Hundreds of disability insurance executives, consultants and producers will be meeting this week in Bonita Springs, Fla., for the JHA Dynamics of Disability Seminar.
JHA, Portland, Maine, a disability reinsurance and consulting firm, has turned the annual seminar into an unofficial convention for the disability insurance industry and established itself as a vigorous promoter of the importance of protecting American workers against disability.
The first general session at the conference will focus on a panel discussing the topic “Disability Insurance: Why It Matters.”
Due in part to the work over the years of JHA and its disability seminar participants, the Life and Health Insurance Foundation for Education, Washington, will be launching a disability insurance awareness month program in May. The program, modeled after LIFE’s Life Insurance Awareness Month program, will make aggressive efforts to reach out to the consumer media.
Meanwhile, the International DI Society, Seal Beach, Calif., a 2-year-old disability insurance group, is working with the American College, Bryn Mawr, Pa., to develop a disability professional designation program comparable to the Chartered Life Underwriter program, according to W. Harold Petersen, the group’s president.
JHA President Drew King says he is happy to see disability insurers and producers raising their profile.
Recently, “as an industry, we’ve recognized the need to advocate for our product,” King says.
Workshops at the JHA seminar will focus on topics such as the risk posed by influenza, the differences between large and small groups, and profiles of consumers who do and do not buy disability insurance.
JHA also will be reviewing results of its latest group disability rate management survey and whetting participants’ interest in results from the full-year 2006 market survey results, which are due in April.
The companies that participated in JHA’s mid-2006 survey reported that they increased the number of U.S. workers in group long-term disability insurance plans 3%, to 37 million, and increased the number in group short-term disability insurance plans 5%, to 16 million.
The cost of group LTD insurance increased just 2%, to $233 per life per year, while the cost of group STD insurance held steady, at $195 per life per year.