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.


Three Reasons Insurance Brokers Should Add 401K Retirement Plans to Their Offerings

Selling 401K retirement plans to your existing customers is all a matter of trust.

Business owners will buy 401K retirement plans from advisors they trust.

You may have heard about a number of small businesses being sued for their poor choices in 401K retirement plans. Frustrated over high fees, poorly performing funds, and perceived conflicts of interest, employees are suing their employers for the lack of solid retirement savings options.

But not all 401K funds are bad. It’s all about finding a trustworthy 401K advisor.

Many employers are taking a proactive stance and shopping around to offer alternative 401K options to their employees in order to avoid a lawsuit and improve worker satisfaction. In short, they are looking for a benefits expert they can trust to provide 401K funds and other retirement options.

Insurance brokers specializing in DBL coverage and ancillary group benefits have a tremendous opportunity to expand their book of business with 401K retirement plans for small businesses and large corporations. If you’re already practicing consultative selling (which you should be!) you have a large client base of business owners and HR directors who trust your advice.

You don’t have to be a retirement investment expert to provide your customers with funds they can trust. Turn to The DBL Center to help.

1. Don’t lose business to financial advisors.

Employees are suing business owners in class action suits for poorly performing 401Ks, but it’s not a business owner’s job to be a retirement investment expert. It is, however, their responsibility to choose a financial advisor or benefits expert they can trust to offer quality funds that provide their employees with some level of financial security in their retirement. That’s why smart business owners, right now, are seeking investment experts they can trust.

Insurance brokers who do business with The DBL Center can take advantage of our in-house 401K expert to select the best retirement plans for their customers. If a business already trusts you, as a broker, to provide their other benefits, they will trust your choice of retirement funds.

2. Let us do the work while you cash the commission checks.

401K investments present the opportunity for insurance brokers to expand their book of business with a new revenue stream by leveraging their insurance wholesaler’s expertise. You can provide your small business and corporate clients with reliable 401K investments they can trust.

The DBL Center serves as your back-office staff to manage your clients’ investments, while the commission checks go straight to you. Our in-house 401K retirement expert ensures you’re offering your clients plans that meet their needs and their budgets.

3. Shop your clients’ 401K retirement plans and other group benefits at the same time.

While you’re discussing 401K plans with your customers, it’s a good time to shop their other ancillary group benefits to see if you can find a better deal. Business owners might consider upgrading their NYS mandatory DBL coverage to an enriched DBL package, adding vision and dental coverage to their ancillary group benefits, or providing the option of Group Life / AD&D coverage to their employees.

Comprehensive Benefits Packages Attract New Customers, Too

Selling 401K retirement plans to your existing clients is practically a no-brainer with The DBL Center by your side to help.

By positioning your brokerage firm as a comprehensive benefits expert, you can attract new customers looking to provide their employees with a better 401K offering. Take the opportunity to show them the advantages of enriched DBL coverage and ancillary group benefits and grow your business in multiple directions at the same time.

Adding 401K benefits to your offerings? Let The DBL Center help.


“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.