Texas, Florida still leading in voluntary sales

By BenefitsPro


By Kathryn Mayer

Brokers looking to score some serious voluntary business might want to consider moving to Texas and Florida.

Those states led the country in voluntary sales in 2012, according to Eastbridge Consulting Group’s third annual U.S. State ESI and EPI Data report. And there’s still plenty more sales opportunity in those states to be had.

California followed closely behind, falling from second to third place in terms of new voluntary sales, while New York was fourth in the consulting group’s report.

The top 15 results were similar to those in the 2010 and 2011 reports except for the addition of Kentucky and South Carolina. Both Maryland and Massachusetts fell off the latest list.

It’s important information “when developing distribution and marketing strategies,” Eastbridge president Gil Lowerre said. He noted carriers need to be careful about assuming those states with the greatest sales “may be overly saturated and afford less opportunity for future voluntary sales.”

“To the contrary, some of these states actually have the greatest untapped potential for voluntary after comparing the sales reported by the carriers to the employed population of a given state — those individuals who have the ability to purchase voluntary insurance at the worksite,” Lowerre said.

The consulting firm calculates an “Eastbridge Sales Index” for each state that gives a truer representataion of the sales penetration.

As an example, California and New York are in the highest sales category, but in much lower ESI categories, indicating there is “untapped potential in those states and not the saturation that some carriers may perceive,” explained Bonnie Brazzell, vice president at Eastbridge.

“Conversely, Delaware, Arkansas, Kentucky, and Tennessee had the highest ESIs or strong sales coverage, yet two of these states were not included in the top 15 in terms of sales premium,” adds Brazzell. “So even though these states had lower sales, their voluntary sales saturation is higher and future sales opportunity lower.”

Originally published on BenefitsPro.com