies, to $184.