How Ancillary Benefits Can Reduce Stress to Improve Employee Productivity

Financial stress affects every aspect of an employees’ life, including their work performance. When employees feel as if they aren’t prepared if illness or injury strikes, their health, and workplace productivity suffers. Employees spend an average of 13 hours per month worrying about money while they’re at work, according to a study by Mercer.

In a recent survey, finance website Bankrate discovered that 60% of Americans don’t have enough cash to cover a $1,000 surprise expense. But even middle managers and top talent in the New York Tri-state are not immune to the fear of bankruptcy or a personal financial crisis should an illness or injury occur.

Insurance brokers are uniquely equipped to solve this pain point for business owners, HR departments, and employees. At the same time, successfully conveying the advantages of a robust benefits package to your customers can help you expand your book of business and increase commissions with existing customers.

A robust ancillary benefits package can help eliminate financial stress for employees, which, in turn, can improve their productivity, reduce sick days, and enhance their creativity and problem-solving abilities.

Ultimately, the right benefits can help create better employees.

The Link Between Employee Health and a Good Benefits Package

Finances, health, and work performance are intrinsically linked. Enriched DBL, along with ancillary benefits, can give New York workers peace-of-mind, knowing they have a safety net in place if they become ill, injured, or even need expensive emergency dental care.

New York State did the right thing for families with a PFL policy that is, currently, the best in the nation. Now it’s in the best interests of business owners to enhance their other benefits packages to make sure all employees have access to the resources they need to help them stay productive as well.

The Right Benefits Package Retains Top Performers

A robust ancillary benefits package, including vision, and dental benefits, can help recruit and retain employees while reducing overall living costs for employees to reduce their financial stress. It can also reduce an employer’s bottom line as an investment in ancillary benefits as part of a package that includes enriched DBL often costs less than employees’ raises.

In fact, many ancillary benefits are voluntary and employee-funded and employers can choose to have employees cover part or all of the premium. Employees have the option to dramatically reduce their out-of-pocket costs on necessary expenses using pre-tax dollars, and employers pay nothing.

For brokers, this makes ancillary benefits an easy sell. And, with DBL Center as your back office staff, benefits administration is easy, too.

What benefits should your customers include in their ancillary benefits packages?

Dental and vision are a good start, offering tremendous bang for the buck for most employees.

The Case for Dental and Vision Coverage

As you create an ancillary benefits package for your customers, consider these statistics about eye care in the U.S.:

    Approximately 75% of all adults in the U.S. wear glasses or contact lenses to correct vision problems, according to the Vision Council of America
    Eye exams cost an average of $114
    Prescription eyeglasses cost an average of $196
    Contact lenses cost wearers an average of $220 to $260 annually

If more than one person in the family needs vision correction and the costs add up. Yet only 35% of employers offer vision coverage. It’s easy to see how your customers can stand out by offering voluntary vision benefits.

Similarly, the average family of four could spend $2,162 on dental care per year without insurance. Nearly 60% of Americans don’t visit the dentist often enough due to the cost, according to some sources.

However, 77% of Americans do have dental coverage, with 90% of those plans offered by employers. It’s important to offer dental coverage to keep pace with your competitors and retain talent.

Insurance Brokers Can Help Create Happy, Healthy, Engaged Employees

Especially as healthcare costs continue to rise, ancillary benefits can play an important role in reducing out-of-pocket costs for employees and employers, alike. And reducing employees’ financial stress can help businesses perform better, with more active and engaged workers.

Brokers should speak to HR directors about developing a robust benefits package that can help keep employees happy, healthy, and engaged.

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Are You Selling DBL Coverage and Ancillary Benefits to Your Customers Who Need It?

Coastal Insurance offers tips to expand your book of business with strategic cross-selling of home insurance, DBL coverage, and ancillary products

By David Clausen, Coastal Insurance

If you’re like most P&C brokers, NYS DBL and NJ TDB insurance aren’t your only niches. Most brokers sell a variety of lines, whether it’s healthcare, business insurance, or personal lines of coverage like home insurance.

But you may not be thinking of ways to cross-sell your lines to expand your book of business and increase your commissions without cold calls or prospecting for new clients.

When you get in the habit of consultative selling, which includes getting to know your customers, their businesses, and additional insurance needs they may have, you’ll discover avenues to increased profits.

