New Eastbridge report explores trends in voluntary products


Carriers cite increased pressure to fund technology, add more options as growing trends

Voluntary benefits carriers are nearly unanimous in agreeing they’re under more pressure to increase technology funding and add more features, benefits or options to their plans, according to Eastbridge’s new Voluntary Product Trends Frontline™ Report.

The report includes data from a survey of 37 voluntary benefits carriers in March and April 2022 to identify current product trends in the voluntary/worksite market. It shows 97% of carriers strongly agree or agree they face increased tech funding pressure, up considerably from 82% two years ago. The percentage that agree carriers are adding more options to their voluntary products also is up significantly, from 82% in 2020 to 95% this year.

“Carriers also say they’re seeing increased expectations to pay higher commissions and to offer lower participation rates for guaranteed issue underwriting,” said Nick Rockwell, Eastbridge president. “These factors are combining to put a squeeze on profitability for many carriers in the industry.”

Other key findings in the report include:

  • Most carriers (87%) plan to introduce new products or revise existing products this year, either to catch up with competitors or create differentiation. Supplemental health plans are the most likely to change, including hospital indemnity, critical illness and accident coverage.
  • Nearly half (47%) of carriers say it takes one to two years to launch a new product, but more than a third report that time is decreasing.
  • Mental health coverage is the most common nontraditional or discount benefit carriers offer, usually as a built-in benefit in another product.

The Voluntary Product Trends report is available only to survey participants and members of Eastbridge's Information Partner™ program. Carriers interested in participating in the next Voluntary Product Trends survey and receiving a copy of the complete findings can email email [email protected] or call (860) 676-9633.

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



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