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?
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?
by Dawn Allcot
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?
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.
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.
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
ancillary benefits to your disability insurance customers is like leaving money on the table.
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.
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.
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, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Are you an insurance broker who has seen your commissions drop due to the Affordable Care Act and health insurance providers’ new policies? Struggling with falling commissions and uncertainty about the future of the industry, two years ago 49 percent of insurance brokers were thinking about leaving the industry, while 67 percent said they knew someone who had, according to the Aflac Workforces Report for Brokers.
Finding Profits in Ancillary Benefits
But for those who stayed the course,. Your customers will love ancillary benefits like vision, dental, life, and enhanced disability insurance because it gives them an “extra” to provide to their employees in the face of healthcare cuts. And you will like ancillary benefits for the added commissions and multi-line discounts that make it easier for you to purchase these products from one carrier, saving your customers money and streamlining paperwork and administrative costs for you.
Consultative Selling: The Key to Ancillary Benefits Sales
But it’s important to remember these benefits don’t sell themselves, and a consultative approach is a proven method to closing more deals. Rather than the traditional features-and-benefits approach, consultative selling is a more active sales technique. Initially, it may take some time to establish trust and get your customers onboard with your recommendations. But once you’ve established that relationship, it’s easy to sell them the ancillary benefits to meet their needs and budget and nurture the relationship through continued service.
How To Shift to Consultative Selling
Consultative selling focuses on identifying your client’s needs and choosing the solution that meets those needs best. “Consultative selling means brokers will need to show that they have a high level of knowledge about the product,” writes Jeff Kolesar in an article published at LifeHealthPro.com. “That knowledge will create a bond between the buyer and seller allowing brokers to recommend ancillary options once the big medical decision has been made.”
Although healthcare insurance has become difficult and complicated to sell, ancillary benefits haven’t changed in recent years. The options remain straightforward and profitable. It’s all a matter of learning about the different carrier choices and finding the bundled plan that appeals to each customer. With that difficult step done, the insurance sells itself because your client already trusts your recommendation. But how do you get to that point when you’re already strapped for time and trying to make bigger insurance sales, faster? That’s where your insurance wholesaler comes in.
It’s All About the Service
Consultative selling is all about the service you provide as a knowledgeable insurance consultant (hence the name…) for your customers. In his article on ancillary benefits, Kolesar writes, “I recommend leveraging your carrier expertise, where possible. If brokers are strapped for time, they should partner with a carrier that’s equipped to step in and answer questions.”
At DBL Center Ltd., we provide the knowledge of not just one, but multiple carriers, so you can give your customers more options and better prices. We serve as your back office, shopping the various carriers to find the best plans to offer your customers. We share our knowledge. You establish trust through that knowledge and then sell the products. We all win. Your customers get the ancillary benefits they want, we provide white-glove service, and you cash the big commission checks.
Start cashing larger commission checks right away with ancillary benefits:
Get the white glove service you deserve with DBL Center Ltd.