As insurance brokers, it’s your job to deliver the benefits your customers and their employees need, including packages that will help employers recruit and retain top workers. With remote work on the rise, employers have an endless talent pool to draw from as geographic location now matters less than it used to. And employee benefits have become more important than ever when it comes to attracting and retaining top talent.
A survey from Prudential Insurance revealed that 52% of employees would leave their job for one with what they deemed the “right” benefits. And 77% said benefits represent a “key part” of a compensation package.
But what benefits do employees want most during a pandemic?
Health insurance remains important, of course, with 86% of employees calling it a “must have.” But dental, vision, and disability coverage now rank in top spots, as well. Respectively, 69%, 41%, and 41% of survey respondents said they require these ancillary benefits.
But there’s another benefit that’s also topping many lists: Group Life / AD&D coverage. “Here in The DBL Center office,” says The DBL Center President and CEO Michael Cohen, “we’re getting more calls than we ever have to bundle Group Life / AD&D with other lines of coverage. The pandemic has put everybody in touch with their own mortality and they want to make sure their loved ones are taken care of if something happens.”
Insurance companies across the country noticed a spike in life insurance policy sales in the beginning of the second quarter of 2020, that hasn’t waned as we entered 2021. Haven Life Insurance Agency, a company owned by carrier MassMutual, reported a 34% increase in term life policies sold in the second and third quarters of 2020 versus the same time frame in 2019. Northwestern Mutual reported a 15% increase in policies sold between April and September 2020 versus the same time period in 2019. LIMRA, a financial industry organization, saw a 2% increase in policies sold industrywide, according to CNBC.
Industry experts told CNBC that the last time they saw a spike like this was in the days and weeks following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Insurance industry reps told CNBC they saw the largest spike in term life insurance policies, especially for younger workers. But for many employees, group policies can provide affordable coverage without a medical exam.
Insurers cannot deny claims due to COVID, although premiums may rise in the future as an effect of low interest rates and high claims – much like they did in the P&C insurance industry after claims rose due to Hurricane Sandy.
Your smartest customers will want to offer their employees a voluntary or shared-cost Group Life / AD&D policy now, rather than waiting until rates rise. Only 60% of businesses currently offer Group Life / AD&D, so there is a tremendous market to tap.
Adding Group Life / AD&D to existing customers’ policies can help offset the losses insurance brokers experienced with so many small business owners closing permanently due to the pandemic. Employers can opt to share premiums costs with employees or choose a 100% employee-funded voluntary group plan.
Like enriched DBL coverage in New York, Group Life /AD&D coverage favors high-level executives and business owners when you choose a tiered plan. Executives in the top tier enjoy reasonable premiums, while coverage is based on basic annual earnings, so your top earners have a higher coverage cap.
You can read more about Group Life / AD&D and see a sample tiered plan here.
“It’s been a challenging year for brokers, and I don’t want to look at this as a silver lining,” Cohen says. “But it took a pandemic for people to realize how important life insurance coverage is for preserving their legacy and making life a little easier for their loved ones in case the unthinkable happens.”
It’s now the insurance broker’s role to point employers and their workers in the right direction to coverage that will meet their needs, scale as their family or standard-of-living grows and give them the peace-of-mind to focus on what really matters today.
by Dawn Allcot
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.