Mandatory coverage like workers’ compensation and NYS DBL coverage, along with enriched DBL, provide excellent upsell opportunities. Many business owners don’t realize they need this coverage even if they only have a few employees. Even if they know about statutory DBL coverage, they may not recognize the opportunities available with enriched DBL and ancillary benefits.

As their trusted insurance broker, you can help make sure they are protected from nearly any contingency. Chances are, you are already taking some of these steps. But are you closing the deal?

These tips, garnered from years of experience selling home insurance and other personal and business lines to Long Island-based customers, can help you expand your book of business.

1. Look for opportunities to upsell complementary insurance lines by getting to know your customers.

In Coastal’s niche market of home insurance for high-net-worth homeowners, many of our best clients also own their own businesses. This means they need workers’ compensation insurance and statutory disability coverage in New York State.

Ask your customers, “Who is currently writing your statutory DBL coverage?” to uncover opportunities.

With the introduction of Paid Family Leave as a rider to DBL, they might be looking to shop their policy around, since some carriers have stopped providing DBL.

2. Don’t forget about your customers who hire domestic employees.

Most Coastal customers who aren’t business owners are c-level executives, celebrities, and other high-net-worth individuals who may hire domestic employees to help run their households. A lot of people don’t know that workers’ compensation and NYS DBL coverage is mandatory in New York for full-time domestic employees or for domestic employees who live in your home, even if they don’t work a full 40-hour week.

This includes nannies, au pairs, housekeepers, gardeners, chefs, drivers, personal assistants, and anyone else who works for an individual. Even if people may treat their nannies or housekeepers like family, the State of New York classifies them as domestic workers or residence employees – and they need to be insured as such.

There can be hefty fines for failing to provide the proper insurance coverage for domestic workers, not to mention the liability if an employee gets hurts on the job. Brokers are doing a service to their customers by letting them know what employee coverage is required.

As with any job, providing ancillary benefits to domestic workers can also help improve retention rates and reduce sick time.

3. Discuss the potential for ancillary benefits.

Whether your customers are business owners seeking to hire the best employees, or individuals with a team of domestic help, they may not have considered ancillary benefits as a low-cost way to recruit and retain employees.

Benefits like Group Life, vision, and dental coverage are still highly sought after by workers. In a Harvard Business Review study, 88 percent of employees said they would consider accepting a job with a lower salary if the position had better health, dental, and vision benefits than the job with the higher pay.

Explore these possibilities with your customers, and they will look to you as a trusted business resource rather than just someone selling insurance products.

4. Educate your customers about enriched DBL.

NYS DBL coverage provides a bare minimum to help an employee who is ill or injured (while not on the job). DBL pays out just 50 percent of an employee’s salary up to $170 per week for 26 weeks.
Enriched DBL is a powerful retention tool for middle managers who exceed the maximum payout but may not have private disability insurance or a savings account to help get them through a medical emergency.

With the introduction of Paid Family Leave as a rider to DBL coverage in New York, many employers are looking to enrich DBL benefits in order to provide coverage comparable to PFL for employees who don’t have, or plan to have, families or may want a robust benefits package for themselves.

PFL was the big news in the insurance industry in 2018, but many people still aren’t aware of the policy changes. Stay on the forefront, educate your customers, and they will trust you to write their policies for personal and business insurance.

5. Offer the best rates by bundling coverage.

When you take advantage of The DBL Center’s carrier relationships, you can bundle lines to provide your customers with the best rates for DBL, ancillary benefits, and more.

Why would they go to any other broker if you’ve positioned yourself as a one-stop-shop for their business and personal lines of insurance coverage?


Are You Profiting from Insurance for Non Profit Organizations?

Follow these tips to grow your book of business in the nonprofit insurance sector

More than 1.5 million non profit organizations are registered in the U.S., says the National Center for Charitable statistics. And they all need nonprofit insurance coverage.

With 20.3 million people living in the New York Tri-State area, it’s safe to say a proportionate number of those non profits are based right here. And, just like your small business and large corporate customers, they are looking for low premiums, high-quality insurance coverage, and stellar service from their non profit insurance brokers.

Employee Benefits Help Compensate for Lower Pay

Non profit workers are traditionally paid less than their counterparts at for-profit companies. Owners of non profit organizations must tread carefully because they could face fines if the IRS deems their employees’ salaries “excessive.” Not only do nonprofits have less money to pay out—because their funding comes from supporter donations—but employers opt to err on the side of caution with employee salaries.

