Mind The Gap: Nearly Half Of Small Businesses Lack Benefits, One-Third Sharing Some Benefit Costs With Employees

Nearly half (42 percent) of small business owners with full-time employees do not offer any benefits and one-third (36 percent) are sharing some benefits costs with their employees, according to The Hartford’s 2013 Small Business Success Study.

“We see this gap in coverage as a big opportunity for brokers and agents to discuss voluntary, or employee-paid, benefits with their small business clients,” said Donato Monaco, vice president of small business for The Hartford’s Group Benefits. “Voluntary benefits are no longer only for large companies. They can help small business owners protect their employees without added expense.”

The Hartford now offers its voluntary group disability insurance DisabilityFLEXsm to businesses with as few as 10 employees. DisabilityFLEX allows for customization in three possible ways – how much money one receives if unable to work due to an off-the-job injury or illness, when, and for how long.

Among small business owners that do offer benefits, such as life insurance and short-term disability insurance, many are sharing these costs with employees:
        Life Insurance*      

Short-term DisabilityInsurance*
Paid for by owner completely       41%       38%
Share the costs with employees       36%       47%
Paid for by employees completely       23%       14%

*Asked only to small business owners who have full-time employees and offer the specific type of insurance cited

“Voluntary benefits can help small businesses attract and retain talented employees by allowing them to offer competitive benefits packages,” Monaco said. “The Hartford offers products and services that help brokers, small business owners and employees understand how affordable life and disability insurance fits into their financial plans.”

The Hartford began offering DisabilityFLEX to companies with more than 50 employees earlier this year. The insurer also provides group life and accidental death and dismemberment insurance for companies with four to 49 employees. To learn more, visit at www.thehartford.com/gbsmallbusiness.

The Hartford 2013 Small Business Success Study MethodologyBraun Research conducted a telephone survey among small business owners across the United States for The Hartford. A total of 2,000 interviews were completed with owners of for-profit businesses with fewer than 100 full-time employees that have been in business for at least one year. The study included a nationally representative sample of businesses in the United States. One respondent per business was interviewed. The interviews took place between July 26 and Aug. 12, 2013. The margin of error is ± 2.19% at the 95 percent confidence level.

About The HartfordWith more than 200 years of expertise, The Hartford (NYSE:HIG) is a leader in property and casualty insurance, group benefits and mutual funds. The company is widely recognized for its service excellence, sustainability practices, trust and integrity. More information on the company and its financial performance is available at www.thehartford.com. Join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TheHartford. Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TheHartford.

The Hartford ® is The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. and its subsidiaries, including issuing companies Hartford Life Insurance Company and Hartford Life and Accident Insurance Company. Policies sold in New York are underwritten by Hartford Life Insurance Company. The headquarters of both companies is Simsbury, Conn.

HIG-M

Some of the statements in this release may be considered forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. We caution investors that these forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, and actual results may differ materially. Investors should consider the important risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ. These important risks and uncertainties include those discussed in our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, our 2012 Annual Report on Form 10-K and the other filings we make with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We assume no obligation to update this release, which speaks as of the date issued.

From time to time, The Hartford may use its website to disseminate material company information. Financial and other important information regarding The Hartford is routinely accessible through and posted on our website at http://ir.thehartford.com. In addition, you may automatically receive email alerts and other information about The Hartford when you enroll your email address by visiting the “Email Alerts” section at http://ir.thehartford.com.

Copyright Business Wire 2010

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