Early Renewals Leave More Time for Business Growth

The holiday season used to begin when Santa Claus rode down 34th Street, waving in front of Macy’s during the Thanksgiving Day parade. But now anyone who celebrates Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa or even New Year’s Eve knows the “holiday” season starts with pumpkin spice and apple pie, not sleigh bells.

Things get busy – and for parents or people caring for older family members, it can be even more stressful. In the insurance industry, we have our own pressures as soon as October 1 hits. State-mandated benefits including DBL in NY and TDB in New Jersey are eligible for renewals, leading to a swarm of administrative work beginning October 1 through October 10 and running through the end of the year.

For brokers, your renewals are the bread-and-butter of your business. Those nickels, dimes, and quarters add up to dollars. And the product is a benefit that every business owner in New York, New Jersey (and now a growing list of additional states, including Connecticut and Massachusetts) must carry for themselves and their employees. So it’s just a matter of providing the best rates and stellar service to keep that business on your books year after year.

So here’s the question: Why must all Statutory and Ancillary Employee Benefits have a Jan 1st effective date?   

The answer….They Don’t! 

You probably have many customers who are stuck in the renewal phase of October 1 or January 1 for temporary disability insurance.  But as you onboard new customers, encourage them to set their renewals for a different quarter. And remember, ancillary benefits, life insurance, and voluntary worksite benefits – such as critical illness insurance – can be written the first of any month.

By writing early renewals, or even shifting renewal dates to the spring, you can provide your clients with several advantages and save yourself time and stress. Let’s explore the benefits of locking in renewals early.

Help Your Customers with Cash Flow

Worker’s compensation, major medical benefits, and several other expenses all come due on the first of the year. If you’ve ever budgeted for your business – or even your household – you know that it’s best to spread expenses out across a month. Most people don’t want to have to pay their mortgage, car loan, utilities and credit card bills all on the same day of the month. That’s why credit card companies offer you the option to “choose your own monthly payment date.”

It’s the same thing for a small business. Your customers can spread out insurance expenses over the year by renewing the following ancillary benefits earlier in the year:

  • Group Life/AD&D
  • LTD
  • STD
  • Dental
  • Vision

This can help them manage cash flow and also spread out their quarterly tax deductions to reduce their tax bill.

Give Yourself and Your Team Time to Relax

In any sales industry, leaders push hard at the end of the month to drive revenue. In the insurance industry, we push from October through January. But what would your life – and bottom line – look like if you pushed hard at the beginning of the year, instead?

You’d have more time to relax and breathe at the end of the month, knowing you’ve already achieved your sales goals and have money in your pocket.

If you spread renewals across all four quarters, especially when it comes to upsells like ancillary benefits, you’re not only reaching clients at a time when they aren’t facing other renewals for workers’ compensation and major medical, you’re giving yourself a head start on revenue for the year.

Early Renewals Let You Focus on Growing Your Business in the Fourth Quarter

Here at The DBL Center, 75% of our renewals for ancillary benefits come in the fourth quarter. We push hard to get our clients the best rates and maintain the highest levels of service. But if you take the time to line up recurring revenue from renewals in the spring, you’d have the second half of the year to focus on growing your business.

Maybe that means making operational changes for greater productivity. Or maybe it means initiating a large inbound marketing push to help drive leads to your website and grow your book of business. Maybe you can take that time to focus on business growth, instead of just keeping up with existing policies. And if you want to take a break to enjoy the holidays with your family? You’d have that opportunity, as well.

We’re already entering the busy season in the statutory disability and voluntary worksite benefits space. It’s time to start thinking about planning ahead for next year and how you can spread renewals across the four quarters for better cash flow, peace-of-mind, and business growth.


New Jersey TDB: State Proposes Wage Base Increase

Rates could rise, once again, for the premium cost of New Jersey TDB coverage. That means more opportunities than ever before for insurance brokers to build loyal customers and increase their book of business by showing companies how to privatize temporary disability benefits in New Jersey.

Here’s what we know so far:

The New Jersey Department of Labor has proposed to increase the taxable wage base for employer contributions from $36,200 in 2021 to $39,800 in 2022. The wage base for employee contributions to TDB and New Jersey’s Family Leave Insurance (FLI) benefit could jump from $138,200 this year to $151,900 in 2022, BloombergTax.com reported earlier this month.