In order to find the best people to help them achieve their mission, non profits must look at other ways to attract and retain top employees. And that’s where insurance for non profit organizations comes in, especially when you are talking about enriched DBL and ancillary benefits. Most non profits have smaller operating budgets than corporations, including less money to pay out for employer-funded benefits like healthcare. But voluntary, employee-funded benefits like group life, vision, and dental coverage deliver great value at a low cost to employees.

Why You Should Consider Selling Insurance for Non Profit Organizations

Non profits go beyond foundations and mission-specific charitable organizations. They may include hospitals and universities, and other important business-oriented organizations with large teams and hefty operating costs.

Not only can non profits be a valuable sector by themselves, but selling not for profit insurance can also attract local business leads and new clients when your non profit customers spread the word to their members and volunteers about the service you deliver. Local networking groups such as your Chamber of Commerce, Lions’ Clubs, and Kiwanis are all non profit organizations.

Are you ready to start selling insurance for non profit organizations?

4 Easy Steps to Selling Insurance for Non Profit Organizations

To successfully sell not for profit insurance benefits, you need to understand what motivates the employees. Value-driven millennials often seek work with non profit organizations, because they want a career that makes a difference in the world along with providing a paycheck.

Employees are often willing to accept less pay because the intrinsic benefits of the job win out in the end. But, once reality sets in and the rent comes due, top talent may quickly be recruited away with promises of a hefty salary, ancillary benefits, and exciting perks in the corporate world.

A non profit may not be able to match a Fortune 500 in terms of pay. But non profit insurance brokers can offer something equal in intrinsic value and help organizations recruit and retain top talent by following these four steps.

  1. Research the mission and values of the organization.

Any good salesperson knows how it important it is to understand your audience. And the non profit group tends to be passionate about their beliefs. If you are working with an animal rights organization, for instance, mention your family pets you adopted from a rescue.

If you are working with an organization that supports eco-tourism,, and can off-handedly mention your Prius, they will understand you are aligned with their values. They will also love the efficiency of getting nonprofit insurance quotes online, without the hassles of paperwork.

Once you’ve made that personal connection, how do you make the leap to insurance products? By tapping into what’s important to non profit employees, you can show them the employee benefits that will help enhance their lifestyle by saving them money.

  1. Sell employees on the lifestyle benefits.

Millennials — especially those who choose to work for non profits—treasure a work/life balance and want to make a difference at work and at play. Saving money on dental and vision costs may free up cash so they can travel more, for instance, or adopt another pet from the animal rescue.

A good life insurance policy will provide peace of mind to employees starting a family. And a 401K will give them the financial freedom they need to continue supporting their favorite causes, through donations or volunteerism, into their retirement.

  1. Educate employers about the advantages of low-cost ancillary benefits.

Recruiting and retention is a major challenge for executives in the non profit sector. Smaller organizations may not have an HR director who understands the specifics of employee benefits packages, how they are structured, or what’s available.

They need a non profit insurance broker they can trust to explain how ancillary benefits can be bundled with mandatory coverage for maximum savings, and how these benefits can be used as important recruiting and retention tools to keep top talent.

  1. Make sure employees and employers understand exactly what they’re getting, how much money it can save them, and how it can enhance their lives.

Don’t assume anyone in the organization understands the value of employee benefits. Hold a lunch-and-learn seminar, make information available on your website, let employers and their employees, alike, know you are available for questions.

Bottom line: Making insurance for non profit organizations part of your book of business involves a large amount consultative selling. Make sure prospective clients understand that these are employee-funded, voluntary benefits that cost very little compared to the money they will save over their lives.


How You (and Your Customers) Can Benefit from a Company Census

Some carriers may require a company census in the future for DBL coverage. Here’s why it’s worth your customers’ time to complete one now.

If you are a broker who sells ancillary benefits such as life, dental, and vision coverage, you are already familiar with the paperwork required to complete a company census. Your customers have to submit a company census showing the number of employees, their ages, genders, and salaries.

Now, with the introduction of Paid Family Leave, some insurance carriers may require a company census for their DBL insurance, too.

Even if it isn’t required by your carrier, having an accurate and up-to-date census can benefit brokers and their customers, alike, resulting in money savings for customers and increased opportunities for brokers to cross-sell ancillary benefits with DBL coverage. Read on to find out how.

