Nearly 90 percent of survey respondents in Eastbridge Consulting Group’s mid-year 2013 Voluntary Industry Confidence Index survey expect sales to increase in the next 12 months. This percentage is about the same as in the year-end 2012 study. The overall Confidence Index also increased to 102.0, up from 99.0 at year-end 2012 and 100.9 at mid-year 2012, indicating that confidence in the worksite/voluntary industry’s future continues to be positive.
“Respondents continue to be optimistic about the voluntary/worksite industry’s capacity to grow their voluntary business,” says Gil Lowerre, president of Eastbridge. The overall mean (with a scale of 1 to 5) was up significantly in this survey (4.12 from 3.99) because there was a large increase in those expecting sales to ‘increase a lot.’ This number jumped from 13 percent in the year-end 2012 survey to 31 percent in the most recent survey. “Interestingly, brokers are the most optimistic about future voluntary sales with almost half expecting sales to ‘increase a lot,’” adds Lowerre.
Respondents were also asked their expectations on the impact of health care reform on voluntary sales. “A large percentage (70 percent) of all respondents expect it to have some or a major positive impact,” states Bonnie Brazzell, Eastbridge vice-president. “The percentage expecting health care reform to have some negative impact was 20 percent, with just 2 percent claiming it will have a major negative impact on voluntary sales going forward,” says Brazzell.
The Voluntary Industry Confidence Index study is conducted semi-annually and includes responses from individuals active in the market—carriers, brokers, and vendors. Like other confidence indices, the index is a single number that compares the current results to a baseline measure. The first Confidence Index survey was completed in December of 2005; the results from that survey serve as the “base” year (meaning the Confidence Index was at 100 for that year).
The Voluntary Industry Confidence Index report is available only to Eastbridge Information Partner companies as well as to participants. The survey will be conducted again in December 2013. For more information on becoming a participant, contact the company at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eastbridge Consulting Group, Inc. is a marketing advisory firm serving insurance and financial services organizations in the United States and Canada.