Will New Jersey TDB Benefit Increases Follow?

New Jersey has not yet stated whether it will increase employee contributions beyond 47 cents on the dollar for either benefit, or if it will increase the benefit amount. Frequently, wage base increases and premium rate hikes are accompanied by benefit increases. As inflation has affected the price of goods and services across the board in 2021, we can be hopeful that a benefit increase announcement will follow. In 2021, New Jersey offered income replacement of up to 85% of a worker’s average weekly salary, capped at $903 per week.

Show Your Clients How They Can Join the Elite 2%

Regardless of the amount of the benefit for 2022, there’s never been a better time to show your clients the cost savings they can realize by privatizing New Jersey TDB. By New Jersey state law, a private benefits plan must offer coverage equal to or better than the state plan at rates equal to or lower than the state’s premiums. Yet, only 2% of New Jersey businesses take advantage of this benefit. We know the 2% is an elite number… your clients would love the opportunity to join their ranks and privatize TDB.

Especially now, as states face a labor shortage and are looking to entice workers through raises and enhanced benefits, privatized TDI and voluntary worksite benefits represent a great way to give workers more without spending more.

Plus, in addition to the cost savings realized by privatizing TDB, New Jersey business owners can eliminate waiting periods for claims payouts, select their choice of payment methods, and enjoy personalized service from the state.

How to Privatize New Jersey TDB

Since New Jersey waived the signature requirement for employees to “opt-in” to a private plan, it’s never been easier to privatize TDB. You’ll just need your client to obtain their AC174.1 from the Department of Labor website and send it to us.

Find instructions to obtain an AC-174.1 form here.

Once The DBL Center team has that information, we do it all from there, including shopping the plan to find the lowest rates and offering white glove service every step of the way.

Sweeten the Deal with Voluntary Worksite Benefits Options

While you don’t need to bundle New Jersey TDB with ancillary benefits to switch to a private plan, it may help your customers save even more money. DBL Center’s experienced staff can help you write the best policies for voluntary worksite benefits and ancillary benefits that include:

  • Accident insurance
  • Critical Illness Insurance
  • Group Life / AD&D
  • Vision and Dental Coverage

Employers can even customize plans to fit their workforce needs and demographics.

What’s to Come In 2022?

There’s a lot of uncertainty surrounding 2022 and what steps business owners will take to stay competitive in such a tight labor market. In all scenarios, there’s little doubt they will look to their trusted insurance brokers to provide the benefits their employees and job candidates need and want.

If premium rates rise in lockstep with inflation, business owners will be looking to save money on premiums while offering their employees value-added benefits that can give them financial peace-of-mind.

The DBL Center is here to help you keep pace with changing times and deliver low rates from trusted carriers on New Jersey TDB, voluntary worksite benefits, and more.

It’s time to start letting the 98% of business owners who are still writing their New Jersey TDB policies with the state that there is a better way.

 


Insurance Brokers: Gain the Advantage with a More Productive Routine

As children across the northeast return to classrooms, many for the first time since March 2020, working parents everywhere also settle into new routines. With workplaces now open again and in-person networking events, business lunches, and other opportunities for connection expanding, many insurance brokers’ workdays are shifting to a “new normal.”

It’s the same for us here at The DBL Center, where we are planning in-person meetings and events and looking forward to reconnecting with loyal clients we may not have seen face-to-face in nearly two years.

Whether you’re struggling with a new routine or looking forward to being back in the office, these tips can help.

Consider What Worked During the Pandemic and Maintain Those New Habits

The pandemic brought many struggles and challenges, but there were also a few bright spots for individuals and businesses for those who knew where to look. For instance, the work-from-home revolution sparked by the pandemic may have actually brought about increased productivity for some workers.

In a January 2021 report, more than 66% of employers said they saw increased productivity amongst their remote workers, while 83% of employees agreed they don’t need to be in the office to be productive. If you’ve noticed you can complete deep focus work better outside the office – especially with the kids at school and not home to interrupt – consider taking one day a week to work from home. You may also offer employees flex-time or remote working hours to garner the same results. You might save money on office overhead costs and create happier, more productive employees.

