Every year at this time, we write a series of articles on the voluntary market sales results for the prior year. This article is the first of three on this subject.

According to our annual U.S. Voluntary/Worksite Sales Report, new business annualized premium (voluntary sales) was $6.89 billion in 2014, up almost four percent over 2013 sales. The percent growth for our industry was just slightly below the estimated 4.3 percent in 2013. The following graph shows the industry's sales since 1997.

For 2014, the top 15 carriers continued to account for almost 80 percent of total voluntary sales. These companies had an average increase of 4.3 percent in 2014, just slightly higher than the industry increase. The individual results for the top 15 were more varied this year, with five showing decreases and 10 with increases. Among those with an increase, six companies had double-digit increases.

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