Women and workers in their 40s seem to be especially likely to buy supplemental disability and critical illness insurance.

Researchers at UnumProvident Corp., Chattanooga, Tenn., have published data supporting those conclusions in a review of trends in the benefits market.

The authors of the report drew heavily on outside research, but they also included tables based on UnumProvident customer data.

At UnumProvident, female workers were only somewhat more likely to buy supplemental life insurance than male workers, but female workers were far more likely to buy extra disability and critical illness coverage, the researchers report.

In 2005, only 39% of the workers with in-force UnumProvident critical illness coverage were male, and only 31% of the workers with in-force UnumProvident supplemental disability coverage were male, according to UnumProvident.

Age had less of an effect on sales patterns than sex, but the UnumProvident researchers found that workers in their 30s and 40s showed far more variation in purchases of supplemental benefits.

When UnumProvident researchers broke out the percentage of in-force policies by issue age, it found that the 20-29 age group accounted for about 16% to 17% of policies for all 3 product categories studied.

Workers in the 30-39 age group accounted for 26% of disability policies and 28% of critical illness policies, but only 21% of life insurance policies.

Workers in the 40-49 age group accounted for 32% of both disability and critical illness policies and only 22% of life insurance policies.