During the pandemic, businesses also embraced new technologies to stay productive and connected. The DBL Center had just begun distributing a webinar about our Broker Dashboard: Net Revenue Tracker just prior to the pandemic. We ramped up those efforts during the pandemic and we intend to continue that trend to ensure that insurance brokers can access the information they need about the Broker Dashboard in an easy way.

Reach Out to Rebuild Connections

We missed our annual summer soiree the past two years and, of course, our 2020 holiday party. In general, we’ve missed face-to-face connections with our insurance broker community over the past year-and-a-half.

While not everyone is ready for large-scale networking events or even business lunches, make it a point to reach out by phone and gauge the interest of your best clients and closest colleagues to meet in person at some point this fall.

Leverage Technology Designed to Keep Insurance Brokers More Organized

Of course, it’s the small, daily activities that keep your business running full throttle and ready to grow. Stay on top of renewals and cancellations and make it a point to touch base with clients whose policies are up for renewal.  If you haven’t taken advantage of our free software, click here to book a demo today.

The workplace is changing and employees are demanding more than ever. See if now is the time to upgrade your clients’ ancillary benefits packages, provide Group Life / AD&D, or introduce them to voluntary worksite benefits and critical illness insurance, which can help alleviate financial burdens if someone is hospitalized or facing high medical bills due to illness or injury.

Our Broker Dashboard makes it easy for you to get into the habit of reaching out to clients facing renewals, as well as track your overall revenue as you grow your book of business.

Get Ready to Embrace Change – Again

With a new governor in New York and paid family leave programs gaining traction across the country, the last quarter of 2021 could bring even more changes and opportunities within the statutory insurance industry.

Getting into a routine now can help you act quickly and pivot to embrace opportunities as they open. As always, The DBL Center remains your number one source for information on the statutory insurance industry, DBL in NY, New Jersey TDB, and Paid Family and Medical Leave programs across the U.S.

Read on to learn more about opportunities for statutory insurance brokers now and in the future.


How to Write Connecticut PFML for Small Businesses

When the state of Connecticut introduced its Paid Family and Medical Leave act, it opened the door for business owners of any size to privatize their PFML coverage for cost savings. Connecticut business owners can save even more money by bundling Connecticut PFML benefits with ancillary benefits, including dental, vision, and Group Life / AD&D coverage.

Whether you’re writing Connecticut PFML for larger businesses or smaller companies ranging from 1 to 24 lives, The DBL Center is here to help.

Benefits go into effect January 1, 2022, but employers are considering their options for coverage through the state or a private plan, right now. The state of Connecticut has already started allowing employers to withhold payments for premiums. Businesses who wish to transfer to a private plan, effective July 1, 2021, have until June 30 to hold a vote and write a private policy.

DBL Center brokers can make it easy for their clients to write PFML in Connecticut by walking them through these three simple steps.

Step One: Prepare Employees to Vote on a Private Plan

Unlike New York or New Jersey – who waived the signature requirement to privatize NJ Temporary Disability Insurance benefits – the state of Connecticut requires employees to vote on and approve a private plan.

Employers are responsible for complying with voting requirements and procedures. The DBL Center has been working with our network of carriers to simplify the process of privatizing PFML in Connecticut.

Step Two: Create a Plain Language Guide for Connecticut PFML

At least two weeks prior to the vote, Connecticut employers must provide all employees with a written description of the proposed private plan in “plain language.” The “plain language guide” should be reasonably capable of being understood by the document’s recipients. The plan can include details about additional benefits, examples of acceptable claims or payouts based on employee pay, and a list of the types of health care providers accepted by the plan.

Any language or details about the plan must be:

  • Accurate
  • Complete
  • Non-coercive

The DBL Center offers a free, downloadable “Plain Language Template” that Connecticut employers, HR departments, and benefits managers can modify and share in advance of the vote.

The Plain Language Guide first explains that the Plan is being offered as an alternative to the Connecticut Paid Family & Medical Leave Insurance Program and gives all employees the same rights, protections and benefits as the state plan.

The Plain Language Guide describes:

  • Who is covered by the private plan
  • Benefits provided
  • “Qualifying reasons” to receive income replacement benefits under the plan
  • Duration and timing of benefits
  • Employee and employer contributions to the plan
  • Application process
  • Health care providers covered under the plan
  • Conditions covered by the plan
  • Rights regarding denial of benefits
  • Employer contact information for employees who have questions about the plan

Access the Plain Language Guide Template here.

