The mid-size market is a bright spot for voluntary sales in an otherwise stagnant economy, according to LIMRA research.

While the number of overall voluntary benefit offerings remained steady during the recession, products were more readily available to employers with 100 to 199 employees — compared to 2002 numbers, says Ron Neyer, assistant research director, LIMRA product research.

“Marketing to larger firms is challenging due to saturation and small firms often are less focused on benefits and offer a smaller pool of warm prospects,” he says. “Mid-size firms, looking to be more competitive, are interested in finding ways to expand their benefit package without adding cost to their business.”

Additionally, brokers looking to take advantage of this market would be advised to focus on younger workers because research shows they are more engaged in learning about various benefits.

Although LIMRA found some signs that the recession may have damaged the short-term outlook for voluntary benefits, a few reasons to be optimistic include:

  • since 2007, voluntary participation rates products have held relatively steady
  • more than 40% of businesses surveyed may add a new voluntary benefit by 2013
  • employers report high satisfaction with existing voluntary benefits

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