As children across the northeast return to classrooms, many for the first time since March 2020, working parents everywhere also settle into new routines. With workplaces now open again and in-person networking events, business lunches, and other opportunities for connection expanding, many insurance brokers’ workdays are shifting to a “new normal.”
It’s the same for us here at The DBL Center, where we are planning in-person meetings and events and looking forward to reconnecting with loyal clients we may not have seen face-to-face in nearly two years.
Whether you’re struggling with a new routine or looking forward to being back in the office, these tips can help.
The pandemic brought many struggles and challenges, but there were also a few bright spots for individuals and businesses for those who knew where to look. For instance, the work-from-home revolution sparked by the pandemic may have actually brought about increased productivity for some workers.
In a January 2021 report, more than 66% of employers said they saw increased productivity amongst their remote workers, while 83% of employees agreed they don’t need to be in the office to be productive. If you’ve noticed you can complete deep focus work better outside the office – especially with the kids at school and not home to interrupt – consider taking one day a week to work from home. You may also offer employees flex-time or remote working hours to garner the same results. You might save money on office overhead costs and create happier, more productive employees.
During the pandemic, businesses also embraced new technologies to stay productive and connected. The DBL Center had just begun distributing a webinar about our Broker Dashboard: Net Revenue Tracker just prior to the pandemic. We ramped up those efforts during the pandemic and we intend to continue that trend to ensure that insurance brokers can access the information they need about the Broker Dashboard in an easy way.
We missed our annual summer soiree the past two years and, of course, our 2020 holiday party. In general, we’ve missed face-to-face connections with our insurance broker community over the past year-and-a-half.
While not everyone is ready for large-scale networking events or even business lunches, make it a point to reach out by phone and gauge the interest of your best clients and closest colleagues to meet in person at some point this fall.
Of course, it’s the small, daily activities that keep your business running full throttle and ready to grow. Stay on top of renewals and cancellations and make it a point to touch base with clients whose policies are up for renewal. If you haven’t taken advantage of our free software, click here to book a demo today.
The workplace is changing and employees are demanding more than ever. See if now is the time to upgrade your clients’ ancillary benefits packages, provide Group Life / AD&D, or introduce them to voluntary worksite benefits and critical illness insurance, which can help alleviate financial burdens if someone is hospitalized or facing high medical bills due to illness or injury.
Our Broker Dashboard makes it easy for you to get into the habit of reaching out to clients facing renewals, as well as track your overall revenue as you grow your book of business.
With a new governor in New York and paid family leave programs gaining traction across the country, the last quarter of 2021 could bring even more changes and opportunities within the statutory insurance industry.
Getting into a routine now can help you act quickly and pivot to embrace opportunities as they open. As always, The DBL Center remains your number one source for information on the statutory insurance industry, DBL in NY, New Jersey TDB, and Paid Family and Medical Leave programs across the U.S.
Read on to learn more about opportunities for statutory insurance brokers now and in the future.
by Michael Cohen
Brokers can profit by providing your customers with the information they need about Paid Family Leave.
Last year, New York State announced new Paid Family Leave regulations to be phased in over four years starting in January 2018.
The regulations would give New York families the best coverage in any state, surpassing even California, which currently has the most generous PFL laws in the country.
To recap what Paid Family Leave provides to employees (from our April blog post, which you can read here):
PFL mandates up to 12 weeks of job-protected, paid leave for all New York employees, regardless of the size of the company, for any of the following reasons:
Draft of PFL Regulations Released
Yesterday, the State of New York governor’s office published an important press release outlining developments in the PFL law, as well as a draft of parts of the new PFL regulations. The regulations are now in an important, 45-day pubic commenting period, so changes can still be made. One of our top carriers, Shelterpoint, compiled the regulations in an easy to read format.
Local Change Sets an Example for the Nation
Described as the “nation’s strongest and most comprehensive Paid Family Leave policy,” the policy seeks to support our state’s working families. While past presidential administrations, both Republican and Democrat, have touted support for women and families, the fact is, the U.S. has failed when it comes to putting the legislation in place to support parents and other caregivers.
New York’s PFL policy, like those of California, Rhode Island, and New Jersey, creates a benchmark for other states to follow in providing families with the financial support they need when caring for children and the elderly, and to assist military families in their times of need.