Step Three: Vote and File the Proper Documents with the State

No sooner than two weeks after the employer distributes the Plain Language Guide, employees can vote on the plan. Employers can use an easy online survey tool or a simple, one-question, handwritten ballot that asks if an employee approves of the private plan.

Once the vote takes place, if the proposed private plan is approved by a 50% + 1 majority of all employees (not just those who voted), the employer must file an Insurance Declarations document with the state.

The DBL Center was one of the first in the industry to report on Connecticut PFML laws. We are here to help Connecticut insurance brokers tap into this lucrative recurring revenue stream as Connecticut employees reap the benefits of a generous paid family and medical leave policy.

 

 


DBL Center’s Broker Dashboard: Net Revenue Tracker Comes to Android Devices

 

Last September, The DBL Center launched the Broker Dashboard: Net Revenue Tracker app in the Apple store for iPhone users. Today, we are proud to announce that our time-saving, revenue-driving app is now available for Android users through the Google Play store. Simply search “Broker Dashboard” or “DBL Center” in the Play store on any Samsung, Motorola, or other Android-powered mobile device to find the app that has disrupted the statutory insurance and Paid Family Leave industry. Our Broker Dashboard enables insurance brokers to track renewals, cancellations, and commissions from any internet-enabled device – in the office, at home, or on the road.

The five-star rated app in the App store has been downloaded thousands of times by DBL Center’s vast network of statutory insurance brokers. The app is a complement to our cloud-based software our brokers have been using for years to provide better customer service, deliver automatic renewal notices, and stay on top of cancellations.

Broker Dashboard: Net Revenue Tracker App for Android

Offering all the functionality of the Broker Dashboard desktop application, the Broker Dashboard app for Android devices puts the capability to track renewals, cancellations, and commissions at your fingertips.

Research from benefits consulting firm Willis Towers Watson shows that 57% of employees still work from home amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. Their research shows that number should drop to about 40% by the end of the year, which is still a substantial number. The work-from-home revolution is here and apps like Broker Dashboard make it easier for brokers to gain even more flexibility when they work remotely.

Stay up-to-date on cancellations and renewals from your home office, from your local coffee house, or even in line while running errands. Having this collection of data at your fingertips makes it easy to spot profit opportunities and increase commissions while delivering even higher levels of service to your clients. You’ll have the information your customers need when they need it, which can help you build trust and earn loyalty for more return business and easy, automatic renewals.

Hear It From Our Brokers

In addition to giving brokers access to critical information on-demand through our app, DBL Center also generates a monthly list of renewals and cancellations for our clients. When we send this list, we often get positive feedback from our brokers about this service and about the Broker Dashboard in general:

Anthony Villani, Managing Director at Avanti Associates, said, “Thanks for providing this list, this is very helpful. We do a lot hand-holding with insureds on these renewal audits and are presently working on these accounts, I am pretty sure will be saving most of them and this list facilitates our process.”

Barbara Abbondondolo of Montana Agency called our Broker Dashboard “very helpful” and “very easy to use.”

Cindy Stella of Standard Security Life Insurance Company of NY commented, “This is so awesome!!!! Very impressive!”

That’s just a sampling of what some of our brokers say about the Broker Dashboard and the reports we generate for them. Of course, you can access the app any time from your computer, Android or iOS mobile device to view cancellations, reinstatements, and renewals.

Are You Using Broker Dashboard Yet?

The DBL Center has been on the cutting edge of technology in the statutory insurance industry for years, delivering our brokers the tools and information they need to earn more money in less time.

From our blog and YouTube channel to our Paid Family & Medical Leave Resource Center, the media we create is focused on keeping our brokers informed about changing news in a fast-paced world. We believe that knowledge is the key to success and you can stay ahead of the competition by staying informed.

Watch the video to see how your exclusive Broker Dashboard app, now available for Android and iOS, can help you keep more of what you earn. Then reach out so we can help you get set up with your own cloud-based Broker Dashboard account.

 


Save Your Customers Money By Privatizing New Jersey TDB

In past years, DBL Center insurance brokers didn’t write private New Jersey TDB (temporary disability benefits) past the first quarter. Business owners had already paid the bulk of the premiums into the New Jersey State Insurance Fund and there wasn’t a lot of cost savings to be realized writing policies mid-year.

