Like any consumer-driven product, price is a key component to the ultimate decision to buy. When a company decides to ‘look’ into benefits, they designate someone to ‘shop’—call various insured underwriters for costs.
The stumbling block encountered at this stage is: insurance underwriters do not deal directly with the client. They work through a network of brokers. This tends to frustrate the consumer who is only seeking pricing and not yet ready to make a decision.
Once the consumer understands they have to work through a broker, they may typically contact two or more to then decide ‘which’ broker they want to work with.
Now we have added another layer of decision to an already frustrated client who still simply wants pricing for a benefit plan. The perception at this point becomes “insurance is too complicated, there are so many rules, it is not worth my time” and they give up.
Are we loosing sight of the objective or simply not aware of the process?
Step 1: Find a credible benefit broker. This professional listens and works with the client ascertain what kind of benefits they are looking for; analyze their needs and address cost measures.
Step 2: After an analysis of the desired plan, the professional will contact various insurance underwriters to gather quotations for the client based upon the desired plan design which will best suit the client’s unique needs. Remember, an insurance company will release only ONE quote to ONE broker.
An insurance broker is not bound by any one insurance company . . . they are independent and work for the client—always. An insurance agent, on the other hand, is bound to one insurance company and works for that company only.
Step 3: Develop a plan proposal which includes a plan design reflective of items of key importance to the plan members as a reflection of compensation, the costs associated with each of the providers and how that may be split between the owner and the employees.
Step 4: Once the Benefit Plan is in place, a Broker will ensure it is reviewed regularly, especially as the business grows and changes, so it continues to meet the objectives of attraction and retention for employees per the overall business strategy.
Insurance CAN be complicated, but it doesn’t have to be.
We like simple, straight-forward solutions that work for our clients in attaining their benefit goals.
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