Benefits of a Company Census

With a census in hand, business owners will receive more accurate insurance rates that are based on the exact head count of covered employees. They won’t overpay for their insurance coverage, which can enable the company to better manage cash flow without tying up funds needlessly.

And if you have to break the bad news that their insurance premiums will go up slightly, at least your commission will rise proportionately. They will now be paying for the actual coverage they are receiving, which is difficult for any business person to argue.

How to Use The Company Census As the Doorway to Ancillary Coverage

With a company census for each one of your customers in hand, it is easy to request a quote for ancillary coverage through the DBL Center. In order to accurately quote ancillary coverage, you need the census. Now that your customers have that information, you can show them how affordable it can be to sweeten their employee benefits package with group life, vision, or dental coverage.

If you’ve already shown your customers you can save them money on their DBL and PFL, now you can show them how to take that extra money and invest it into ancillary policies that will make all their employees happy, build loyalty, and help attract top talent.

Making Time to Complete the Census

For small business owners, completing a census shouldn’t take much time at all. They can delegate the task to an office manager or set aside a few hours to gather the information from their employees. It could even be as fast as sending out a company-wide email.
For larger corporations with more than 50 lives, and even up to thousands of employees, gathering census data will, admittedly, take more time. But the cost savings could really add up for larger companies.

Once the census data is in place, it doesn’t take long to update it, annually, with new employees and to remove employees who no longer work for the company.

“It makes sense to calculate accurate insurance premiums based on the actual number of lives in a company and can result in cost savings for customers,” says DBL Center’s Selena Kutschera. “It also makes it easier for brokers to get an accurate quote in order to enrich their customers’ benefits packages with ancillary benefits.”

How To Get Started

Pinpoint a few customers, especially corporations over 50 lives, who would benefit the most from a census and be most amenable to ancillary benefits if it was fast and easy to get a price quote. If carriers begin requiring a census for DBL coverage with a PFL rider, these customers will have the information in hand.

“Filling out census forms for more accurate insurance billing is new and unfamiliar to many brokers,” says Kutschera. “But the DBL Center is here to help our brokers and their customers complete a company census. It’s also important to remember that this a one-time-only process that will allow the carrier to better serve brokers and their customers.”


3 Ways DBL Insurance Opens Doors for P&C Brokers

New York business owners need more than just DBL insurance coverage

The DBL insurance industry recently experienced a shake-up when New York State passed a law requiring mandatory Paid Family Leave coverage, to be written as a rider to NYS DBL policies. Several carriers exited the DBL insurance market because they didn’t want to write PFL riders, which left many brokers looking to replace their DBL policies.

Brokers had two choices: Lose the DBL business or leave their existing carriers to write DBL insurance policies elsewhere. DBL Center brokers who relied on DBL Center as their back-office staff were able to move those DBL policies with ease, impress their customers, and strengthen their position in the marketplace.

DBL Policies Open Doors

These brokers found that DBL insurance policies open doors to more business. This has always been true, but it’s even more relevant now, in 2018, when fewer carriers are writing DBL insurance coverage.

If you are the broker who can write these policies for New York State business owners, provide exemplary service, and build trust with your customers, they will come to you for all their insurance needs.

For P&C brokers, DBL insurance can act as your foot in the door, giving you the chance to write high-commission policies like home, auto or even umbrella policies for business owners and their employees.

Let’s look at some of the opportunities available to P&C brokers to expand their book of business with new and existing DBL insurance customers.

1. Smart business owners will consider expanding employee benefits packages with ancillary lines of coverage.

We’ve talked in-depth about enriching DBL coverage in light of the new PFL law. But business owners can also improve employee retention with ancillary benefits such as vision, dental, and life insurance.

The DBL Center can provide a discounted benefits package when you bundle these ancillary lines with an enriched DBL package, allowing you to provide your customers with even more value.

2. Business owners will rely on someone they can trust to write their personal insurance policies.

In addition to business insurance and employee benefits, business owners also need insurance for their personal assets. As an insurance broker, you know that many business owners possess one or more of the following: high-value homes, vacation homes, automobiles, recreational vehicles, or boats.

Once you’ve established trust as their broker of choice for mandatory DBL insurance or enriched DBL coverage, it’s easy to ask your business customers if they’d like a quote on an umbrella policy to cover their home/auto and other possessions requiring insurance. They might also consider purchasing life insurance through your brokerage.

