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New voluntary sales rise

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Results for the big voluntary insurance market players varied widely from company to company in 2014.

Analysts at Eastbridge Consulting Group Inc. have reported that finding in a summary of results for a survey of five dozen U.S. voluntary market product issuers.

See also: 2015 voluntary benefits outlook: More growth

The survey covered sales of voluntary group products and sales of individual products at the worksite.

The value of new sales increased 3.7 percent between 2013 and 2014, to $6.9 billion.

In-force premium revenue increased about 5 percent, to $37 billion.

Market concentration stayed about the same, with the top 15 issuers accounting for 79 percent of voluntary and worksite sales in 2014. But six of the big issuers reported sales increases of 10 percent or higher, and five reported sales decreases, the analysts say.

Earlier, Eastbridge analysts noted in a summary of results from a separate survey, of 22 carriers, that many insurers say underwriting requirements in the market have become more liberal. Only 17 percent said underwriting guidelines have stayed the same, and none said guidelines have become more conservative.

See also: Five voluntary trends to watch in 2014