But with the New Jersey TDB premium rate hike (and benefit increase), more business owners are looking to privatize coverage into the summer. Business owners can switch plans up until July 1, 2021 and realize substantial cost savings along with superior service and flexible payment options.

Are you ready to let your customers in New Jersey know about this important change?

This year’s premium bill for New Jersey TDB coverage is enough to give any business owner sticker shock – especially when so many businesses are just beginning to recover from the pandemic and seeing an increase in profits as consumer spending starts to rise. We’re seeing this in every sector, but especially in travel, entertainment, hospitality, and clothing retail, where shoppers seem to be opening their wallets as fitting rooms open.

Of course, business looking up is good news, but for employers looking to increase staffing in anticipation of profit growth, the TDB premium increase can hit hard when they aren’t quite ready for it.

As in 2020, the taxable wage base is different for employers than for employees in 2021. Employees contribute 0.47% on the first $138,200 of earnings, which maxes out at $649.54. Employers contribute based on employees’ earnings, with a maximum of $36,200 annually for the company.

Insurance brokers can save the day with a private policy that:

  • Reduces the premium rate for employer contributions
  • Covers the assessment fee up to $10 per employee per year
  • Saves business owners up to 20% or more on premiums

Ten dollars per year may not sound like a lot, but if the business has just 100 employees, that adds up to an extra $1,000 in savings per year – plus up to 20% savings on premiums. With the current labor shortage, reducing employee contributions can also put money in workers’ pockets, which can help attract talent in virtually any business.

As David Cohen used to say, “Nickels, dimes, and quarters make dollars.” Show your customers this wisdom, and how it can boost their bottom line, and you will earn their trust, loyalty, and future business referrals.

Help Business Owners Provide Workers with Greater Peace-of-Mind

Quality insurance coverage is still on workers’ minds. As we’ve seen during COVID-19, an unexpected accident or illness can set families back financially for months or even years. Employers can give their best workers peace-of-mind with high-quality short-term disability coverage.

When your customers work with you to privatize TDB coverage, they receive:

  • Premium white-glove, white-label service through the DBL Center
  • Flexible payments in their choice of debit card, check, or direct deposit
  • Opportunities to bundle ancillary benefits for added cost savings.

Statutory insurance brokers who help their customers switch to a private TDB policy in New Jersey through one of our top-rated carriers also gain access to our exclusive Broker Dashboard: Net Revenue Tracker to better manage renewals and cancellations and to track commissions with a click from any internet-enabled device.

How to Help Your Customers Make the Switch to Private TDB

The DBL Center will be there for you and your customers every step of the way as they make the important, money-saving decision to privatize their TDB coverage in New Jersey. However, your clients must take an important first step by downloading their AC174.1 form from the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development Division of Employer Accounts. They can login with their password or create a new account here: Employer Access account (formerly called TWES).

They will also need to provide you with a census that includes the number of lives in their organization, genders, dates-of-birth and salaries for every qualified employee. With that information, the DBL Center will work directly with you, the broker, to shop their policy around for the lowest rate. We’ll also see if they can garner even more savings – and boost your commission – with ancillary benefits, too.

Since New Jersey waived the signature requirement for employees to opt-in to private coverage, it’s easier than ever to privatize TDB. We’ve even created a handy infographic that shows customers how to obtain their AC174.1 from the New Jersey Department of Labor website. Once they’ve got that information, you can let The DBL Center team do the rest.


Will Paid Family and Medical Leave Become a Federal Benefit?

Massachusetts Representative Richard Neal has introduced a federal paid family and medical leave program that rivals that of the program in his home state. President Joe Biden has also introduced paid family and medical leave provisions in his American Families Plan Act but is getting pushback from Republicans in both the Senate and the House.

If either Biden’s plan or Neal’s plan, which was presented by the House Ways and Means Committee, pass what will this mean for private insurance brokers and carriers who are currently writing paid family and medical leave policies? And what is a federal plan likely to look like?

Here’s what we know so far.

The American Families Plan: Paid Leave Provisions

In addition to generous child care for low-to-middle income families, extended public preschool for three and four year olds, and extended child tax credits, Biden’s plan includes a proposed 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave.

