Why Use the Broker Selection Process?

July 14, 2022

The broker selection process is a great tool for an organization to effectively and efficiently select the best broker and the best insurance company. There are several manners in which to choose an insurance brokerage and risk management partner. The words “insurance” and “partner” may seem like an unlikely pair, but the alliance can be one of the most important for a company’s executive team.

Selection Model #1: Selection by Quote Process

Some organizations will choose a few insurance brokers to “quote” their insurance program. Ultimately, significant work and resources are spent providing underwriting information, completing applications and hosting loss control visits for multiple brokers and insurance companies. Much wasted energy is consumed in the jockey for and allocation of insurance markets. Proposals must be reviewed from each of the brokers. At the end of the day, only one of the brokers is awarded the business.

This process does not place value on a long tenured partnership; instead, the model focuses on the premiums of the various insurance companies and broker services, putting the impact of total cost of risk are secondary.

In the unfortunate scenario in which the organization prefers to work with one broker but gets the “best quote” from a second broker, the organization is forced to either work with the broker that isn’t its first choice, or they resort to signing a “Broker of Record Letter” to give the work of one broker to another. This always leads to a difficult situation and hard feelings and a breach in trust is inevitable or they opt for “best quote” and second-choice broker. The organization can also develop a tarnished reputation in the underwriting community.

Selection Model #2: Broker Selection Process

A broker selection process can greatly simplify the process of looking at options and ultimately provide you with the best value for the insurance dollar or total cost of risk. In this model, an organization ends up with the best broker and the best insurance company per the organizations criteria. It allows the organizations to choose a broker through a competitive process that separately evaluates the benefits of each broker’s resources and services. Brokers can present their case for why you should do business with their organization and why they would make a good partner to develop and implement your risk management program.

Brokers should be your representatives. This becomes more critical as insurance companies continue to cut the services they provide. Once a broker is selected, you are in a position to have one broker clearly represent you to the insurance market. The insurance companies will know they have a fair chance of writing your business and will not have to be concerned that they are with the right broker. The entire process of selecting an insurance company is then the responsibility of your “best” broker. Management does not have to do analysis of all the different proposals. While management is welcome and should be a part of this process, the burden of the analysis rests on the part of your broker.

Ultimately, the organization seeking alternatives is guaranteed that they will end up doing business with the broker of their choice and the insurer of their choice. The elimination of agents is done early in process before significant work is requested of the agents, thereby creating a much more efficient process and much more effective result.

This is the second entry of a three-part series of blog posts. Read the second and third posts. Find out more from Johnson, Kendall & Johnson or contact Rafael Haciski.

Highlight Great Benefits, Keep Great People

June 27, 2022

It seems every employer in the nation is up against the same challenge — employee retention. And the obstacles are mounting. Vaccine mandates, COVID-19 exposures, and quarantines continue to unravel an already stressed workplace. These once-new business challenges are no longer novel, and leaders are on the hunt for innovative ways to take care of their teams and drive tenure among their staff. One solution that many are turning to is marketing the culture, perks, and benefits of their own companies.

Studies show that when employees feel cared for by their employers, they’re more likely to stay. Among employees who felt their companies cared about them, 60% planned to stay three-plus years while 90% said they’d spread the word that their companies are great places to work.1 Consider this testimonial from a Portico health plan member: “Our new insurance through Portico is so robust… our social worker couldn’t believe all the help we got – me either!” This member went on to share how fortunate she feels about having comprehensive health benefits that will cover medically necessary home care needs for her husband after he’s discharged from the hospital (e.g., skilled nurse visits, home health aides).

Reasons Employees Leave

Before we take a deep dive into what today’s employees want most, we should understand why employees look to leave in the first place. The truth is, the reason people look to jump ship often varies. However, the pandemic has certainly caused more people to reevaluate what’s most important.

Benefits as a Retention Tool

It’s easy to get wrapped up in turnover reports and the often-high cost of training. Remember, sometimes the easiest way to get employees to remain on the job is right in front of you, nestled in the many benefits you’re already providing. Companies who can boast long employee tenures often use their benefits packages as a hook to keep staff engaged.

