Group disability insurers protected about 36 million U.S. workers against long-term disability at the end of the first half of 2005, 2% more than they protected a year earlier.[@@]

The number of U.S. workers protected by group short-term disability policies increased 1%, to more than 15 million.

JHA, Portland, Maine, has published those results in its latest mid-year group disability market survey.

The disability risk management and consulting firm found that premium revenue from new sales of long-term group disability insurance were up 6% and that premium revenue from new sales of short-term group disability fell 3%.

But premium revenue for group policies already in force increased 5% for STD coverage and 8% for LTD coverage, JHA reports.

The average premium per employee insured increased 6% in the group LTD market, to $227, but only 3% in the group STD market, to $188, according to JHA.

UnumProvident Corp., Chattanooga, Tenn., continued to dominate the group disability revenue charts. The company generated twice as much premium revenue from in-force LTD cases as the second-ranked company and about 50% more premium revenue from in-force STD cases.

But Hartford Life, a unit of Hartford Financial Services Group Inc., Hartford, and MetLife Inc., New York, both generated more revenue from new LTD sales, and Hartford Life generated more revenue from new STD sales, JHA reports.

In general, in the group LTD market, “the growth at mid-year 2005 appears to be driven by larger cases,” JHA researchers write in a discussion of the latest survey results.

On the group STD side, “it appears survey participants are writing smaller STD cases,” the researchers conclude.