Group insurance plans seem to be outperforming individual-policy-based programs in the voluntary insurance sales market, according to Eastbridge Consulting Group Inc.

Employees who buy voluntary benefits must pay for the benefits themselves.

The insurance industry traditionally has referred to voluntary group insurance products as voluntary products and individual voluntary products sold at the worksite as worksite products.

Eastbridge, Avon, Conn., says worksite products once dominated the voluntary market, but that an analysis of data from 64 voluntary market carriers shows that group products accounted for close to half of 2010 voluntary market sales.

Sales were down for both types of plans in 2010, but sales were down less than 2% for group voluntary products and about 4% for worksite products, Eastbridge says.

- Allison Bell

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