As a leader, you’ve likely worked hard to provide employees with a full suite of benefits that supports their personal needs and professional development. Don’t be quiet about it — now is the time to sing their praises!

What Today’s Employees Want

According to recent research by Robert Half, the fact of the matter is, two out of three workers are confident they can find another job easily. Among its survey findings, respondents confirmed that the most desired benefits for today’s employees include:

  • Health benefits
  • Paid time off
  • Retirement plans
  • Dental benefits
  • Life and AD&D insurance
  • Vision care services

In addition to having comprehensive employee benefits, today’s workforce has become accustomed to flexible work schedules. They don’t want to see perks like this go away.

Well-Being Benefits Are a Must

Also, among job seekers’ top priorities are what’s known as “well-being benefits,” a category of employee benefits that can include support for employees in the financial, mental health, social, physical, and career arenas.

Here at Portico, we want to help you touch on all of these important areas as you show you care for your employees. Our well-being programs include:

  • The Being academy is an educational platform covering topics like longevity, purpose, resiliency, and so much more.
  • Mental Health Programs: Learn to Live is an online mental health program to help with stress, anxiety, depression, and more, in addition to our Employee Assistance Program.
  • Online health and fitness classes from Burnalong.
  • Chronic condition prevention from Omada, a virtual program to help with weight loss and reducing risk for chronic disease.
  • Virtual therapy for joint pain from SWORD that provides help for relieving chronic back, joint, and muscle pain at home.

As you promote your well-being programs and benefits, don’t forget to take generational differences into consideration — not all age groups desire or need the same benefits.2

Figuring Out Next Steps

So what are employers to do? Get creative. Review benefit offerings and determine which ones will have the most impact on employee retention in your organization.

Some “out of the box” tactics for promoting key benefits may include:

  • Hosting monthly lunch and learn sessions or quarterly benefit fairs to shine the spotlight on specific programs and benefits.
  • Creating an employee ambassador program, where your best internal promoters may be the employees themselves.
  • Sharing personal stories in newsletters or blog articles about how benefits have impacted your employees.
  • Communicating about employee benefits via your intranet, employee newsletter, or town hall meetings.

If you’d like to learn more about how Portico’s benefit programs can help you attract and retain your employees, visit porticobenefits.org or contact Ross Eichelberger, VP of Business Development, at 612-752-4062 or REichelberger@porticobenefits.org.

1Hamilton, Kelly M. M.S., Sandhu, Reetu, PhD. Hamill, Laura, PhD (2019). The Science of Care. Limeade. Retrieved February 10, 2022, from https://www.limeade.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/LimeadeInstitute_TheScienceOfCare_Whitepaper_Web.pdf

2Meister, Jeanne (2021). The Future Of Work: Offering Employee Well-Being Benefits Can Stem The Great Resignation. Forbes.com. Retrieved February 10, 2022, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeannemeister/2021/12/16/the-future-of-work-offering-employee-well-being-benefits-can-stem-the-great-resignation/?sh=3190e6c45a1f

Portico assumes no responsibility for the content, claims, representations, or accuracy of the material contained in the web link sites. Portico does not endorse the content of the sites or the organizations sponsoring the website.

Portico Benefit Services maintains the ELCA Medical and Dental Benefits Plan (which includes the ELCA post-retirement medical benefits obligation), ELCA Retirement Plan, ELCA Retirement Savings Plan, ELCA Disability Benefits Plan, ELCA Survivor Benefits Plan, and ELCA Flexible Benefits Plan. Portico also maintains two group retirement plans for ELCA-affiliated social ministry organizations – the ELCA Master Institutional Retirement Plan and the ELCA 457(b) Deferred Compensation Plan. Plan member rights under the plans are governed by the plan documents, which are the full, legal descriptions of the plans. If any information herein is inconsistent with the corresponding plan document, the plan document is the controlling document.

This article was originally published by Portico Benefit Services.