Women Buy More Add-On Insurance

September 19, 2006 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A new survey by an insurance provider has found that women outpace men as buyers of supplemental products.

A UnumProvident news release said that women were buyers of 69% of disability policies and nearly two-thirds of critical illness policies. The study examined the purchasing patterns of more than 100,000 employer customers with UnumProvident coverage.

“We’re no longer in a one-size-fits-all benefits world,” said Kevin McCarthy, executive vice president of risk operations, in the news release. “Using this study as a resource, businesses can map out benefit strategies, determine specific plan designs for specific employee groups and better determine an overall workable, sustainable and suitable benefit plan that better meets the needs of all workers.”

While life insurance and short term disability are the most popular supplemental products, other products like critical illness, accident and hospital indemnity are reaching double-digit sales growth. In 2004 alone, hospital indemnity/medical supplemental plan sales grew more than 80%, according to Eastbridge Consulting Group.

Some highlights of the UnumProvident study include:

  • The most common purchasers of supplemental insurance products are age 30 to 49.
  • UnumProvident supplemental insurance products are typically sold in packages. Stand-alone sales only occur about 20% of the time.
  • Thirty-one percent of critical illness policies at UnumProvident are sold in the health services industry.
  • Eighty percent of manufacturers report a current shortage of qualified applicants with the necessary educational background and skills. Manufacturers provide among the highest levels of benefits for employees of any economic sector and will need to continue to do so to attract the talent they need.
  • In the past three years, 34% of group long term disability customers opted for 100% employee-paid plans.
  • In the past three years, 55% of manufacturing organizations chose monthly benefit levels in the $5,000 to $7,499 range for group long term disability insurance. About one in five chose levels of more than $10,000 per month for this product.
  • In recent years, higher benefit amounts for group short term disability have been chosen, with more than 55% of cases selecting more than $500 in weekly benefits.

More information is at www.unumprovident.com .