Most consumers understand that when they do business through one company, they can get the best deals and preferred service as a loyal customer. It’s your job, as their broker, to remind them about your other insurance lines and the savings you can offer them. A new sale and a large commission check could be just that easy.

3. Business owners may refer their employees to you for their personal insurance coverage.

Not only do business owners have cars, homes, and boats to insure, so do many of their employees. What if you could earn referrals from your biggest accounts, just by providing excellent service and low rates to the owner of the company? You can increase your commission checks by writing homeowners’ insurance, auto insurance, umbrella policies, renters’ insurance, or whole- or term-life insurance policies.

More Than Just DBL Insurance

In New York, DBL Center specializes in DBL, PFL and ancillary benefits. We couldn’t tell you how to sell your P&C lines or where to go for the best rates.

But we can remind you that almost every business owner needs DBL coverage. And with our back-office staff providing white-glove service, as well as our new Net Revenue Tracker app giving you fast, convenient access to all your accounts, we make it easy for you to sell DBL and maintain your DBL accounts.

By doing so, the DBL Center opens doors for you to expand your book of business with the lines that you know best such as health, life, home and auto insurance and umbrella policies.

Need more information about DBL and PFL? Need tips on marketing DBL insurance coverage? We are here to help. Give us a call at (631) 293.5100 or get a quick quote now.


FSA v. HSA v. Ancillary Benefits: Which Should Employers Choose?

DBL Center explores FSA v. HSA v. ancillary benefits so you can help your customers make informed choices

If you or your employees have a flexible spending account (FSA) you may be scrambling to spend that money before it expires. That’s one of the main differences in an FSA v. HSA v. ancillary benefits package. Your FSA expires at year-end. (Although, in some cases, that deadline is extended to mid-March.)

Whatever benefits package you have, healthcare is expensive. When you factor in the costs or co-pays of prescription medicines, doctor’s visit co-pays, not to mention vision and dental costs or co-pays, plus the actual cost of healthcare coverage, the average person spent $10,345 in healthcare in 2016. FSA, HSA, or ancillary benefits packages can help defray some of those costs.

When comparing FSA v. HSA v. ancillary benefits, each has advantages for certain people. If you’re an employer interested in offering the most robust benefits package to your employees, combine ancillary benefits that include dental benefits and vision benefits with an FSA to pay other costs, not ordinarily covered by insurance, with pre-tax dollars.

When you’re looking at the differences in FSA v. HSA v. ancillary benefits, one of the biggest drawbacks to an FSA is it expires at year’s end.

Let’s sort through the other differences in FSA v. HSA v. ancillary benefits to better understand employee benefits available. As a broker, you’ll be armed with the knowledge to guide your customers toward the best ancillary benefits package to improve employee loyalty and morale.

What Is An FSA?

An FSA, or flexible spending account, is a pre-tax savings account you can use to pay for a variety of expenses related to health and wellness and, in some cases, dependent care.

The employer withdraws a set amount of money, pre-tax, and provides employees with a debit card to purchase any items or services covered by the FSA. The list includes a number of surprising items, including co-pays, prescription and over-the-counter medicine, childcare, and even items such as bandages and sunscreen.

If you don’t spend the money in the account by the deadline (typically December 31 or March 15), you could lose it, although some plans let you roll up to $500 into the next year.

FSA Advantages:

  • You can use the money for a variety of health-related expenses, including childcare
  • Money is deducted from your paycheck, pre-tax
  • You may also be able to use it to pay for childcare

FSA Disadvantages:

  • Use the money or lose it
  • No employer matching contributions

What Is an HSA?

An HSA, or a health savings account, is often confused with an FSA. But a Health Savings Account is available only to individuals enrolled in a high-deductible health plan (HDHP). The idea is that the health savings plan can help cover the deductible cost with pre-tax dollars. HSA money can also pay health-related expenses not covered by your insurance, such as vision or dental costs.

Unlike an FSA, you can deduct money from your HSA for other reasons, but you will pay tax on that money, including an additional 20 percent tax penalty.

HSA Advantages:

  • For people with a high-deductible health care plan, an HSA helps ensure they have money available for doctor’s visits and other medical expenses
  • You can withdraw the money at any time for any reason, but you might pay a penalty
  • The HSA does not expire

HSA Disadvantages:

  • Not available to everyone
  • You’ll pay a tax penalty for using the money for non-eligible costs

What Are Ancillary Benefits?

