Insurance Brokers: How Tech Savvy Is Your General Agency?

Insurance brokers should be able to rely on their wholesale general agency to lead the digital revolution within the insurance industry.

A recent article in The Digital Insurer pointed to chatbots—sophisticated artificial intelligence programs that can answer questions and provide customer service for companies in much the way human representatives can—as replacing insurance underwriters in the foreseeable future. We beg to differ.

The jury’s still out on chatbots and widespread acceptance of this technology, especially when it comes to B2BThe DBL Center's new mobile app for our insurance brokers. insurance sales. Insurance brokers work in a high-touch industry, where consultative selling is a key, and relationships build business. A consumer looking for the lowest price on car insurance may accept a chatbot to provide a quote. But a business is not going to trust a computer program—even a sophisticated one—to write a mandatory disability insurance policy for 100 employees in their company.

The high level of personalized, white glove service The DBL Center provides is one reason we have more than 4,000 insurance brokers across 15 states, who rely on us to supply mandatory disability insurance (TDB in NJ and DBL in NY), as well as ancillary benefits, group life AD&D, and a growing list of additional insurance and investment services, to their business customers.

But as much as we are, and will remain, a service-oriented business, we do consider ourselves pretty high tech, too, here at The DBL Center.

Get Easy Online Quotes

While much of the industry was still relying on cold calls for insurance sales and faxing documents to bind quotes, we began providing the ability to bind a quote for NY DBL coverage for fewer than 50 lives online with a few clicks. The automated system operates through our portal, permitting agencies to quickly and easily compare prices and coverage with top-rated insurance carriers in our industry. Agents can bind the quote with just a few clicks, without ever speaking to a representative.  Of course, we are available if you do have any questions, need guidance through the process, want to upgrade to an enriched DBL plan, or add ancillary benefits. But our entire system is designed to make the process quick and easy for the insurance brokers who do business with us.

Insurance Brokers Can Manage Accounts Easily Online

Our proprietary insurance broker’s portal, available to insurance agents who write their business through The DBL Center, gives our customers access to a host of information. Brokers can:

– Track their book of business
– Track commissions and export the data
– Issue their own Certificates of Insurance (DB-820) in real-time

These capabilities put our brokers in better control of their businesses, and frees up our staff to focus on areas where the human touch is needed to provide the next level of customer service.

Your Wholesale Agency Goes Mobile

The next phase of our development involves a mobile app that provides our brokers with expanded capabilities to manage their book of business from anywhere they might be. Brokers no longer have to wait to return to the office to issue DB-820s, get quotes, or write new business.

With the rise in telecommuting and flexible hours, brokers who write their business through DBL Center can now enjoy the freedom of working from virtually anywhere, achieving new levels of productivity and, in turn, serving their customers better.

High-Tech and Still High-Touch

While the app puts advanced capabilities at our brokers’ fingertips, it will also help The DBL Center team take our service to the next level. By automating several behind-the-scenes processes, we’ll be able to free up our staff to provide better, faster service when our brokers and their customers need the high-touch experience that is expected in this industry.

Best of all, our brokers don’t have to be exceptionally tech-savvy. That’s our job. We’ve worked with top developers to make the app as easy to navigate and as intuitive as possible.

As the world undergoes a digital transformation, the insurance industry can’t afford to be left behind. We provide the tools to help our insurance brokers make the transition in order to increase productivity and earn more.

Learn how you can expand your book of business with The DBL Center by your side.


Communicating Voluntary Benefits to your Customers and their Employees

Brokers: Are you taking these steps to show your customers the value of voluntary benefits?

As healthcare premiums continue to rise while coverage levels drop, smart business owners and HR directors are finding ways to recruit new talent and retain employees by offering voluntary ancillary benefits. This opens an opportunity for P&C and health insurance brokers to tap into new streams of revenue by bundling ancillary benefits with mandatory insurance coverage like DBL and TDB.

