Turning on the Lights: Voluntary Development among Large Commercial Agencies

Cost: $2,000; published 2011

Benefit Brokers have been a dominant force in the voluntary market for the past 5-10 years, and one of the most attractive segments within this broker channel is the large commercial lines agency. For the past six years, Eastbridge has teamed up with The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers (CIAB) to look at this segment. The Council represents the nation’s leading brokers who write more than 80 percent of the commercial property/casualty premiums. Members of The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers include large P&C firms that have benefits agencies and some benefits-only agencies. 

Eastbridge’s latest Spotlight Report, Turning on the Lights: Voluntary Development among Large Commercial Agencies, outlines the results of our fourth bi-annual survey conducted with CIAB members. The reportlooks in detail at the present state of voluntary with these large agencies, including the agency’s current voluntary experiences, results, processes, and opinions.  

Using both quantitative research with over 95 agenciesas well a qualitative interviews with key players in 14 agencies, the report reviews:

  • Voluntary sales results
  • Products sold
  • Carriers used most frequently
  • Enrollment methods used
  • Importance of voluntary in the agency
  • Responsibilities for voluntary
  • Role of voluntary in the future

Where significant, the current survey findings are compared against those of prior reports from 2005, 2007, and 2009.


View Table of Contents

1.Executive Summary

A. Introduction

B. Key Findings

C. Eastbridge Analysis

D. Methodology


2. Quantitative Findings

A. Voluntary Sales

1. Prevalence

2. Role of Voluntary

3. Voluntary Cases

4. Voluntary New Business Annualized Premium

5. Voluntary as Percentage of Total Income

B. Products

1. Top Three Most Frequently Sold Products

C. Carriers

1. Most Frequently Used Voluntary Carriers

2. Reasons for Selecting #1 Carrier

3. Number of Voluntary Carriers Used in the Past Year

D. Enrollment

1. Enrollment Meeting Methods

2. Enrollers Used

3. Satisfaction with Carrier or Enrollment Company Enrollers

4. Areas for Carrier or Enrollment Company Improvement

E. Future of Voluntary Benefits

1. Role of Voluntary Products in the Future

2. What is Needed to be Successful with Voluntary

3. Where Does Responsibility Reside?


3. Qualitative Findings

A. General Information

1. Size of Agency

2. Outlook for Benefits in 2011

3. Benefits Salespeople Nationwide

4. Importance of Voluntary to Business

5. Voluntary Sales in 2010

6. Outlook for Voluntary in 2011

7. Profit/Loss Responsibility for Voluntary

8. Written Strategy or Business Plan for Voluntary

9. Voluntary Objectives for Agency

10. Voluntary Objectives for Region/Producers

11. Strengths/Weaknesses with Voluntary

B. Voluntary Specialist Sales Staff vs General Benefits Selling Staff

1. Voluntary Sales Force

2. Agency Support for Voluntary Sales

C. Integration with Commercial Lines

1. Sales Leads

2. Cross-Selling Goals/Promotions of Voluntary

D. Other Partners or Vendors

1. Responsibility for Voluntary Carrier Relationships

2. Decision Regarding Voluntary Carriers Used

3. Carriers Used Most Often

4. Reason(s) for Choosing Voluntary Carrier

5. Changes in Carriers Used

6. Responsibility for TPAs

7. Use of Enrollment Companies


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Spotlight Report Index