Eastbridge report shows broker segments driving voluntary sales growth


Benefit brokers segment outpaced industry with 16% sales growth last year over 2020

Benefit brokers — brokers who primarily sell core or employer-funded insurance products but also sell voluntary coverage —continued to build their share of the voluntary market last year. The segment generated more than $5.5 billion in sales in 2021, up 16% over 2020, according to Eastbridge’s annual U.S. Voluntary/Worksite Sales Report. That jump outpaced the voluntary industry’s overall strong growth of 11.3% in 2021 for a total of $8.307 billion.

Benefit brokers are responsible for two-thirds of sales in the voluntary/worksite market. Career agents, those who work primarily for a single company selling its products, continue to have the second-highest share of the market at 12%. However, this segment’s sales of just more than $1 billion declined 4% in 2021 compared to 2020. Classic worksite brokers who focus on voluntary sales and worksite specialists — large marketing organizations that focus on voluntary sales — combined for a little more than $1.6 billion in sales last year. Classic broker sales grew 9% for a 10% market share, while worksite specialist sales grew 13% for a 9% market share.

2021 Sales Mix by Distribution Segment


2021 Sales

Change Over 2020

Market Share


$5,557 million

+ 16%


Career Agents

$1,024 million

- 4%


Classic Worksite Brokers

$858 million

+ 9%


Worksite Specialists

$779 million

+ 13%


Occasional Producers

$89 million

- 15%



“Most distribution channels saw a positive rebound last year compared to 2021,” said Nick Rockwell, Eastbridge president. Our research indicates this trend is likely to continue in 2022 as the industry returns to pre-pandemic levels of sales and historical growth rates in the future.”   

The annual U.S. Voluntary/Worksite Sales Report estimates sales for the entire voluntary industry, with detailed data on the performance of 67 group and individual carriers. The report represents the largest number of carriers included in any sales report for the industry.

Carriers interested in participating in next year’s study can email Eastbridge at [email protected]. All participants receive a free copy of the complete findings, including company-specific results.

About Eastbridge Consulting Group — 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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