Why You Should Use A Group Insurance Advisor
By: Benefits by Design | Tuesday May 28, 2019Updated : Wednesday September 9, 2020
With the emergence of new technologies like robo-advisors and direct sales tools, it’s easier than ever to build your employee benefits plan. But is that a good thing?
These new technologies make accessing and signing up for benefits easy, but that’s where the relationship ends. These solutions don’t provide service by offering advice or answering questions, and they’re not always working in your best interests – but there is someone that is: a group Insurance Advisor.
The Value of a Group Insurance Advisor
A group Insurance Advisor is a licensed, expert in their field who acts as an advocate for you and your organization’s benefits plan. They live and breathe group benefits, so they’re prepared to deal with the intricacies of choosing, implementing, and maintaining a solid employee benefits plan. Advisors are covered under their Errors and Omissions (E&O) Insurance, which protects both the Advisors and the employers they work with and isn’t a safeguard you’ll get through a robo-advisor or going direct.
Advisors also have existing relationships with carriers and insurers and are capable of negotiating on your behalf and bringing their expert skills to bear through advice and representation. Remember, an independent group Insurance Advisor works for you, not the carrier, so they have your best interests at heart.
With the help of proactive insurers, Advisors can identify areas of opportunity or improvement in your benefits plan before they become major problems. We think Dave Patriarche, an independent group Insurance Advisor and President of Mainstay Insurance, said it best:
That’s not something a robo-advisor or a direct sale can give you. An Advisor is there every step of the way, not just to set you up with your plan.
Choosing a Group Insurance Advisor
There are a lot of Advisors out there but only one can represent your interests at a time. With over 20 years working with Advisors, we’ve learned a thing or two about what makes a great one.
Here’s what to look for:
Your Advisor focuses on more than just the cost of the plan.
Don’t get us wrong; the cost of your employee benefits plan is important. However, many of the cheapest plans are heavily discounted for the first year, and rates often skyrocket when they renew. A good Advisor will work with you and your budget to design the best benefits plan for your business.
Your Advisor asks about your benefits philosophy.
Your benefits philosophy is the “why” behind your plan. You and your Advisor will want to get to the bottom of this before selecting a plan to be sure it’s the one that will work for you and your employees.They believe in long-term, sustainable plans. Sustainable plans grow with your business while maintaining consistent coverage with minimal fluctuations in price, coverage, or demographics.
Your Advisor communicates with you regularly.
The Advisor you want in your corner is a proactive one. They’ll regularly check in even when it’s smooth sailing, and proactively reach out before things go south with a solution in mind.
When you call them, they answer immediately or get back to you as soon as possible. If you send them an email, they respond quickly. Even if they don’t have the answer right away, they let you know they got your message, and they’re on it.
Your group insurance Advisor makes sure you understand your benefits plan.
They take their time. In their meetings with you, they’ll go through everything, take the time to answer your questions, and present all the options so that the two of you can make an informed decision.
Your Advisor cares about you and your business.
This one is hard to measure as it’s more of a feeling, but a good Advisor will genuinely care about you, your employees, and your organization. They’ll value making sure you and your employees are taken care of with the right coverage over a paycheck.
There are other important qualities in an Advisor: knowledgeable, friendly, and approachable – but these are all pieces of the above. If an Advisor does all of that, hold on to them!