Paid Family Leave became a fact of life in New York very quickly. The statutory benefit, written as a rider to DBL coverage, is ethically responsible and financially needed for New York families. But business owners and brokers weren’t prepared for the mayhem that PFL billing would bring.
I sat down with our President and CEO Michael Cohen so he could explain the challenges of PFL and how DBL Center has found solutions to these challenges for its brokers.
What has been the greatest challenge you’ve faced with PFL?
Once we got past the initial customer education aspects of PFL – letting our brokers and their customers know about this new benefit – we faced the additional hurdle of PFL billing. The New York State government implemented this policy to be phased in over four years, without proper recourse when it comes to giving carriers or brokers the information they need to calculate costs or to bill DBL with a PFL rider correctly.
This has resulted in a higher than normal level of non-pay notifications. New York businesses, large and small, are having their DBL policies cancelled due to billing errors and inconsistencies stemming from this misinformation and miscommunication.
Here at The DBL Center, we are tracking our brokers’ policyholders who are currently in non-pay status, and sharing that information with the broker, so they can fix the issues and increase their book’s retention.
Writing new policies is one thing, but growing a business is not just about how much money you make – it’s about how much money you keep.
Tell us how The DBL Center has stepped in to support brokers and face these challenges around PFL billing?
Behind the scenes, the DBL Center has been working, just as our brokers’ accounting departments have, to find ways to accurately bill PFL.
I began an audit one year ago while coming up with a snapshot of my agency’s statutory book of disability in New York to have a benchmark of what to expect. This put me in a better position to finalize the Broker Dashboard and Net Revenue Tracker, which emanated from the manual methods my father, founder David J. Cohen was using to balance his general ledger.
I realized I could not only turn something antiquated around, but also convert the database we used for our audit into a free Dashboard given to my producers, allowing them to track revenue and policy status for DBL, PFL, and ancillary benefits.
The launch of the dashboard on September 26, 2018 represents an important piece in solving the PFL puzzle.
The Net Revenue Tracker, its more robust companion app, allows brokers to track all policies within their brokerage – not just those purchased through and managed by The DBL Center.
With the PFL rate going up by 24% in January, what can brokers expect in the future?
Quite honestly, if carriers can’t accurately bill PFL, our brokers will be looking at even more unhappy customers when the rate rises.
Our Broker Dashboard provides a solution. In addition to tracking revenue for DBL policies and ancillary benefits, the Broker Dashboard lets brokers know when a policy has been cancelled or is pending cancellation.
Sometimes, the customer has gone out of business, moved out of New York, or decided to move their business to another agency due to no fault of the broker. That’s important information for a broker to be aware of.
For those policies listed as “cancelled for non-payment” or “pending cancellation,” PFL billing errors may be to blame.
So the Broker Dashboard gives producers the information and knowledge they need. Where do they go from there? How can they fix those billing errors to retain their customers?
That’s where DBL Center can help. Thanks to our extensive knowledge of PFL and our relationships with carriers, we can get to the heart of your customers’ PFL problems. We can prevent those policies from cancelling or even have policies reinstated, while helping to preserve important customer relationships.
Your customers trust you. Our brokers can trust DBL Center to navigate PFL until the program starts to run itself, resulting in streams of reliable passive income.
Our Broker Dashboard helps you find out where you’re losing money, and DBL Center’s legendary white-glove service can help you make it right.
Aside from the obvious revenue, why is it so important for brokers to retain their DBL / PFL clients?
We know that implementing PFL hasn’t been the easiest thing our brokers have ever faced. We know this because the DBL Center has been tackling the same challenges. When our brokers make money, we make money. We’re all in this together.
You can continue to look at DBL as either a challenge – or an opportunity.
By continuing to sell DBL and letting DBL Center service the policies through our experienced back-office staff, you have the opportunity to show your customers the true value and worth of relying on your brokerage. Business owners need DBL and PFL coverage. If they don’t get it from you, they will find another broker willing to provide it.
You can use our Broker Dashboard to stay proactive and solve your customers’ PFL problems – potentially even before your policyholder is aware of an issue.
Let DBL Center help you provide your customers with answers to all their PFL billing questions, and you will maintain their trust. They will continue to rely on you for workers’ compensation insurance, major medical, and ancillary lines of coverage.
You’ll watch your bottom line continue to rise as your book of business grows.
It all begins with having the tools on hand to retain your current customers and our Broker Dashboard, combined with our white-glove customer service, can help our brokers stand out from the competition.
Want to learn more about Broker Dashboard and Net Revenue Tracker? Reach out to us now.