Sales of voluntary insurance products rose in 2011 to $5.5 billion in premium, fueled chiefly by the largest producer channel, benefit brokers, according to a new report.

Eastbridge Consulting Group Inc., Avon, Conn., disclosed this finding in its 2011 U.S. Worksite/Voluntary Sales Report. The study estimates sales for the entire voluntary industry, with detailed data on the performance of more than 60 worksite marketing carriers, both group (voluntary) and individual (worksite) carriers/products.

The benefit broker channel generated about $3 billion in new sales, an 11% increase over 2010 sales. The benefit broker’s share of voluntary sales now stands at 55%, up from 52% last year.

The report adds the benefit broker channel was the only segment that enjoyed a sales increase over 2010 results; all other channels were slightly down.

The career agent channel had $1.2 billion in sales, down 2.9% from 2010. The classics broker and worksite specialist channels yielded $0.78 billion (down 2.2%) and $0.44 billion (off 1.49%) in sales, respectively.

“Occasional” distributors of voluntary products produced $0.84 billion in premium, a 2.5% decline from 2010.

 

Segment

 

 

 

2011   Sales   (in billions)

 

 

 

Increase   over Dec 2010

Benefit Brokers

 

 

 

$ 3.028

 

 

 

10.9%

Career Agents

 

 

 

$ 1.149

 

 

 

-2.9%

Classic Worksite Brokers

 

 

 

$ .777

 

 

 

-2.2%

Worksite Specialist

 

 

 

$ .440

 

 

 

-1.9%

Occasional

 

 

 

$ .084

 

 

 

-2.5%