But knowing how to communicate these benefits is important for HR directors to get buy-in from employees. Insurance brokers are in a unique position to help spread the word about the advantages of voluntary benefits.

These tips can help.

1. Get buy-in from top executives first.

If a broker is to successfully sell voluntary benefits to an organization, it starts at the top. Focus on selling a comprehensive package of voluntary benefits to the c-suite, that way those executives (including the HR director) can knowledgeably spread the word to their employees.

Many voluntary benefits, including Group Life / AD&D, provide tiered coverage levels, where high earners gain the greatest return on their investment, so it makes sense to sell to the c-suite first.

2. Be prepared with answers to common employee questions.

Most employees thinking about investing in voluntary benefits want to know:

– How much will they save compared to buying coverage individually?
– What are the risks if they don’t invest? (i.e., How much will it cost if they have to pay for these unexpected expenses out-of-pocket?)
– Are there any tax benefits to the investment?

They might also be interested in knowing the percentage of their colleagues who’ve invested in voluntary benefits, and which benefits other people like them have found to have the greatest value.

3. Use technology as well as face-to-face meetings to convey information.

Consider setting up a Benefits Calculator on your website, or publishing a blog that addresses frequently asked questions and spotlights industry trends. You’ll establish your brokerage agency as an expert, gain trust with customers, and potentially attract new leads, too. HR directors, busy executives, and business owners can then use these resources to make informed decisions about voluntary benefits and also share the information with their employees. (Don’t forget to check The DBL Center blog regularly, too, for information you can share with your customers.)

4. Tailor benefits packages to your customers with personalized options.

Today’s workplace is unique in that it spans three to four generations of workers, from the incoming “Founders’ Generation” or Gen Y, to Millennials, GenX, and Boomers, who still make up about Voluntary benefits are another piece to the puzzle for earning greater commission as an insurance broker.. While financially savvy Millennials are likely interested in 401K packages to begin planning for retirement now, GenXers may be thinking about life insurance as they face middle age. Dental and vision coverage might appeal to Boomers with mounting medical needs.

If you can, poll employers and their employees about which benefits will appeal the most, and put together insurance bundles that meet these needs. The DBL Center is here to shop the best benefits packages for you based on what your customers want.

5. Know the key advantages to voluntary benefits in order to convey them to your customers.

Voluntary benefits provided through an employer offer many advantages over individual benefits. Employees are likely to find greater value in voluntary benefits—even if the employer isn’t sharing any of the cost. When they buy from a broker they trust who, in turn, uses an insurance wholesaler to find the best coverage with the lowest premiums, everybody wins. It’s all about leveraging industry relationships and insurance bundles to deliver the greatest value to the customer.

It’s also more convenient for employees to choose from a pre-selected package and then have costs deducted directly from their paychecks. Paying for insurance with pre-tax dollars results in added cost savings, too.

6. Make sure employees at every level understand benefit offerings.

Employees can’t invest in voluntary benefits if they don’t know what their company offers. While buy-in from top execs is key, smart brokers will also look for opportunities to speak directly to employees at every level.

Consider hosting a lunch-and-learn, where you outline the advantages of voluntary benefits in a fun, informal setting. You can even bring in a comedy act to break the ice and make attendance at the meeting more enticing. You’ll get employees in a good mood and build trust, which will make them more likely to buy.

Let Your Insurance Wholesaler Help

As your back-office support staff, The DBL Center Ltd. is here to provide you with the tools you need to better sell voluntary benefits and provide you and your customers with the white glove service you deserve.


How to Bundle Insurance, Build Loyalty, and Save Your Customers Money

Bundle insurance benefits packages to save your customers money and earning more commission with bigger sales.

If you’re a health insurance, disability insurance, or P&C broker you understand the pain of dwindling profit margins, increased premiums, and reduced choices for your customers. Good brokers look for ways to save their loyal customers money and deliver greater value.More brokers, today, are discovering they can save their customers money on disability insurance and ancillary benefits if they bundle insurance benefits together and purchasing from one wholesaler.

