Written by Jordan Bulhoes, Regional Director at Benefits by Design
What a fun industry we get to work in!
It’s not the typical way to describe the insurance industry, but I really do think it’s true. Everything is changing all the time and the opportunities to learn something new every day are endless – that’s fun! But it can also be a lot to remember. Group benefits Advisors are on call 24/7, and we know how difficult it can be to keep up-to-date on the various solutions available to your clients in the employee benefits space, all coming from multiple carriers.
This is going to sound crazy, however, as an Advisor, consider keeping a narrowed product shelf. Pick three or four solid carrier or Third Party Administrator (TPA) relationships for the solutions you offer that you feel would best serve your clients. In doing this, you will be able to provide better service to your clients with greater knowledge of all of the ins and outs of the solutions you offer and your ability to clearly convey them to your clients. Clients will be able to make decisions much easier and quicker with fewer options on the table.
With that said, here’s why I think a Third Party Administrator like Benefits by Design should have a spot in your benefits arsenal:
1. You Work With Real People, Not Robots
I work with Advisors across Canada and they’ve told me that responsiveness is one of the most important things when they’re considering the carriers/TPAs they decide to partner with.
This is an essential requirement for many Advisors to function properly and run their business. When responsiveness lacks, it leads to a frustrating experience for both the Advisor and their clients. Where some of the larger market players rely on call centres to handle any and all service inquiries, Benefits by Design has removed the “1-800 numbers” and “touch tones” from the equation to truly deliver an exceptional and frictionless client experience. Advisors and their clients can rest assured that they are dealing with a real (and often the same) person every time they reach out. This leads to unprecedented support including but not limited to: better response times, questions being answered in a timely manner, and time saved for the advisor. Who enjoys waiting on hold anyways?
2. We Live and Breathe Employee Benefits
As an Advisor working in the employee benefits landscape, why not partner with a provider that knows the industry inside-out and shares the same values as you?
We are not all things to all people and understand that a specialist will have the ability to better serve a client far greater than a “jack-of-all-trades”. Benefits by Design is that benefits specialist to our Advisor partners with our focus being on serving the small- to medium-sized Canadian business market. We understand there are many moving parts to employee benefit plans and can help Advisors navigate through all the intricacies involved. We’ve delivered consistently in this niche for more than 20 years and continue to grow significantly. Doesn’t that say something about our ability to serve the employee benefits landscape?
3. We Recognize and Respect the Power of Independent Advice
At Benefits by Design, we’re your partners – not your competitors.
Opportunities now exist for employers to buy group benefit plans direct from some of the larger market players. This will likely continue to happen and become much more prevalent as the e-commerce world continues to expand. These plans may offer lower fees to employers as well as many other shiny perks since there is no Advisor-client relationship. While this may seem convenient, easy, and almost a “no-brainer” to many businesses, employers need to be mindful of the potential risks and liability that exist in employee benefits plan management when going direct.
At Benefits by Design, we respect the importance of the group-focused Advisor and understand the advice and value they can bring to client relationships. When working with a group-focused Advisor, many, if not all of these potential liabilities can be mitigated through proper advice and guidance. Because of our strong beliefs around the notion of “no direct” and the importance of independent advice, we build strong partnerships with our Advisors and distribute our solutions solely through them. As an Advisor partner with Benefits by Design, we support you every step of the way whether it be through your clients’ plan management, helping you stay current on industry changes, or helping you grow through continuous education opportunities. By Benefits by Design taking these initiatives in the Advisor relationship, Advisors are in a better place to grow, properly serve, and earn the trust of their clients.
4. We Think Long-Term, Big Picture – And So Should You
At Benefits by Design, we believe in and strongly adhere to the “win on price, lose on price” mentality.
Sure, the most affordable option or longest rate guarantee on a spreadsheet may look and feel like the “best” option to a client. However, let’s say the employees really enjoy using their benefits (which 150% of the time, they do). What do you anticipate might happen at renewal time when a plan has been under-priced and the rate guarantee expires? Surely you can’t expect rates to stay the same and you certainly can’t expect a decrease. So how do you lessen those chances of a high renewal for a client? It starts with educating the client on why a higher premium (especially on experience-rated benefits) is the best option for long-term sustainability.
Benefits by Design follows this philosophy closely in pricing plans properly and refraining from “investing” in our quotes from the start. Dealing in the small business market, we understand the negative consequences too much investment can cause on a small group. Though it may be difficult to really predict where usage can go for a group, Advisors can trust that Benefits by Design will always put forward a plan that is set up for long-term sustainability. This means you retain the client, the client is happy and coverage is more likely to remain in place, and the chances of them looking for a “better deal” from another broker are lessened.
5. Our Benefits Philosophy – The “Why” Behind Benefits by Design
Behind every great business idea is the opportunity to conceptualize and develop the “why” behind what is to be achieved.
This ultimately leads to turning that great idea into a reality, a vision, and furthermore, establishes a natural drive to living out that vision. Benefits by Design has done just this. We live out our vision every day through promoting and protecting the health, wealth, and happiness of working Canadians across the nation by offering – you guessed it – “benefits” by design (a stellar play on words if you ask me)! As an Advisor partner, you have an opportunity to be a part of our story and vision. Now that is quite exciting!
Working With Benefits by Design
Well, that just about sums it up. These are just a few of the many advantages to Benefits by Design being your partner in employee benefits solutions. We are here to support Advisors every step of the way in their client relationships. This is done by offering a fresh and holistic approach to employee benefits that keeps everyone involved in the process on track for great plan health and satisfaction.
The Benefits by Design team is a down-to-earth and knowledgeable group of people truly wanting to help you grow and keep your clients happy. The “why” behind our business is helping working Canadians, and it frames everything that we do. The ability to help your clients discover their “why” behind their benefits plan will help you deliver better service and overall experience to your clients.