Amy Friedrich has admitted to glimpsing something benefits market players have been dreaming about for years: signs that the job market is strong enough that employers are at least talking about adding group disability benefits.
Friedrich, the president of the U.S. insurance solutions unit at Principal Financial Group Inc., talked about group disability demand sighting today, during a conference call Principal held with securities analysts.
“Post-tax reform, we are in a market that is near full employment,” Friedrich said. “We see small employers asking us about interesting new benefits more than they have.”
Many of the employers are talking about products such as dental insurance, accident insurance and critical illness insurance, Friedrich said.
Those employers “are also asking questions about short-term disability and long-term disability, when they previously maybe hadn’t looked at some of those coverages before,” Friedrich said.
In the markets Principal serves, the employment growth rate at employers with fewer than 200 employees has been about 2.3%. To keep growing at that pace in today’s economy, employers need an attractive benefits package, Friedrich said.