The Time-Tested Concept of Bundling Services

The idea of “bundling” services to save money isn’t new. About a decade ago, before streaming video services broadened our television horizons beyond cable, consumers bundled their home phone, cable, and Internet service together for substantial savings. People still do it today—although there are even more technology options available.

In the insurance industry, P&C brokers are very familiar with a number of ways to bundle insurance coverage. Individual and business customers alike may bundle property and auto insurance under one carrier for significant savings.

Why not take that one step further and bundle insurance products like your corporate customers’ ancillary benefits under one carrier, too?Smart brokers bundle insurance to save their customers money.

Whether you’re a broker currently selling P&C products, health insurance, or disability coverage, you can bundle insurance together through The DBL Center Ltd. and pass the savings on to your customers. They might be encouraged to purchase additional ancillary benefits or products like enriched DBL with the savings. You’ll build loyalty and develop even better relationships with your corporate customers as you take a consultative selling approach to your business.

What Can You Bundle?

Traditionally, many companies bundled health-related insurance products like vision and dental coverage through their health insurance provider. But the Affordable Care Act has led to increased premiums and decreased coverage.

Smart brokers—including P&C and best-in-class health insurance brokers—can fill those gaps when they bundle insurance like dental and vision coverage, previously purchased through health insurance companies. It makes just as much sense, today, to bundle ancillary benefits with mandatory disability coverage—a product your customers in New York, New Jersey, and Hawaii need to buy anyway.

The DBL Center also provides long-term disability, Group Life / AD&D, enhanced disability, and other benefits in bundled packages for cost savings and easier management of policies. We can even help you provide customers with 401K employee retirement benefits. For smaller businesses and individuals, we offer disability income replacement (DI) coverage and individual life insurance, giving our brokers endless options to cater to any size customer.

Let The DBL Center Do the Work

By working through The DBL Center Ltd., you always have one point-of-contact for all your insurance sales, commission checks, and customer service, saving you time. And you’ll save your customers even more money by letting us help you bundle insurance benefits under one carrier.

We will shop around to find your customers the best rates, including the lowest premiums and highest quality coverage, in a bundled benefits package. We do it all, acting as your white-glove back office service staff to write the policies and service your customers in a white-label capacity, freeing you up to sell more insurance, recruit new customers, expand your book of business, and cash commission checks made out directly to you.

Bundling benefits makes sense for brokers and their customers. So does working with an insurance wholesaler to capitalize on a number of different ways to bundle insurance. Why not call The DBL Center and get started today?


Do Your Clients Need Life Insurance?

Most people need life insurance. But the reasons may not be what you’d expect.

The sales tactics for life insurance are familiar, and designed to tug at the prospective client’s heartstrings:

What would happen to your family if you were to pass on suddenly? Would they lose their home? Would your children be able to attend college as you had always planned? Would your significant other be stuck with a mortgage he or she can’t afford to pay?Life-Insurance

While these reasons for investing in Group Life / AD&D are compelling—and effective to sell voluntary or employer-funded life insurance policies—it’s also worth understanding some the specific reasons people should invest in life insurance.

LifeHealthPro Daily recently released a report of six problems solved by life insurance. Let’s consider some of these problems and solutions as they relate to Group Life /AD&D coverage for the average employee.

1. Not enough liquid cash to cover death expenses.
From the cost of a coffin, burial, attorney fees, and even any memorial services planned, survivors rarely have liquid cash available to coverage expenses associated with the death of a loved one. Having even a modest life insurance policy can give survivors peace-of-mind that their loved one will have the funeral they desired, which can also help loved ones mourn in an effective way.

Life insurance policies pay quickly following death of the policyholder, providing liquid cash when it’s most needed. If the deceased was the primary breadwinner, a life insurance policy can help the family pay upcoming bills on time and maintain their lifestyle, further contributing to their peace-of-mind during a difficult time.

This is, undoubtedly, the most common reason for most workers to invest in life insurance coverage.

