WINDSOR, Conn., May 14, 2007 — Discovering gains in some areas and setbacks in others, LIMRA is giving the worksite marketing industry an overall grade of C+ for its progress in growing the use of voluntary benefits over the past four years.
"There have been some great successes in this market," said Ron Neyer, LIMRA worksite research analyst and author of the recently-published Voluntary Benefits Report Card, based on an in-depth survey of U.S. employers. "For example, the number of firms offering six or more voluntary benefits has increased by 45 percent. At the same time, though, the number of firms offering at least one fell by 17percent. So it's a very mixed picture."
LIMRA gave its highest grades, A-minus, for improved penetration among midsize and service employers. The scores compare performance in 2006 against 2002, when LIMRA last surveyed employers.
The report noted that trying to penetrate the first-time buyer market is considerably more challenging than marketing to existing clients.
"Businesses with no prior voluntary benefits track record are a source of potential new worksite sales," Neyer said. "But this market is a difficult sale. Most of these firms are small and require a crash course in Worksite 101."
The best opportunity, the report notes, is with firms that have at least one benefit and are "on the fence" about adding more. "Persuading even a third of these firms to add a voluntary benefit would greatly spur new sales for quite some time," Neyer said.
Several product lines have shown a strong upswing in popularity, including critical illness and cancer insurance, accident plans, and AD&D coverage. Supplemental life products took the biggest hit over the past four years.
Existing worksite customers report very high satisfaction levels with their overall voluntary benefits programs. However, employers are not hesitating to switch providers to obtain a lower price.
About LIMRA International
LIMRA International is a worldwide association providing research, consulting, and other services to nearly 850 insurance and financial services companies in more than 60 countries. LIMRA was established in 1916 to help its member companies maximize their marketing effectiveness. Visit LIMRA International at www.limra.com.
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