What PFL Means to New York Insurance Brokers
PFL is mandated insurance coverage, just like NYS DBL. Employers will be turning to their DBL insurance providers for the information they need. Obviously, writing PFL policies represents another stream of revenue for brokers—and because it’s mandatory, it’s an easy sell. Your customers know and trust you. They will come to you with questions. It’s important to be prepared with the right answers.
That’s where The DBL Center comes in. We are your back-office for insurance sales and service, including DBL, ancillary benefits, and now, PFL coverage.
What We Know Right Now About PFL in New York
We know that the new insurance will be employee-funded and community rated, but we don’t yet know the rates. It will be up to carriers to set commissions, which will be dependent on the state-mandated rates in order to keep this employee-funded coverage affordable.
As always, the best way to make money on these policies is to bundle them with other coverage to maximize commissions. Rely on The DBL Center as your back office staff to do the legwork, so you can optimize your time and maximize your profits.
We urge our brokers to read through the regulations, think about them carefully, and propose suggested changes in writing, which will serve to benefit insurance brokers and their customers.
Most importantly, keep an eye on this site to read the latest news and developments about PFL in New York. The times they are a’changing, as they say.
by Dawn Allcot
A recent article in The Digital Insurer pointed to chatbots—sophisticated artificial intelligence programs that can answer questions and provide customer service for companies in much the way human representatives can—as replacing insurance underwriters in the foreseeable future. We beg to differ.
The jury’s still out on chatbots and widespread acceptance of this technology, especially when it comes to B2B insurance sales. Insurance brokers work in a high-touch industry, where consultative selling is a key, and relationships build business. A consumer looking for the lowest price on car insurance may accept a chatbot to provide a quote. But a business is not going to trust a computer program—even a sophisticated one—to write a mandatory disability insurance policy for 100 employees in their company.
The high level of personalized, white glove service The DBL Center provides is one reason we have more than 4,000 insurance brokers across 15 states, who rely on us to supply mandatory disability insurance (TDB in NJ and DBL in NY), as well as ancillary benefits, group life AD&D, and a growing list of additional insurance and investment services, to their business customers.
But as much as we are, and will remain, a service-oriented business, we do consider ourselves pretty high tech, too, here at The DBL Center.
Get Easy Online Quotes
While much of the industry was still relying on cold calls for insurance sales and faxing documents to bind quotes, we began providing the ability to bind a quote for NY DBL coverage for fewer than 50 lives online with a few clicks. The automated system operates through our portal, permitting agencies to quickly and easily compare prices and coverage with top-rated insurance carriers in our industry. Agents can bind the quote with just a few clicks, without ever speaking to a representative. Of course, we are available if you do have any questions, need guidance through the process, want to upgrade to an enriched DBL plan, or add ancillary benefits. But our entire system is designed to make the process quick and easy for the insurance brokers who do business with us.
Insurance Brokers Can Manage Accounts Easily Online
Our proprietary insurance broker’s portal, available to insurance agents who write their business through The DBL Center, gives our customers access to a host of information. Brokers can:
– Track their book of business
– Track commissions and export the data
– Issue their own Certificates of Insurance (DB-820) in real-time
These capabilities put our brokers in better control of their businesses, and frees up our staff to focus on areas where the human touch is needed to provide the next level of customer service.
Your Wholesale Agency Goes Mobile
The next phase of our development involves a mobile app that provides our brokers with expanded capabilities to manage their book of business from anywhere they might be. Brokers no longer have to wait to return to the office to issue DB-820s, get quotes, or write new business.
With the rise in telecommuting and flexible hours, brokers who write their business through DBL Center can now enjoy the freedom of working from virtually anywhere, achieving new levels of productivity and, in turn, serving their customers better.
High-Tech and Still High-Touch
While the app puts advanced capabilities at our brokers’ fingertips, it will also help The DBL Center team take our service to the next level. By automating several behind-the-scenes processes, we’ll be able to free up our staff to provide better, faster service when our brokers and their customers need the high-touch experience that is expected in this industry.
Best of all, our brokers don’t have to be exceptionally tech-savvy. That’s our job. We’ve worked with top developers to make the app as easy to navigate and as intuitive as possible.
As the world undergoes a digital transformation, the insurance industry can’t afford to be left behind. We provide the tools to help our insurance brokers make the transition in order to increase productivity and earn more.
Learn how you can expand your book of business with The DBL Center by your side.