One of the biggest benefit offerings that have grown in popularity over the last decade has been voluntary benefits. These benefits have become valuable to companies in giving their employees greater flexibility and more diverse choices. The impact of the pandemic caused many employers to expand their voluntary benefits offerings to meet workforce needs. It has motivated more employees to add more protection for themselves and their families. Many experts expect a big outlook for voluntary benefits for this year. Let’s examine the forecast for these benefit offerings throughout the rest of 2021.

Accident Insurance Continues to Be on the Rise

Voluntary benefit sales have grown in the past decade from about 4.5% to 5% a year. They have become even more diverse for employees offering protection for their financial well-being and even insurance for their pets. So far this year, the voluntary benefit that has seen the most engagement in our platform has been Accident Insurance with nearly 30% of the share of engagement activity amongst employees. This insurance benefit had a similar share of engagement activity last year.

Rounding out the top five of the most engaging benefits so far in our cases include Critical Illness, Disability, Life Insurance, and Hospital Insurance. Look for this increase amongst these voluntary benefit offerings to continue throughout the rest of the year. These benefits provide families with peace of mind for those unexpected events.

Pet Insurance Expected to Increase

This pandemic has caused more people to spend a good deal of time at home. This has led many residing alone in their homes to adopt pets. To be able to provide medical care for their pets, many have requested insurance for them. Since 2015, the total number of insured pets has increased in the US by nearly 62%. As more people adopt pets, pet insurance will continue to be the fastest-growing and most highly requested voluntary benefit offering amongst employees. It gives pet owners the peace of mind to provide for their furry animal’s care.

Expect More Financial-Related Benefits to Increase

Besides causing people to find more protection for their healthcare, this pandemic has also spurred more employees to think about their finances. There’s no doubt that many have been hit hard financially because of this pandemic. 39% of Americans  surveyed in a poll from last year stated that they will be very or somewhat worried about their financial situation 12 months from now.

With so many concerned about their financial situation, you can expect an increase in voluntary benefits geared towards financial well-being. Look for voluntary offerings such as bill payment programs, financial counseling, and student loan repayment programs to see an increase. As more employees strive to recover financially from this pandemic, you can expect an uptick in financial wellness products.

More Employees Customizing Their Voluntary Benefits

Besides pet insurance, you can expect more employees to pay attention to other special benefits they initially ignored. Some of these offerings include identity theft protection, legal insurance, and employee purchase programs. The payroll deduction system of an employee purchase program has allowed employees to pay for home office and workout equipment. As more employees become more aware of these various benefit offerings, they will likely become more receptive to them as added protection for their families. Employees value flexibility and that is what voluntary benefits offer them.

More Benefits Offering Retirement Protection

There will also be a lot of employees preparing for retirement. Another benefits trend that will likely increase this year is voluntary benefits addressing this issue. Some examples of these include whole life insurance and long-term care insurance, among others. Retirees will likely be attracted to these benefit plans as one of them usually includes cash value. Meanwhile, long-term care insurance has become a big necessity for the cost of nursing home care.

Learn More About Voluntary Benefits

Voluntary benefits have grown in popularity due to their flexibility and diverse choices. Employees love the ability to be able to pick and choose products based on their personal needs. You can expect this increasing trend to continue into 2021. To keep up with how employees are engaging with benefits offerings, consider a digital benefits platform like Benefits Zone to connect employees with the resources they need.