2. The need for asset stabilization, especially in regard to real estate.
If property passes hands from one generation to another, associated taxes can often cause undue financial burden on surviving loved ones. Life insurance can help cover these costs.

When a family home changes hands, the survivor may not be able to afford the taxes or insurance on the property, which may result in a forced sale or even foreclosure of the property. A life insurance policy designed to cover these expenses may help a home remain within a family even after the death of the original owner.

3. Transfer of wealth costs.
When cash or real estate transfers hands following the death of the original owner, the transfer of wealth often comes with estate taxes, inheritance taxes, legal, and administrative fees.

Because life insurance is tax-free for the beneficiary, a life insurance policy can help reduce the financial burden of an inheritance.

If you’re already the trusted source for mandatory disability benefits, worker’s compensation coverage, and other benefits as the P&C broker for an organization, it makes sense to expand your book of business by offering Group Life / AD&D coverage.

The DBL Center Ltd. has specialists on hand to help you get started right away. Contact us about adding life insurance to your offerings today.


Are Voluntary Benefits the Answer for Some of Your Customers?

Employee expectations about benefits packages have changed. Are you leaving money on the table by not suggesting voluntary benefits to your customers?

Back when many of us joined the workforce, employers picked up most (or all) of the cost of premiums for health insurance, vision, dental, and maybe even life insurance. This was especially true for union workers. Many companies also offered employee pensions, matching 401K funds, and other benefits designed to improve retention rates within organizations and send the signal to employees that longevity was important. In short, companies took care of their employees and hardly anyone offered voluntary, employee-paid benefits.

Increasing insurance premiums, the Affordable Care Act, and a number of other factors have changed the benefits employers provide. At the same time, it’s also changed employee expectations.

Today, employees consider an affordable healthcare plan with a decent choice of providers, even if they’re paying a large percentage (or all) of the premiums, a good benefits package. Similarly, employees are happy to have the option to purchase dental, vision, and group life / AD&D coverage, at rates vastly reduced from what they could purchase privately.

A strong ancillary benefits package, even voluntary benefits, continues to be a driver of employee retention and satisfaction.

Survey Says… Employees Want Ancillary Benefits

A recent report by Harris Interactive showed that 65 percent of employees want life, dental, and vision insurance—even if they have to pay for it. Yet, fewer than 50 percent of employers today offer these benefits.

In many cases, employers feel their employees won’t want to pay for something that was, previously, fully subsidized by the employer. But expectations have changed and employees understand that they might have to absorb some of the cost of ancillary benefits—they might even factor this into their initial salary negotiations.

For P&C insurance brokers, failing to suggest voluntary

Millennial workers embrace voluntary benefits to pay for things like vision and dental care.ancillary benefits to your disability insurance customers is like leaving money on the table.

Voluntary Benefits Don’t Cost Your Customers

Voluntary benefits packages that cover life insurance, dental and vision coverage, and even enhanced disability insurance could be the easiest sale you make—because you don’t have to sell it at all.

Voluntary benefits don’t cost your customers—that is, employers—any money at all. The costs are passed on to the employees, while the commission comes directly to you. It’s up to the employers to sell the benefits packages. And it should be an easy sell, since many workers today want these benefits and are willing to pay for them. All you have to do is make the offer.

Customer Education Increases Sales

Perhaps, in the same vein as brokers who sell 401K benefits plans, you bring in a catered breakfast and spend an hour showing employees how much they could save by purchasing voluntary benefits through their employer.

The premiums are deducted pre-tax, which is especially desirable to millennials, who are more likely to be single apartment-dwellers without a lot of tax deductions. And the savings over time adds up, making it a worthwhile expenditure for employees with or without families.

Smart employees are beginning to realize that the savings off the cost of braces, cleanings, and corrective lenses—to name just a few expenses—is well worth monthly pre-tax insurance premiums. It’s up to you, as the insurance broker, to offer employees the option of voluntary benefits.

Could you increase your commissions and expand your book of business with voluntary benefits? Let the DBL Center help with our white glove service.


