Researchers at Eastbridge Consulting Group Inc. believe they have detected a shift in the channels used to sell employee-paid insurance products through the worksite.

Momentum seems to be shifting toward employee benefits brokers, and away from classic worksite brokers, according to Eastbridge, Avon, Conn.

Benefits brokers accounted for 42% of the worksite sales that Eastbridge tracked in 2005, up from 34% in 2003.

Over that same period, classic worksite brokers’ share of worksite sales dropped to 13%, from 19%.

Sales by small financial services firms that occasionally sell voluntary products as well as other insurance products increased to 8%, from 4%.