How to Get The Most Value out of your Insurance Professional

The health insurance and employee benefit market is undergoing a huge transformation. Changes in health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act, of course, affect hiring and expansion decisions substantially. But there is much more going on besides health insurance reform. Employee wellness programs are also undergoing a wave of innovation, and increasing popularity as more and more employers experience long-term benefits in decreased health care costs, decreased absenteeism and presenteeism, and increased retention and morale.

Meanwhile, the increasing scale of cyber attacks and leaks of critical data has opened an entirely new front in the war against risk. If your customer database, with its credit card numbers and/or other medical or personal information should become compromised, that could cause a liability that would be devastating to the small business owner. In response, the insurance industry has developed a new solution to protect businesses and consumers alike called cyber risk insurance.

The business owner's biggest ally in this changing environment: An experienced insurance broker. One who is either already familiar with your operations or has the skill and sophistication to ask the right questions to develop the right combination of insurance protections.

Your benefits professional doesn't just make copies and deliver policies. He or she also routinely attends continuing education courses and seminars and monitors professional sources for the latest in regulatory changes, trends, new products, solutions and approaches.

You can add value for yourself and your employees in the following ways:

  • Ask your broker to brief you and your management about regulatory changes and projected trends and issues in the employee benefits, health and wellness arenas in general.
  • Have one meeting to focus on compliance strategies with the Affordable Care Act. Ensure your plans are in compliance with the employer mandate.
  • Have your broker brief employees on options for voluntary benefits, available at no cost to the employer.
  • Set up a meeting to discuss a business continuity plan. Include your insurance professional and an attorney who can write buy/sell and trust agreements. What happens if a partner should pass away or become disabled? Would remaining partners/shareholders buy out the interests of the heirs? Is there enough cash available to do that? Insurance can provide the needed cash in that emergency - but only from approved and in-force policies! You can initiate applications at the meeting and get them into underwriting.
  • Review property, flood, business continuation, fire and other insurance policies and limits for suitability.

The bottom line: We are an important business resource, ally and consultant. If you're keeping us at arms length, contacting us only for a quote at renewal time, you may be selling yourself short.


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