3 Reasons You Should Be Selling Ancillary Benefits

Earn more commission and create happier customers with these insurance products.

Are your clients looking to make up the gaps left by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in their employees’ benefits packages? Are you a health insurance broker looking to replace revenues lost as a result of ACA? Or maybe you’re a Property & Casualty broker specializing in disability benefits who spots opportunities created by ACA in today’s insurance market.

Whatever your reason, if you’re considering selling ancillary benefits, Ancillary benefits are a few of the gears in the machine that is a successful disability insurance agency.you might be hesitating and wondering if it’s a good idea. As a wholesale insurance broker celebrating our 40th year in business, we’ve followed the vicissitudes of the marketplace and we can tell you that right now is a good time (perhaps the best time in history) to sell ancillary benefits to your customers. Here’s why.

1. Your customers, and HR directors in particular, are scrambling to find ways to fill the healthcare gaps left by the ACA.

As a result of the ACA, many employees’ and business owners’ healthcare premiums went up, while the level of benefits went down. In many cases, dental and vision coverage, especially, became cost-prohibiitive under existing healthcare plans.

While accountants, controllers, and CFOs seek to control costs, HR directors look for ways to reintroduce these lost benefits. Ancillary benefits purchased through a disability insurance broker can make both departments —along with employees and business owners who will benefit —happy.

2. Ancillary benefits are an easy upsell to a robust benefits package that includes enhanced DBL or TDB coverage in New York State or New Jersey.

If you’re already selling enhanced DBL and TDB coverage, and you’re using consultative selling to earn the trust of your clients and increase their benefits, ancillary benefits that include vision, dental, and Group Life / AD&D coverage are an easy upsell to earn greater commissions with less work.

3. Give your customers greater discounts when you bundle ancillary benefits with enhanced disability coverage.

After facing increased healthcare premiums, employers and employees alike are looking to save money. You can help by offering bundled policies from the same carrier that includes enhanced disability benefits, vision, dental, and Group Life / AD&D. Your clients will love having one point-of-contact to deliver an exceptional service experience and save them money, too.

Expand Your Book-of-Business with Ancillary Benefits

Really, it comes down to this: Bundling ancillary benefits with disability coverage enables you to expand your book-of-business and earn more commission without increasing your workload or your number of accounts.

It costs five times as much to acquire a new customer as it does to retain an existing one, statistics show. If you can retain customers and sell them additional products to increase your commissions without the costs associated with acquiring new business, you can literally sit back and watch your profits grow – especially when you have The DBL Center serving as your back-office staff to manage those accounts.

The Importance of Ancillary Benefits for Today’s Businesses and Brokers

Ancillary benefits fill a much-needed gap for employees, employers and insurance brokers right now. If, until now, you hadn’t considered selling these benefit to increase your commissions with minimal effort, The DBL Center can connect you with top-rated carriers offering competitive rates.

Now more than ever, disability insurance is just the beginning.


Helping Employers Choose the Best Employee Benefits

Employee benefits are complicated. But you, the broker, can help.

Nearly half of all employees spend a mere 30 minutes choosing their benefits plan, according to this report from Namely, an all-in-one HR platform. What’s even more startling is that most employees (73 percent) simply roll over the same benefits from year to year. Questions about employee benefits? Brokers have answers.

Why is that?

Is it because employees don’t care about the benefits they’re receiving? Are they too overworked to spend any time researching their options? Perhaps they just believe all benefits plans are the same, and they’re not going to do any better than what they’ve had all along.

We suspect it’s a combination of these factors. Ninety percent of employees admit they don’t understand the changes to their policies each year. Choosing employee benefits is confusing and overwhelming and, oftentimes, employers and HR departments don’t have any advice to offer, either.

Employers Look Toward Insurance Brokers for Guidance

As a smart insurance broker, this ubiquitous lack of knowledge is your opportunity to guide your clients toward the best benefits packages, whether that involves enhanced disability coverage, ancillary benefits, a 401K plan —or even a combination of all of these.

