For the first time, more employees own at least one voluntary product than employees who do not own any, a new survey has found.
The percentage of employees who own at least one voluntary product surged 13 percentage points to 54 percent in 2017 compared to 2015, according to Eastbridge Consulting Group‘s "MarketVision – the Employee Viewpoint Spotlight" report.
The research for the report is conducted every other year, and the report has been published since 2000.
“This is the highest percentage that we've tracked to date in terms of the percentage of employees that own at least one voluntary product,” said Eastbridge Director of Research Ginger Bates.
“It will be interesting to see if the upward trajectory for voluntary ownership will continue to increase in subsequent studies,” she said.
New premium generated by the voluntary/worksite sales market rose 7 percent to $7.6 billion in 2016 over 2015, according to the latest available figures from Eastbridge.
The report found that of the employees who own a voluntary product, 60 percent of employees own more than one voluntary product.
Voluntary Products on the Rise
Accident, life, dental and vision products have the highest voluntary ownership rates, the Eastbridge research found.
Employees are most interested in purchasing voluntary long-term care and identity protection products, the research indicated.
Voluntary products are paid for by employees through a payroll deduction.
Products include traditional offerings such as life, disability, critical illness, dental, accident, hospital indemnity and cancer insurance, as well as non-traditional products such as identity protection, legal services, pet insurance and purchasing programs.
Employers offer these products because the help retain employees and employees find they can buy these products cheaper than they could in the individual market. Employers can make products available at lower prices thanks to their negotiating power.
With employers either cutting back on primary medical coverage or asking employees to contribute at higher levels, employees find that voluntary products have value in filling in or bridging gaps left open by traditional employer-sponsored benefits.
As employers make more products available on a voluntary basis through the convenience of a payroll deduction, and benefit brokers add more voluntary product to their sales portfolios, the ownership rate of these products among employees will likely continue to increase, Bates said.
InsuranceNewsNet Senior Writer Cyril Tuohy has covered the financial services industry for more than 15 years. Cyril may be reached at [email protected]
© Entire contents copyright 2018 by InsuranceNewsNet.com Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reprinted without the expressed written consent from InsuranceNewsNet.com.