Short-term disability insurance led the field in sales of voluntary worksite benefit products in 2008, according to Eastbridge Consulting Group Inc.

Eastbridge’s annual U.S. Worksite Sales Report states that STD sales for 2008 totaled over $800 million. Term life came in second, with about $778 million in sales.

Voluntary short-term and long-term disability products held an almost identical market share with life insurance (term plus universal and whole life), each holding around 22% of the market.

Sales of long term care insurance in the voluntary market were down sharply for the year, while term life, critical illness, and accidental death & dismemberment saw significant increases, found Eastbridge, Avon, Conn.

The following table shows the increases and decreases in the voluntary benefit market by line of business between 2007 and 2008:

–Term: 30.1%

–Critical Illness: 18.8%

–AD&D: 12.3%

–Voluntary medical: 8.8%

–Dental: 7.5%

–LTD: 5.7%

–Cancer: 5.6%

–UL/WL: 5.5%

–Accident: 1.6%

–STD: -1.3%

–Vision: -7.1%

–LTC: -46.2%

The mix of group vs. individual sales changed a bit in 2008 after staying essentially unchanged for several years, Eastbridge reports. Group sales increased to 48% of total worksite sales last year, up from 46% in 2007. The growth rate for group products in 2007 was significantly higher than for individual. Group sales grew at 8.5% while individual was down slightly by 0.3%.