What Employees Want Out of Benefits Packages

In order to better serve our clients and their employees, let’s look at what the Namely survey tells us about employees and benefits.

– Most employees (80 percent) place a premium on benefits, saying a good package keeps them more engaged in the workplace.

– More than half (57 percent) say they’d trade greater compensation for a better benefits package.

– Employees want the basics: Health, Dental, and Vision coverage rank top on the list of benefits employees want

– Seventy-two percent of employees also want a matching 401K

Clearly, employees want—and expect—a lot from benefits packages. With this in mind, why do they spend so little time choosing the package that can meet their needs? It’s easy to see that the insurance broker who steps in, able to meet their client’s needs and, subsequently, make an organization’s employees happy, more engaged, and likely to stick around, has gained a customer for life.

More than Just Benefits

Understanding your customers, though, is more than just knowing the kind of benefits they want. Let’s explore the intangibles of what employers look for in an insurance provider.

Personalized Service and Consultative Selling

We’ve established that choosing a benefits package —and managing insurance, in general—is complicated. An insurance broker who provides top-notch customer service and consultative selling to ensure the client is selecting the best benefits for their employees will win out.

Technology-driven Service

Today’s employees, HR directors, and business owners are accustomed to doing nearly everything online. We can host video conferences with clients and partners across the world with one click, buy car insurance online, and order lunch through our smartphone.

Today’s top insurance brokers should offer online rate quotes, along with the ability to pay bills, track claims, and have questions answered all from a computer with Internet access— or even a mobile device. A good insurance wholesaler makes these tools available to its brokers and select best-in-class carriers known for their technology and their overall service.

Discounted Prices

Choosing employee benefits means putting all the pieces together to reduce costs and increase employee satisfaction.
Of course, employers are also looking for the best employee benefits and the lowest premiums available. Brokers with The DBL Center, Ltd. have access to a wide range of top-rated carriers who can offer bundled policies to provide clients with the lowest rates possible.

We shop your policies around, saving you time, but you’ll be the one your clients thank when you write them a better policy at a lower rate than they had before.

Don’t Let Your Clients Settle

Even though most employees are willing to settle for the same benefits package year after year, smart business owners and HR directors will look for ways to increase benefits without increasing costs, as a way to improve employee satisfaction and retention rates.

As an insurance broker, you’re in the position to help by showing them what’s available. It’s time to let your clients know they don’t have to settle for less. They can enjoy the best service, lower premiums and more robust benefits when they let you show them their options.

Let The DBL Center help provide your customers with more in the way of employee benefits.


The Right Dental Benefits Lead to Healthier Employees

Providing a strong dental benefits package may help improve the health of employees and reduce costs linked to employee illness.

CDC - Business Pulse Infographic on employee health and productivity
With the rising costs of employer-paid health insurance, not to mention the tangible costs of employee sick time, smart business owners focus on employee wellness as a way to increase productivity and reduce costs. From company gym memberships to serving healthy food in the employee cafeteria, there are a number of ways businesses can create a culture of health and fitness in the office.

But have you considered your employees’ dental coverage? Preventative dental care doesn’t just reduce sick days due to mouth pain or oral surgery. Studies show the advantages of good dental health extend to employees’ overall health. Poor dental health has been linked to a surprising number of other illnesses.

Gum Disease Linked to Heart Disease

Periodontal disease and its predecessor, gingivitis, has been linked to heart disease. The bacteria that causes these diseases can enter the blood stream and travel to the heart, where it causes the arteries to harden. This condition has been linked to heart attacks and strokes, which are leading killers in the U.S. and also two of the most expensive health conditions in a workplace.

Gum Disease Can Cause Respiratory Infections

The bacteria present in the mouth of those with gum disease doesn’t just affect the heart. Breathing in these harmful bacteria can cause respiratory infections, including pneumonia.

Diabetes Complications

Medical professionals aren’t sure why, but diabetics with gum disease have a harder time controlling their blood sugar levels, which can increase many of the health risks associated with diabetes. Treating gum disease as soon as it’s detected can help those with diabetes live healthier lives.

