“Why do I need a broker?” This is a question that surprisingly gets asked more than you would expect. In today’s society of consumerism, the internet, and “do it yourself” mentality, tied with the desire to save money, this is a valid question. I would ask in turn – would you go to court without legal representation? Of course not. It makes financial sense to use a broker as in most cases, you do not get charged for their services. Typically brokers are paid by the insurance carrier, the one that you jointly decide best meets your needs as an employer. More importantly, brokers protect your best interests as an objective third party. There is no specific financial incentive for brokers to decide on one insurance provider over another.
An insurance broker acts as an intermediary between you and your insurer, lessening the administrative burden for you and negating the need for you to weed through complex policy jargon. We bring over 200 years of training and experience and our insurance know-how, and our goal is to always find a policy that best suits your coverage needs at the best possible price. Brokers do the shopping and analysis on your behalf, saving you the time of plodding through quotes from various carriers and trying to determine the optimal solution. We provide impartial advice based on the client’s unique situation.
Some of the benefits of using an insurance broker are as follows:
- We review, listen, and understand to what you are trying to accomplish
- We search the entire marketplace looking for the best coverage at the most affordable price
- Once we find the ideal coverage, we review and discuss with you the cost, coverages, and exclusions in simple language so there are no misunderstandings
- We walk you through the appropriate paperwork and submit it on your behalf to the insurance company
- Once we have approval, we continually assist and advise you throughout the year to ensure you are getting the most from your plan
- We assist with issues like billing and claims questions
- We have compliance experts who will deal with issues like healthcare reform and COVID-19 regulations, ensuring your policies pivot as necessary
- Come renewal time, we are there to negotiate for you and handle much of the legwork involved
These are very important considerations for you to take into account when deciding if a broker is right for you. The alternative is to spend a lot of your own time educating yourself, taking away valuable time from your day job and family. Insurance brokers go through strict educational and licensing requirements and have significant knowledge in the industry. Our deep understanding of your local market and the players involved ultimately yield enhanced, cost-effective coverage for you.
All that said, it’s important to note that not all brokers are the same. Some have specialized services and products or are focused on specific markets. For example, there are brokers with expertise in the property and casualty or life insurance areas but that just dabble in health insurance. Today some payroll companies are even offering employee benefit services as well but again, their bread and butter is payroll, not benefits. To offer an analogy – you would not go to a foot doctor to address a heart condition, so make sure your broker’s core competencies are the ones you need.
In summary, your insurance needs are best met by a broker who works for you and not by an insurance company, who have their own interests to look out for. Brokers yield more choices, usually at a much lower cost to you and your business. Unless you happen to be an expert in insurance plans, why risk the headache and lose the resources needed to do it on your own? Further, a consultative broker like Alera Group will take the time to truly understand your business so we can constantly be on the lookout for new and innovative solutions that will align with your objectives.
People are typically the largest investment a company makes. Taking care of those people through employee benefits is a niche area of your business, and you need an insurance broker who has the training and expertise necessary in today’s complicated and competitive marketplace. Alera Group's approach to brokerage is collaborative and strategic, but we ultimately remove the legwork for you and ensure you have the best plan options available.
About the Author
John J. Sinibaldi Jr. (“Jack”) has worked for over 30 years in the Employee Benefits and Human Resources fields. With experience as an Insurance Consultant, Broker, and Corporate SVP of HR, has seen all spectrum. Currently, Jack is at Spring Consulting Group, a boutique and widely respected Boston firm. As the Director of Client Services and Practice Leader for Spring Insurance Group, he manages and services thousands of accounts, from the sole practitioners to clients with 40,000 employees nationwide. Prior to Spring, Jack managed a team of client service professionals at Mercer for over five years, handling large national accounts. He was also Senior Vice President of Benefits at Harborside Healthcare Corporation in Massachusetts for 11 years. Jack is adept at organization-wide program administration, benchmarking, budget administration, contract negotiation, employee relations, compensation planning, regulatory compliance, trend analysis and more. He is also a past Chairman for the town of Rehoboth and Halifax Fincom.
To learn more about Spring Consulting Group, click here.