Texas and California led the country in voluntary sales for the third year in a row, according to Eastbridge Consulting Group’s seventh annual U.S. State ESI and EPI Data report. Florida, New York and North Carolina rounded out the top five. Compared to 2016 results, the top five states are the same with New York and North Carolina switching positions (to 4th and 5th position).
“The top 15 states, which accounted for almost 70% of total voluntary sales in 2017, saw some movement in the rankings,” says Gil Lowerre, Eastbridge president. “New Jersey made the biggest move from 19th last year to 10th this year, and Minnesota entered the list for the first time. Tennessee dropped three positions (to 13th position) and Michigan rose two positions (to 11th position). Massachusetts, Indiana, and Louisiana fell out of the top 15 this year, and Virginia was back after a year out of the top 15.”
However, sales volume doesn’t always mean that those states are highly penetrated. To judge that, Eastbridge uses the Eastbridge Sales Index (ESI). The annual ESI for each state is calculated based on a rolling three-year average of voluntary sales reported by carriers and that average divided by the employed population for each state. For this year’s survey, the rolling average included 2017, 2016 and 2015 voluntary sales results.
Only two of the top 15 states by total voluntary sales (North Carolina and Tennessee) made the list of states with the greatest penetration (voluntary sales per employed population).
“ESI data is of value to all companies in developing targeted marketing and distribution strategies,” adds Eastbridge Senior Vice President, Bonnie Brazzell. “For example, New York and California are in the top five for voluntary sales but have ESIs of 40 (lower than the national average of 52), indicating that there is still untapped potential in those states. On the other hand, states such as Louisiana have a high ESI number (77) but did not make the top 15 list in terms of voluntary sales. Relatively speaking, Louisiana is more penetrated in voluntary sales than New York or California.”
Eastbridge Consulting Group, Inc. is a marketing advisory firm serving insurance and financial services organizations in the United States and Canada.