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Life insurance remains a big draw for employers' benefits

Life Insurance and Annuities
by Chris Davis
Life insurance remains a big draw for employers' benefits
Life insurance remains a big draw for employers' benefits

These days, competition for high-quality employees has increased significantly in many fields. As a consequence more employers are seeking to boost their edge over their rivals by increasing the benefits offerings extended to both incoming and existing employees. And now, it seems as though more are turning to life insurance offerings as a means of helping to lure the best quality workers in their fields.

Today, life insurance coverage of all kinds is included in 47 percent of all inforce plans offered by employers last year, according to the new U.S. State ESI and EPI Data for 2013 report from Eastbridge Consulting Group. Of that number, term coverage made up the vast majority of all life policies, at 37 percent of the total, with universal and whole life plans coming in at 10 percent. Interestingly, though, they accounted for just 22 percent and 7 percent of sales in 2013, and the big disparity in those numbers simply accounts for how much longer this type of coverage lasts than other forms.

For instance, dental coverage made up the second-largest single type of insurance inforce last year, at 16 percent, the report said. But because that doesn't have the annual carryover of a life policy - regardless of type - it still accounted for 13 percent of sales overall.

What other coverage is being purchased?
Meanwhile, short- and long-term disability insurance were also high on the list, at 9 percent and 8 percent, respectively, the report said. However, short-term sales actually exceeded inforce numbers, with 14 percent of companies taking it on, compared to only 7 percent for long-term.

All other types of insurance, meanwhile, took up a much smaller share of inforce coverage last year, the report said. Accident insurance made up 3 percent, while all of hospital indemnity and supplementary medical, cancer, vision, and critical illness coverage all garnered just 2 percent each. However, their sales numbers were all significantly higher than that, ranging from 12 percent for accident insurance, to 5 percent for each of the latter three.

With life insurance becoming such a popular option among employers overall, it might be wise for policy issuers to start tailoring their products to better meet these companies' needs going forward. The more that can be done to more effectively stand out from the crowd, the better off many insurers' bottom lines might be going forward. 

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