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Disability Premiums Up 6% Last Year: JHA

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Combined short- and long-term group disability inforce premium grew about 6% in 2005, to $11.2 billion, a new report says.

Companies participating in a study by JHA, Portland, Maine, report a 7% increase in LTD inforce premium and a 4% increase in STD inforce premium. The results were similar to those reported for last year, according to JHA, a research and consulting unit of the Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary, General Re Life Corporation.

The number of employers offering disability coverage rose slightly at 4% for STD and 3% for LTD. The total number of insured employees rose by 1% for STD and 4% for LTD, JHA reports.

Survey results also indicate that 2005 U.S. group disability sales (STD and LTD) increased by 3%, totaling over $1.9 billion in new annualized premium.

While STD sales premium remained relatively flat with a 1% increase, new LTD sales premium increased 4%.

The U.S. group disability marketplace continues to be dominated by the top 10 carriers, according to the report. Those companies wrote 76% of new STD business in 2005 and almost 83% of new LTD business, similar to last year, when the top 10 carriers wrote 77% and 82% of new sales, respectively, for STD and LTD.

Twenty-nine group disability carriers, representing over 95% of the U.S. insured group disability market, took part in the 2005 survey.