Group voluntary worksite products generated $2.7 billion in sales in 2009, up from $2.5 billion in 2008.

Eastbridge Consulting Group Inc., Avon, Conn., has based those figures on a survey of 60 worksite marketing carriers.

Totals of individual voluntary products held steady at $2.7 billion, Eastbridge says.

But the growth rate for group voluntary products fell to 6.7%, down from 8.5% the previous year.

“We expect to see continued movement towards the group platform product,” says Gil Lowerre, president of Eastbridge. “In fact, if you look at sales without one large individual company, we see that voluntary group sales are already at 67% percent of the total.”

Eastbridge says part of the movement to group platform products is the result of an increased use of hybrid group products, which have some of the characteristics of individual benefits, such as portability and retention of the premium rate at age of issue for the life of the product.

-tt