The plan calls for 66% income replacement, with up to 80% for lower wage workers. There would be a monthly cap of $4,000, which means that higher wage workers would undoubtedly have to rely on additional means of income replacement to maintain their standard of living and pay their bills if they take leave because they are ill or injured or to take care of family members.

Building an Economy for Families Act: What Does Paid Leave Look Like?

Neal’s plan, called “the Building an Economy for Families Act” dives deeper into specifics for income replacement. It would be based on wages earned and provide up to 85% income replacement. Those at higher income tiers of $8,334 to $20,833 in monthly income would receive just 5% of their income as a paid benefit, while those earning less than $1,256 per month would receive 85% of their wages.

Again, higher income earners would need to plan ahead and rely on savings, investments or other income to continue bringing in the money they need.

The chart below shows the benefits.

Who Can Take Paid Family and Medical Leave?

The leave could be taken for the same reasons as FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) job protection, which includes medical leave for an accident, illness or injury that occurred off-the-job, or family leave to care for an ill or injured family member or to care for or bond with an infant in their first year of life or a newly adopted or foster child within the first 12 months.

The definition of family member, now, varies by state. Neal’s federal plan would expand family to include siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, spouses of family members, and also “chosen family.” This mimics the Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Act, which also has a brought definition of family that includes anyone the claimant considers as family.

Who Would Pay for Paid Family and Medical Leave?

As of now, details for Biden’s program aren’t clear. However, the House Ways & Means Committee proposal details three options to fund PFML. Employers could write their policy through a public program managed by the U.S. Treasury Department. In states with existing PFL or PFML programs, employers could opt to continue with these legacy programs. There may also be employer-provided coverage options, which represents an opportunity for insurance carriers and brokers. It is unclear whether the benefit would be employer-funded, employee-funded, or shared costs.

Given the lower payouts for high-wage earners, there may also be opportunities to enrich private policies, similar to the way business owners in New York enrich DBL benefits now. Should a top worker become ill or injured, enriched DBL coverage in New York is one of the best ways to supplement income without having to tap into valuable investments – especially considering new capital gains tax laws.

Additionally, in a highly competitive job market where there are not enough skilled workers to fill available positions, business owners may want to consider offering private short-term and long-term disability policies as an added benefit for managers and c-suite executives. This can help recruit and retain top employees in a variety of industries and provide added value to top talent, as federal programs ensure that lower-income workers have the benefits they need if they are unable to work.

As always, The DBL Center remains your source for news as it develops regarding employee benefits and PFML at the state and federal levels. Top finance site GoBankingRates recently interviewed me as an expert resource for an article detailing everything people need to know about state paid family and medical leave programs and potential federal programs. You can read it here.

 


3 Reasons to Bundle Long Term Disability Ancillary Benefits with PFML in Connecticut

 

Connecticut (USA) flag waving on the wind

With the introduction of Paid Family and Medical Leave in Connecticut, insurance brokers that serve the state are grappling with many new questions and challenges, along with exciting opportunities and even cost savings over the plan administrated by Connecticut’s paid leave authority. But is it worth it to add other lines of coverage such as ancillary benefits or long-term disability?

“We’re in the position now, of asking our clients to pay more money just to satisfy their desire to privatize PFML,” says Cathy Brown, Vice President of Employee Benefits at Brown & Brown of Connecticut, Inc., a publicly-held insurance carrier in Rocky Hill, CT.

She points out that, fortunately, The DBL Center works with top-rated carriers who will privatize PFML as a standalone benefit and can connect customers with those plans, instead. She notes that her company takes a holistic approach to the decision, and The DBL Center provides options that will benefit the client whether they opt for ancillary benefits or not.

As a broker, Brown says, “You want to do what’s right for the client, but you want to take advantage of the added revenue stream with additional lines of coverage, too. As a broker, we want to look at it holistically from the point-of-view of our client. It could be in the best interests of the employer because they’re saving money with a private plan.”

Should Connecticut Business Owners Bundle PFML with Long-Term Disability?

However, adding lines of coverage is not just a matter of the cost of premiums. If a person’s PFML coverage runs out and now they have to file for long-term disability, now the employer has to backfill that leave. They may have to hire a temp or a contractor to fill the position. “You’ve upped the spend on your budget with the long-term disability policy because you wanted to privatize PFML. Can you afford the line of coverage and additional costs down the line?” Brown says.

