The new year is finally here. That means your company’s open enrollment has probably closed. And if that is the case, how pleased are you with your broker’s performance over the last few months? Perhaps you are completely satisfied. But if not, are you thinking it might be time to start looking for a new broker?
Benefits brokers are more or less insurance brokers who specialize in health insurance and other employee benefits. And just like a broker who specializes in things like homeowners’ and car insurance, benefits brokers can work independently or as carrier representatives. One major difference is that benefits brokers have access to general agencies.
Benefit Mall is a brokerage general agency representing more than 100 carriers nationwide. Thousands of brokers from around the country service their clients through the products, services, and technology BenefitMall offers. The company says that working through a general agency makes a difference.
Serving Your Needs First
It goes without saying that the benefits broker is obligated to meet their customers’ needs first. If you have been unhappy with the service provided by your broker, perhaps this is where your dissatisfaction comes from. Maybe you feel like your broker really isn’t putting you and your company first. You would not be the first to feel that way.
Whether or not a broker works through a general agency should have no bearing on their commitment to clients. That being said, working through a general agency affords brokers more opportunities to meet their clients’ needs through a larger portfolio of products, better technologies, and back-office support that helps a broker do their job better.
Product Availability Matters
As an employer, you know that product availability matters. You want to be able to offer your employees the best possible benefits package according to their needs and preferences. Not only that, but you also want to be able to do it without exceeding your budget. Unfortunately, a lack of products limits your ability to do so. This is where a general agency becomes so much more important.
A fully independent broker may not have the time or resources to represent more than a small number of carriers at any one time. Likewise, a broker that chooses to affiliate with just one or two carriers is obligated to those carriers. But brokers who work through general agencies have access to all the products their agencies’ carriers offer. So in Benefit Mall’s case, that means an extensive portfolio of products from more than a hundred carriers.
Technology Also Makes a Difference
Product availability aside, it can be difficult in the modern world for a broker to adequately meet client needs without adopting technology. No doubt the digital transformation has finally come to the benefit space. Taking advantage of technology gives a broker the ability to meet client needs more efficiently and productively.
From the employer’s perspective, much of the technology relating to benefits administration involves working in the cloud. For example, a broker would give clients access to all their benefits packages through a cloud-based portal. Within that portal, clients can handle most of their administrative tasks. They can even grant employees access to their own online accounts as well. That gives employees the opportunity to review and manage their benefits directly, without having go through HR.
The employee benefits landscape continues to change. As it does, brokers need to keep up with the changes in order to effectively serve their clients. If yours isn’t keeping up, perhaps you’ve recently begun to notice. Maybe it is time to start looking for a new broker.