What products do you sell when you offer voluntary products? For traditional benefit brokers, too often, the answer is the same products they sell to employers.
These are the products benefit brokers tend to be most comfortable with—the group term life (maybe even just buy-ups with an employer-funded plan), short and long-term disability, and dental insurance. And while these are good products employees need, there are other voluntary products making inroads into employer accounts across the country. If you aren’t offering these products, you could be missing a big opportunity.
In a recently completed study with more than 700 employers nationwide, the products with the highest percentage of employers offering them on a voluntary basis were AD&D, hospital indemnity, critical illness and accident. These were offered on a voluntary basis by a higher percentage of employers than the percent offering life or disability. And, while we can explain some of this by the fact that employers often pay for at least some of the premium for life and disability coverage, the facts are unmistakable—many types of products are popular on a voluntary basis.
Employers seem to be offering more and more voluntary products that help employees with the high cost of health care. Hospital indemnity, critical illness and accident all have a place in helping an individual cover out-of-pocket costs and the indirect costs of an illness or accident.
Interestingly, many group insurance companies are adding these products—something that would never have happened just a few years ago. Many producers and carriers believe that voluntary products like these three are great gap fillers for high deductible health plans.
And this trend goes across all the employer size segments. The percentages seem to be the highest in the mid-market (100-1,000 employees) but even the large employers offer these products.
We also see employers that don’t already offer these plans are at least somewhat interested. And, as a broker that your accounts are already familiar with, you may have an advantage in presenting the voluntary benefits. In fact, our most recent study showed a new trend of employers preferring to use existing brokers for obtaining their voluntary benefits. (Past surveys showed benefit managers had no preference.)
So don’t miss out on this opportunity. If you aren’t looking at these types of products for your accounts, someone else may be.