Link Between Alzheimer’s and Gum Disease

New research shows that taking steps to prevent gum disease, such as brushing and flossing regularly and seeing a dentist twice a year, may also help slow the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease. It’s possible that the higher levels of antibodies present to fight periodontal bacteria in those with gum disease leads to inflammation in other parts of the body, including the brain, which can speed cognitive decline. With the vast number of older Americans in the workforce today, slowing or preventing the onset of Alzheimer’s should be a consideration in any organization concerned about the overall health of their employees.

The Mouth: A Gateway to Better Health

Just as poor dental health can cause a number of other illnesses gum disease may also be an indication of other diseases. Regular dentist visits may help detect underlying problems, including heart disease, that require a doctor’s care.

Offering employees good dental benefits as part of an ancillary group benefits package encourages regular dentist visits, cleanings, and other preventative maintenance, which can improve a person’s overall health. And healthier employees are more productive employees.

Consider these facts:

Productivity losses due to absenteeism cost employers $225.8 billion

      Employers lose $150 to $250 billion in productivity when sick employees come to work

 

    Companies with better health, safety, and environmental programs outperform their competitors

A good dental benefits package with low premiums and a focus on coverage for preventative care can save your company money in the long run.

The DBL Center can link you with a best-in-class insurance carrier to provide the dental benefits and other ancillary group benefits your employees need to stay healthy and productive.


“Meternity” Book Spotlights Shortcomings in Employee Benefits

Today’s HR directors can provide equitable employee benefits to all.

If you or your spouse has read or seen the new novel “Meternity,” you might find the premise unrealistic – if not completely ridiculous. The book’s author, Meghann Foye believes women who choose not to have children should still receive paid time off during their child-bearing years. She wrote a novel exploring what might happen if a 30-something worker faked a pregnancy to claim her “meternity” leave. “[A]s I watched my friends take their real maternity leaves, I saw that spending three months detached from their desks made them much more sure of themselves,” Foye writes in the NY Post.

But rather than revealing how unfair maternity leave is to childless workers, the book, in fact, succeeds to showcase the shortcomings in minimum employee benefits across the board. And the insurance industry is in a good space to help HR directors and CEO solve these problems.

Current Disability Benefits Law in NY

In New York, employees currently file for maternity leave under disability benefits law, which entitles new mothers to receive up to $170 per week for 26 weeks, maximum. Depending on their salary, this amount may be much lower, as DBL is calculated as 50 percent of the claimant’s average weekly pay. Many parents can’t afford this level of pay cut, so choose to stay home only 12 weeks; most day care facilities accept children as young as three months, but not younger than that.

With the introduction of federal mandatory Paid Family Leave benefits next year, maternity packages will be more enticing. But for now, creating fair maternity leave policies – as well as equitable benefits packages for the rest of their employees – is in the hands of business owners.

Enriched DBL Gives Mothers and Babies the Time They Deserve Until Paid Family Leave Goes Into Effect

Do working moms really get better employee benefits?
Employers have the choice to offer more than the minimum DBL coverage. An enriched DBL package in New York can bring the percentage of benefits closer to the employee’s salary. Enriched DBL could mean new parents — today, two years before PFL goes into effect — may not have to cut corners as much at a time when their living expenses increased because they had to add the cost of diapers, baby products, and additional medical coverage and care to the family budget.

Enriched DBL also makes it possible for new mothers to take their full 26 weeks, going back to work when the baby is six months old instead of just three. Of course, it’s not like babies are self-sufficient at this age, but they are more interactive and many are sleeping through the night – which makes getting up in the morning to go to work that much easier from a physical perspective.

Enhancing Your Other Employee Benefit Packages

But let’s get back to that book that casts a resentful eye on working mothers everywhere. Certainly, some employees do feel resentment toward working parents, but anyone who has friends who are working moms – or who has ever had a conversation with a mom about work/life balance – knows it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.