These are the questions Connecticut brokers need to be asking their customers. It’s important to explore these facets with clients because, overall, you’ll build trust and create long-term, happier clients.

But there are compelling reasons for Connecticut business owners to bundle long-term disability and ancillary benefits with state-mandated PFML – and it’s about more than just saving money and getting better service with a plan through a private carrier.

Long-Term Disability Plans Aid in Retaining Good Workers

It’s a fact that employers should have contingency plans set up for employees who require to take short-term medical leave or long-term disability. But it’s not something most of us, as business owners, think about until it’s staring us in the face and we’re looking to fill a role left by someone out on leave.

If someone is sick, disabled, or unable to work, they may not have a choice but to take a leave of absence. The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) guarantees their job for a certain amount of time. Long-term disability can help ensure they return to your place of business once they recover, since you’ve not only held their job, but provided a means of income while they couldn’t work. It’s important to share these facts with your clients – and also look at ways you can enhance benefits within your insurance brokerage to show your clients you are “walking the walk.”

Today’s Employees Want More Than Just Office Perks

On-site gym memberships, ping-pong tables and craft beer Fridays are no longer enough to attract top talent to organizations. Employees want flex-time, continued remote work options, and better emergency leave. The state of Connecticut is making sure employers provide that emergency leave for employees to care for themselves or a loved one. Now it’s up to employers to fill in gaps with ancillary benefits.

Human Resource Executive notes that, during the pandemic, people have put off dental, vision, and routine medical care. Since a person’s eyes and teeth are a reflection of their overall health, it’s important to stay up to date on dental and vision check-ups. Ancillary benefits that cover these costs, in part or in whole, makes it more likely for people to take care of these appointments. That can create an overall healthier workforce that performs better.

Benefit Coordination Will Be Easier for Employers and HR Teams

You may bundle your auto and home insurance under one policy for cost-savings and convenience. The same holds true for bundling employee benefits. By putting as many employee benefits with one carrier as they can, your customers can get not just the best rates, but the advantage of a single point of contact for questions and claims.

“I would advise employers and brokers to package PFML benefits in Connecticut with long-term disability and ancillary benefits. That way, benefit coordination will be nice and neat,” says Brian Dewey, Group Sales Representative, New England Territory, for The DBL Center. “And, of course, with The DBL Center’s experience in paid leave in New York and my experience with ancillary benefits across New England, we can be a resource to the Connecticut brokers who are trying to manage with is really a new benefit in their state.”

Do your clients prefer to purchase stand-alone PFML? Whether they want to bundle benefits or not, The DBL Center can help, with Paid Family and Medical Leave in Connecticut through top-rated carriers.

 


The DBL Center Launches In the News Section to Keep Brokers Informed and Entertained

Find industry-leading videos, product demos, and insights

The DBL Center, a wholesale insurance general agency specializing in statutory benefits, has launched a new section of its website to keep insurance brokers up to date on the latest statutory and ancillary employee benefit insurance industry news.

Found in the drop-down menu of the About section on the website navigation bar, or in the drop down on the mobile site, “In the News” features:

  • Videos demonstrating the industry-first Broker Dashboard
  • Opportunities to meet The DBL Center team on video
  • Virtual rep roundtables to gain industry insights
  • Third-party news articles featuring The DBL Center
  • Press releases announcing industry and DBL Center news

The videos showcased on the page represent the culmination of DBL Center President and CEO Michael Cohen’s years of stage experience and his passion for performance.  The insurance expert graduated from Boston University with a film degree and now finds a new outlet for his passion through his company’s many marketing and outreach initiatives. “I would have been a stand-up comedian if I didn’t go into insurance,” he says.

Get an Insider Look at the Statutory Insurance Industry

In the Meet the Team series of videos, Cohen interviews his staff, revealing their motivations, goals, and a few fun facts. Likewise, the Rep Roundtable series brings together top insurance carriers to discuss industry trends and tips for brokers. This short-form video podcast series launched in 2019 and achieved industry-wide recognition.