If you’ve read this far, you understand why an FSA or HSA is not always the best option employers can provide to their workers.

Ancillary benefits, including vision and dental benefits, work like any other insurance plan. Employees pay the premium with pre-tax money deducted from their paychecks and the insurance benefits pay for things like check-ups, corrective lenses, or dental work. In some cases, the employee might have to pay a co-pay.

Most ancillary benefits are completely employee-funded, which means the employer has no added costs. Ancillary benefits are enticing to employees because it’s like money in the bank with no risks involved.

Advantages of Ancillary Benefits:

  • No out-of-pocket costs to the employer
  • Voluntary benefits means employees can choose their coverage
  • Low premiums and high payouts, especially for employees with families
  • Healthier employees are happy employees; with good coverage, employees won’t put off important dental work or eye exams

Which Is Better: FSA v. HSA v. Ancillary Benefits – The Answer

Brokers, if your customers ask you, “Which is better: FSA v. HSA v. ancillary benefits?” we encourage you to share this post with them and guide them toward the best conclusion. Flex spending accounts have their place, but as people rush to spend the money in their account this month, it might be a good time to show your customers a better, less frustrating way to pay for common dental and vision expenses.

You can add an ancillary benefits package to any enriched DBL account when the policy renews this winter. Let the DBL Center help as your white-glove, back-office team to help the process go smoothly.


Autumn Brings Changes, New Hires for DBL Center

Photo credit: Lucienne Mannino, Digital Mix DJ Entertainment

Autumn is approaching and, here at The DBL Center, it’s one of our favorite times of the year. Autumn on Long Island is absolutely beautiful, with so much to do. Baseball season comes to a climactic ending with the pennant race heating up and the promise of post-season play. (We don’t want to talk about the Mets, but will the Yankees make it?) Football season begins. Weekends at the wineries on the East End are a perfect way to relax with family and friends. Fall festivals bring fun for all ages.

Autumn is also the time of harvest – when hard work comes to fruition to create a bounty. This is definitely what’s happening at The DBL Center this year. Our efforts of the first three quarters combined with legislation changes have resulted in tremendous growth for our business and expanded commission opportunities for our brokers across the country —especially here in New York and New Jersey.

PFL Is Here
If you’ve been reading our blog and newsletter, you’ve no doubt heard about the changes to Paid Family Leave. NOW, this autumn, is the time, if you haven’t already started, to educate your customers about this mandatory insurance. PFL coverage is written as a rider to existing DBL policies in New York, and employers are permitted to begin withholding to pay the premiums. If you haven’t begun discussing coverage options—and suggesting enriched DBL as an additional policy upgrade—now is the time.

As part of our expanded marketing and outreach efforts, the DBL Center launched a webinar series this autumn to explain this new coverage to our brokers. We have a resource center in the works, and also recently launched a video Q&A with DBL Center President Michael Cohen discussing some surprising facts about PFL that even the most savvy brokers may not know.

The webinar, video and resource center for PFL are just the beginning. We also have plans to launch a PR and marketing campaign designed to educate New York business owners about PFL, which will help our brokers sell the coverage by creating a more knowledgeable audience.

New Hires Help DBL Center Continue to Provide Personalized Service

Our growth initiatives also extend over the bridge into New Jersey. The DBL Center recently hired two new employees to help accommodate our rapid expansion and better serve our brokers. Lori Rose joins The DBL Center to serve our New Jersey brokers as Assistant Vice President of Ancillary Lines. Lori has been in the insurance industry specializing in employee benefits for over 25 years, with expertise in Group Life, Disability, Dental and Vision. We are excited that she is bringing her expertise and passion for insurance sales and service to DBL Center brokers.

In addition, Melissa Bilka has joined The DBL Center team as Benefits Coordinator. A newcomer to the insurance industry, with a degree in Mathematics Education from Long Island University, Melissa will assist our expanding Group Ancillary Department in providing the level of white-glove service our brokers and their clients have come to expect.

DBL Center App Goes Online

The DBL Center has always been on the cutting edge of technology, and as we enter the fourth quarter of 2017, this remains true. In addition to an upgraded database that will streamline operations in-house, we’ve launched our new app that helps our brokers manage their accounts from anywhere they might be working—in the office, at home, or on the road.

