Also in this issue:
Speed vs. Innovation
Lost Ground in 2010
Winter Quiz Winner
Will Employer-Sponsored Benefits Survive?
Enrollment Methodology and Participation
Field Structures for Voluntary Carriers
Can You PASS the Broker Test?
Voluntary Distributors Are Changing
Those who have been reading our materials for years remember that we have identified several different segments or types of producers of voluntary products. The Benefit Broker segment continues to claim the largest percentage (52 percent) of voluntary/worksite sales of any other producer segment. But two other segments—Classic Worksite Brokers and Worksite Specialists—have been of interest to many carriers in the market. Research last year showed that the definitions of “Classics” and “Specialists” are changing.
Classics focus primarily on account-level selling. Most only get about 25 percent of their sales from other brokers. They still are relatively lean on services, relying on their partners for many of their own and their clients’ needs. However, Classics are adding true group products to their portfolio and are becoming more like Employee Benefit Brokers, as Eastbridge predicted. As businesses, they are generally still smaller and slightly younger than the Specialists (although some Classics have many producers).
Specialists perhaps have changed even more than Classics. Today, they focus more on winning business through third-party (unaffiliated) brokers who control the account, some even relying on a patron carrier to funnel business and brokers to them. Specialists have remained more focused on voluntary coverages and have not added lines to the same extent as Classics. They continue to manufacture many of the services (especially enrollment) that they and their clients need. Their success depends on working through non-affiliated brokers, those producers with access to cases but lacking the sophistication or resources to handle voluntary in those cases on their own. The services offered by Specialists (enrollment, etc.) are key to attracting those producers.
Eastbridge’s study, Evolution of the Worksite Broker, takes an in-depth look at the Classic and Specialist segments to learn more about what products they are selling today, which carriers they prefer using and why, and their current needs and expectations regarding voluntary.
The report is now available. To purchase a copy, you can email Eastbridge at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (860) 676-9633.