Brokers will also find overview videos of the Broker Dashboard: Net Revenue Tracker to learn, step-by-step, how to track renewals, cancellations, and commissions from any internet-enabled device. Interested brokers can schedule a live demo of this cloud-based app using the easy-to-access chat feature directly on the page.

“Our In The News section brings together some of our most valuable media in one place, so you can browse easily during short spurts of down time,” Cohen says. “I hope visitors to our site will discover information, inspiration, and maybe even a laugh or two.”

About The DBL Center Ltd.

With 40+ years in the insurance industry, The DBL Center services 100,000 insured corporations through 4,000 brokers across 15 states as a wholesale insurance general agency. For more information, visit InsuranceWholesaler.net, call 800.325.2777 or connect with us on LinkedIn.

Contact
InsuranceWholesaler | Michael Cohen
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Michael.Cohen@dblcenter.com


Your Wholesale Insurance Broker Helps You Track Renewals, Avoid Cancellations

Increase revenue with our exclusive Broker Dashboard: Net Revenue Tracker

As many companies went out of business in 2020 and others saw substantial revenue reductions, insurance brokers have struggled to collect payments for New York and New Jersey statutory disability insurance policies. The DBL Center is the first and only wholesale insurance broker to deliver a list of your pending cancellations and renewals directly to your inbox via our industry-first Broker Dashboard: Net Revenue Tracker app.

Every year, a handful or more of companies will push the limits of their disability insurance renewals. They know we can always backdate the policy if they pay even after cancellation. But brokers’ commissions get delayed and it can wreak havoc on cash flow.

This year could have been even worse when it comes to lost commissions and a shrinking book of business due to the pandemic. But the Broker Dashboard: Net Revenue Tracker app helps DBL Center brokers stay on top of pending cancellations for non-pay, so they can get paid faster and keep the money coming in. After all, we all know that nickels, dimes, and quarters make dollars. Every disability insurance policy your customers pay on time, before multiple cancellation notices, represents money in your pocket.

“I think the annual billing cycle that just closed has been as successful as it could have been given all the other [economic] circumstances,” said Valmaria Strobel, Vice President – DBL Underwriting for Standard Security Life Ins. Co. of NY.

She added that The DBL Center’s reminders to Standard Security brokers were instrumental in avoiding a host of non-pay cancellations. “We billed these policies at the end of 2020, and although some were slow to pay, more have paid than would have without those reminders he was sending.”

Cutting Edge Technology, White Glove Service

Standard Security started in the business 30 years ago with The DBL Center, led by founder David Cohen, as one of the carrier’s top wholesale insurance brokers. “If you ask me what [DBL Center President and CEO] Mike Cohen has brought to the table, it’s the technology, for sure,” Strobel said.

Every month, The DBL Center delivers a list of all policyholders, including in-force policies, renewals, pending cancellations, and cancellations to brokers’ inboxes, making it easy for brokers to track down pending cancellations to keep revenue streams flowing. “It’s hand-packaged and tied in a bow, essentially,” Strobel said.

Strobel explained that the Broker Dashboard reminders go out to brokers on the heels of Standard Security reminders. “It’s been effective in getting policy holders to pay and avoiding some unnecessary cancellations,” she says.

Insurance Agents Rely on The DBL Center as their Wholesale Insurance Broker and “Bill Collector”

It’s not just carriers who love the way the Broker Dashboard keeps cash flow moving and helps prevent cancellations for non-pay.

Over the past years since The DBL Center introduced this technology, brokers have expressed gratitude for the monthly reports and easy, remote access to their entire book of business.

Calling the list of renewals and pending cancellations “very helpful,” Anthony Villani, managing director for Avanti Associates, a Pelham, NY, disability insurance broker, said. “We do a lot hand-holding with insureds on these renewal audits and are presently working on these accounts, I am pretty sure we will be saving most of them and this list facilitates our process.”

Similarly, Tom Murray, commercial lines account executive for JSM Brokerage Inc. in East Hills, NY said, “I appreciate you reaching out and letting me know about all these.” Having a list of pending cancellations and non-renewals allows brokers to focus on bill collection in a timely manner, while the Broker Dashboard tracks it all for them.

The DBL Center is the only wholesale insurance broker that provides the technology and service to help you stay on top of cancellations and improve cash flow.

Not using the Broker Dashboard yet? Watch our video and then schedule your free demo here!