Look for Even More from Your Insurance Wholesaler
As we move into what promises to be our most exciting fourth quarter in our 40-year history, we have even more in store to help our brokers with a consultative approach to insurance sales. Stay tuned to our blog and sign up for our newsletter to stay on the forefront of industry developments and learn how to expand your book of business with minimal effort.

And about those Yankees? Through our partnership with Steiner Sports, we can help you set up celebrity appearances or even reward your best customers with once-in-a-lifetime sports experiences this autumn. From PFL to home plate, we’ve got you covered.


Advantages of Working with an Insurance Wholesaler

Are you a property & casualty broker whose products include worker’s compensation insurance, mandatory disability benefits, and ancillary benefits such as dental, vision, or life insurance? Have you considered the benefits of working with an insurance wholesaler?

Do you spend the time to shop each carrier for every client, in order to secure the lowest premiums and best coverage plans for your customers? Or maybe you work with a select group of highClock.jjpg-rated carriers and rely on those insurance providers for the bulk of your business in order to streamline your operations and processes. Have you considered the benefits of working with an insurance wholesaler to gain better access to carriers and provide a higher level of service to your customers? In short, an insurance wholesaler can save you time and help you earn more money.

Save Time and Money with an Insurance Wholesaler

If you’re a P&C broker, working with an insurance wholesaler can help you expand your book of business and increase your commissions while spending less time on every sale. Let’s look at some of the benefits of partnering with an insurance wholesaler to write new business and service and expand existing accounts.

1. An insurance wholesaler provides greater access to a broader choice of carriers.

Now in its 40th year in business, the DBL Center Ltd. works with the top-rated, well-known, highly respected carriers of mandatory disability coverage, group life / AD&D coverage, and ancillary benefits. Each of our carriers has a minimum A- rating (some with A++ ratings) from Standard & Poors, and provides us with the most competitive rates based on our contracts and block of premium that we manage through them, which we in turn offer the brokerage community.

2. Insurance wholesalers have a better, broad knowledge base of the market.

Our account representatives are experts in consultative selling, with a deep understanding of the Statutory and Employee Benefits space, in order to provide your customers and their employees with the best benefits packages and most affordable premiums. We spend time and money on employee training and education, so our account representatives are always up-to-date on the latest trends and industry technology, making it easier for brokers to provide a higher level of service to their customers.

3. An insurance wholesaler does all the legwork—the hard work—so you, as a broker, can focus on attracting new customers and expanding your book of business quickly and easily.

Imagine having a partner you can trust to provide your customers with the best policies and lowest premiums available on everything from state-mandated disability coverage to ancillary benefits such as Life, Long & Short Term Disability, vision and dental coverage. That’s what the DBL Center Ltd. provides. We write every policy through our white-glove, white-label service, so it’s your name and agency number that appears on every form.

We provide the highest level of round-the-clock service to the insured, so you don’t have to spend time on servicing accounts. Send us the necessary information to provide you with a fair quote for your customer, we will bind and write the policy, and you cash the commission check. It really is that easy.

4. We recognize additional opportunities for increased revenue for our brokers.

As the Affordable Care Act reduced health benefits for a number of companies and employees nationwide, Life and Health brokers are in a unique opportunity to bridge that gap with voluntary ancillary benefit policies for workers. P&C brokers are sitting on additional revenue streams, simply by offering these niche products to their commercial clients with the help of an insurance wholesaler to guide them through the process.

The DBL Center Ltd. has been in the business of ancillary benefits, as an offshoot of our disability insurance products, for decades. We are happy to help P&C brokers increase their commissions through the sale of voluntary or employer paid ancillary benefits.

5. We offer training and value-added services to our brokers.

The DBL Center is here to help our brokers every step of the way, because your success is our success. To that end, we provide training resources, mentoring, and information on industry trends, including the articles we post here on this blog every week.

We also provide value-added services, from lining up entertainment for your holiday party to acting as a concierge service if you want to show a top client a once-in-a-lifetime night on the town. Now, thanks to a partnership with Steiner Sports, the number one source for sports memorabilia, with exclusive contracts with many top professional athletes, the DBL Center Ltd. can book celebrity appearances, comedy acts, and other entertainment for corporate events and outings.

Interested in increasing your commission and enhancing the service you provide to customers? Contact The DBL Center 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.