Voluntary executives find mixed impacts to sales, participation, and persistency due to COVID-19, yet voice optimism for the future, finds Eastbridge Consulting Group


While just under half of the 58 worksite executives participating in Eastbridge’s Voluntary/Worksite Marketing: An Executive Perspective Frontline™ Report say the COVID-19 pandemic has had no impact on participation results, about one-third say participation has been negatively impacted, and the remaining 20% have seen a positive impact or mixed results by product and market.

Executives were also mixed on the impacts they have seen on persistency as a result of the pandemic, with just over half having seen no impact and just over a quarter having seen improved persistency. The most common reasons executives name for improved persistency are employers wanted to keep things “as is” in 2020 with fewer cases going out to bid, and employees seeing a greater need for voluntary products because of the pandemic. Eighty percent of executives saw no impact to takeovers as a result of the pandemic, perhaps in line with some of the reasoning for improved persistency, and the remaining 20% reported fewer takeovers last year but expect them to pick up again in 2021 and 2022.

Looking ahead, almost half of executives expect COVID-19 to negatively impact voluntary sales in 2021. However, most expect growth in the longer-term, anticipating the industry’s compound average growth rate over the next five years to be in the 3%-7% range. Executives are even more optimistic about their own company’s growth over the next five years with just over a third estimating average growth rates of more than 10% and another almost third estimating at 8% to 10%.

The Voluntary/Worksite Marketing: An Executive Perspective Frontline™ Report tracks executives’ thoughts and insights on the obstacles facing the industry today, as well as what they might expect for the future. The survey also explores the executives’ opinions on other topics based on market trends. The first survey was conducted in 2003, and subsequent surveys have been conducted every two years. This year’s report summarizes the responses from 58 executives and, where appropriate, notes any trends or changes from the previous study’s findings. 

Voluntary/Worksite Marketing: An Executive Perspective Frontline™ Report

Eastbridge Information Partners as well as survey participants receive the Frontline™ Report free of charge. For more information regarding the Information Partner™ program or about Eastbridge reports, email us at [email protected] or visit our website at eastbridge.com.

Eastbridge Consulting Group, Inc. is a marketing advisory firm serving companies focused on the voluntary/worksite benefits market in the United States and Canada.

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