STATE OF THE INDUSTRY
With employers squeezed by higher health insurance and pension costs, group life insurance sales growth in the employer market has been slow for nearly a decade. The five-year compound annual growth rate for the industry is just under 2 percent, according to LIMRA International. March 2006 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show that 52 percent of all employees have access to life insurance through the workplace, at an average cost to the employer of 5 cents per hour worked. Ninety percent of the workers covered are not required to contribute. With penetration for group life reaching nearly 70 percent among large employers, group life insurers continue to push annuity sales. Insurers are turning to the small-employer market for group life growth, but with some reticence about their ability to develop this market as a profitable sector. The insurers listed here cover nearly 97 million employee lives.
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