Broker Trust Broken

“I’ve been working with my insurance broker for many years. Lately, when I’ve asked him a question based on something I heard, I find myself worrying about the answers he gives me.”

Your HR Survival Tip

As with any profession, it’s important to stay up-to-date with the changes in your industry and with technology being used in the industry. Too often, when we start working with a new client, we find the insurance broker doesn’t know the answer to our questions…and we believe they should.

While loyalty is a fabulous thing, you may have to decide if your loyalty really belongs to your broker or to your employees. You may not like “breaking up” with your broker but you do need to take responsibility for the choices you make affecting your employees. We all use brokers to provide us with those choices.

We recently heard a client’s broker say he wasn’t really “techie,” so he was unaware that technology started playing a big role in insurance enrollments years ago. Whether you are enrolling directly online with the carrier or using an online broker-provided service like Ease, being able to have employees enroll online (by smartphone or computer) is a huge time saver. You don’t have to chase the paper or try to read someone’s writing. The employee’s payroll deduction immediately appears so they know what that choice will cost them.

Some industries won’t find this as useful because their employees are not computer literate and don’t have easy access to these online options. Even if this is the case, make sure you are involving your broker by ensuring he is available to help employees with the forms and their questions.

Does your broker check on pricing every year? How do you know you’re being offered the best pricing or coverage if he doesn’t? Your broker should be informing you about the latest changes to the insurance industry so you are aware of other options you may have. While the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is still in force, it has gone through some changes and isn’t as rigid as it once was. Maybe you can now only afford to pay $100 toward an employee’s premium rather than 50%. Maybe you want an executive carveout with better choices. Has your broker provided options to help or inform you?

Your broker makes a nice commission on your insurance policy premiums and it’s your job to make sure he earns it by helping you and your employees. Feeling confident your broker is current with the options available for you, is able to answer all your questions, and makes enrollments easy for you…that’s how they really earn your loyalty. And, yes, we know some good brokers and would love to make an introduction.

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