Voluntary benefit sales continued to grow in 2008, according to our recently released U.S. Worksite Sales Report.
The study found that new voluntary sales in the U.S. totaled an estimated $5.225 billion, an increase of just under 4% over 2007 results. While somewhat lower than the growth rate in 2007, we believe the result is good considering the state of the economy in 2008. This is especially true for the all-important fourth quarter, when many companies see 40% or more of their annual voluntary sales.
Chart 1 shows the industry’s sales since 1997, when we began tracking voluntary sales.
In-force premium also increased in 2008, rising about 11% over 2007, bringing the estimated total in-force premium for voluntary benefits to between $17.4 billion and $22.9 billion. (Because some companies have difficulty providing their in-force premium numbers, we give a high and low estimate of this measure.)
Chart 2 shows the in-force estimates for the past 5 years.
Sales by Product
By line of business, the top selling products in 2008 were:
o Short-term disability ($809 million).
o Term life ($778 million).
o Personal injury accident ($744 million).