Carriers bulk up accident plans
New coverages, such as follow-up care, have more employers offering to pay for the product.
Accident insurance products are expanding with additional coverage and richer benefit levels.
In the last year, carriers have started to expand previously limited coverage to include emergency care, hospitalizations, fractures and follow-up care, explains Jim Boyman, president of enterprise voluntary at Cigna in Hartford, Conn.
Some are also adding enhanced benefits, such as travel coverage or gunshot protection.
The innovation is coming as a result of increased competition, with only so much carriers can do to make their accident plan stand out, says Doug Kreszl, vice president of business development at National Benefit Partners, a Paoli, Penn.-based independent marketing firm.
“[Carriers] are trying to say, ‘How can we enhance what we deliver and attract more people to buy an accident plan?’” Kreszl says.
“Not everyone is interested in the same benefit because everyone has a different lifestyle. If you throw in a [new coverage], someone who didn’t have accident insurance in the past may now buy it. ’”
With the increased coverage, the product has seen continual growth. In the past three years that Cigna has offered accident, the firm has doubled sales every year and continues to see that trajectory today, Boyman explains.
In addition to the move to high-deductible plans leading to the growth, the other big trend is accident insurance enrollment being integrated with core benefits enrollment, Boyman says.
“It’s being viewed more as a traditional product and loaded onto a benefit enrollment platform,” he explains. “It is sequenced differently [and] the products are be- ing seen as complementary to medical coverage, which helps provide that additional financial protection.”
The increased demand has led to some downward pressure on the product’s pricing and, in some cases, employers paying for the coverage, which was traditionally exclusively employee-paid, Boyman says.