New Eastbridge research reveals trends and challenges of voluntary permanent life plans

AVON, CONNECTICUT, USA (April 7, 2022)

Latest report examines whole and universal life products in voluntary benefits market

Legislative requirements and the increase in self-service enrollments are challenging sales and participation in voluntary whole life and universal life plans, according to Eastbridge’s 2022 Voluntary Whole and Universal Life Products Spotlight™ Report.

“Whole and universal life are essential components of voluntary carriers’ portfolios, but these plans are more complex than other voluntary products and require more education for employees to understand them and ultimately purchase them,” said Nick Rockwell, Eastbridge president. “The increase in self-service and virtual enrollments over the last two years makes it harder for carriers to effectively educate employees, which impacts sales and participation in these plans.”

Despite these challenges, interest in permanent life insurance remains strong, the report shows. Whole and universal life sales as a percent of total voluntary product sales have steadily increased over the past five years.

The Voluntary Whole and Universal Life Products Spotlight™ Report surveys 15 voluntary carriers about the features and benefits of the products they offer, underwriting guidelines, face amounts and guaranteed cash value examples, commissions, technology platforms, challenges they face and the trends they see for the future. The report provides carriers with a benchmark they can use to compare their own whole and universal life plans against other carriers to determine their competitiveness in the voluntary market.

Other key findings in the report include:

  • Coverage for a chronic illness is now more common than coverage for long-term care in permanent life plans. A majority of whole life and universal life plans offer optional chronic illness benefits, while only a handful include long-term care benefits.
  • An increasing number of carriers are leading with or developing new group platform permanent life products. Underwriting for group products is often more streamlined than it is for individual products, making it easier for third-party enrollment platforms to build and enroll them.

Information about obtaining the Voluntary Whole and Universal Life Products Spotlight™ Report is available on Eastbridge’s website here. For more information, email [email protected] or call (860) 676-9633

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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For more information, please contact us at [email protected] or (860) 676-9633.



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