Parents don’t look forward to missing days of work due to children’s illnesses or leaving early for school meetings. In fact, they begin to fear their job security and it can make it harder for them to get ahead in a competitive workplace.

However, as we all know in the business world, appearance and perception matters. If your other employees harbor resentment toward members of your workforce, it’s time to make a change.

Short of providing a paid sabbatical to childless workers, ask them what kind of benefits they’d prefer. Maybe it’s a better retirement plan. Or group life insurance coverage for themselves and a spouse. Maybe your employees are unhappy with their health care coverage and would like ancillary benefits like dental and vision.

Bundled with enriched DBL coverage in New York, these benefits become very affordable. Talk to your insurance broker or contact The DBL Center, today, and we will connect you with a trusted partner who can help.


Ancillary Benefits: Top 3 Easy Up-sells for Insurance Agents to Earn More Commission

Ancillary Benefits More Commission

How Ancillary Benefits Like Dental Insurance, Group Life / AD&D, and Disability Coverage Will Make Your Customers Happy

With the profound effects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on the insurance industry, smart insurance agents are looking to ancillary benefit sales to make up for lost profits and earn more commission with less work. (Let’s be honest… isn’t that an ideal scenario for everyone?)

The fact is, few people – from insurance agents to HR directors and small business owners – are happy with the side effects of the ACA. Benefits have been reduced, deductibles raised, and out-of-pocket expenses for both businesses and their employees have gone up. Insurance agents, employees, and business owners are getting less for more.

Fortunately, long-term disability coverage (in the form of NYS DBL coverage, NJ TDB insurance, and Hawaii TDI) as well as ancillary benefits like Dental and Group Life/AD&D insurance are helping business owners and HR directors make up for the benefits loss in other ways, enabling them to continue to recruit and retain top talent, while allowing insurance agents to earn additional income.

Through our best-in-class carriers, The DBL Center offers a variety of ancillary products and enhanced disability benefits packages that make it easy for insurance agents to upsell to existing customers.

Dental Insurance

In a recent survey, 68 percent of employees polled about benefits wanted dental coverage.

Yet, fewer than half of small-to-midsize businesses offer this benefit, says DBL Center Partner Michael Cohen. Since a healthy smile can also lead to greater success, especially in organizations with a heavy emphasis on sales, dental coverage represents a win-win-win for employers, their employees, and the insurance agents who sell dental insurance as part of an ancillary benefits package.

Long-Term Disability Coverage

The coverage goes by different names in different states but, whatever the name, enhanced disability coverage provides more than the state mandated maximum for income replacement if an employee is injured, ill, or gives birth. (This is not to be confused with the new Paid Family Leave coverage New York is phasing in through 2021, which provides paid time off after the birth or adoption / fostering of a child, or to care for an aging loved one).

It’s easy to see why this is a “win” for insurance carriers, because the claims are less frequent than, for instance, medical or dental coverage, and end after a specified time period. From an insurance agent’s perspective, you can offer your customers a lot of additional coverage for a small amount of money so they can see that it’s a good investment. Tiered plans give executives – the decision-makers when it comes to purchasing benefits plans – the greatest amounts of coverage.

Group Life / AD&D Coverage
Another popular “upsell” for insurance agents who are already offering their customers health care and disability coverage, life insurance policies can offer substantial coverage with a low, pre-tax investment. Again, tiered plans give executives the best coverage available. Employers can choose to match employee contributions, or simply offer low out-of-pocket premiums to employees.

Consultative Selling: The Key to Higher Commission

Adding these ancillary benefits and enhanced disability coverage to your existing policies isn’t hard using a consultative selling approach. By offering top-level, white glove service to your customers through The DBL Center’s back office, you’ll solidify the trust they have in you. From there, you can review the best benefits packages and make recommendations that fit your client’s unique needs, based on the demographics of their employees and their individual needs.

Customize packages for your clients with the ancillary benefits their employees want. Let The DBL Center help you now.