Choosing A Great Insurance Agent/Broker

Are you looking for a consultant and benefits broker that can meet the needs of your company and employees? Finding the right agent can have a tremendous impact on your bottom line.

Next to payroll, employee benefits can be one of the largest line items in a company budget. It is critical to find the right balance between coverage and cost. Companies that fail to review their benefit plan in detail can find themselves losing money and employees.

We are in an era where a good friend or acquaintance that call around looking for the lowest rates and sends over a spreadsheet is long gone. Brokers today need to be well educated in compliance, health reform, human resources, have strong negotiation skills and access to technology. Finding competitive insurance products to meet the goals of your company and employees is a given.

A successful benefits plan is designed to flow smoothly from year to year. It is advisable to interview consultants and brokers to find someone you trust and enjoy working closely with. In order to be successful, this must be a two-way street of open communication and mutual respect. Failure to communicate candidly and promptly can lead to missed opportunities and cracks in the plan.

Example: It is important for an employer to share their expectations of their consultant/broker and the same of the consultant/broker to share their expectations with the client. If the employer expects quarterly reviews, it should be communicated. If the broker needs changes shared timely the how who and when should be clearly communicated. Simple communication can prevent the disappointment of the other party.

When interviewing consultant/brokers ask for a list of qualifications and referrals. Ask your broker if he/she has completed any additional training related to health reform, compliance, self-funding, etc. There are several certifications available to help keep current with the constant changes. Continuing education shows a commitment to staying current in the industry.

It is advisable to create a list of questions when interviewing potential brokers. Think of what is important to you and your company. Design those questions around your needs and interest.

Here are some examples:

  1. How can I create a contribution strategy that is a win-win for the company and employee?
  2. Does my contribution strategy satisfy ACA requirements?
  3. How do I improve onboarding and enrollment?
  4. Is there technology available to streamline our processes?
  5. Do you offer education and enrollment meetings?
  6. Are we compliant and current with ACA regulations?

While this list is just enough to get you thinking of your own benefit plan, it helps underscore the importance of having the right agent in your corner.

A good agent will do more than just provide a yearly quote. A good agent will be there when you have questions and to help you and your team navigate through the complexities of an ever-changing healthcare landscape.

The best agents do not look at themselves as mere insurance salesmen/women. Great agents look at themselves as part of your company’s team and will become familiar enough with your organization to help develop creative solutions to issues when they happen.

Health insurance alone is a scary topic for most. Adding in the complexity of such insurance for one’s business can be overwhelming for most. Because of this complexity, this further enforces the need for having a good insurance agency, agent and supporting staff all the more critical. You have better things to do with your time than trying to wade through legislation, compliance, and other related business insurance factors.

When choosing your insurance broker/agent, you should go beyond the surface. Size is not that important. While a small shop may have more time to focus on your business insurance needs, they may not have the knowledge or access to resources to represent your interest best.

On the other hand, a large shop may have access to knowledge and resources, but you may find it hard to get the kind of customer service you need in time-critical situations.

In essence, size does not matter, but relationships do. When looking for a new insurance agent to help your business, you need to make sure developing a relationship with them will be possible as it almost certainly will be needed at some point during the policy term.

At Chappell, Smith, and Associates our team of business insurance and benefits experts can help you focus on developing a plan that fits both the budgetary needs of your company while at the same time providing a comprehensive base of benefits and services for your employees.

Gary Thompson and his team will be happy to provide you with dedicated personal service unmatched in the industry. Specializing in both healthcare and human resource benefits Gary’s team is happy to review your business, develop an insurance strategy that fits your goals, and work with you hand in hand to help you easily through complex coverage and compliance issues.

If your midsize or larger business needs help with healthcare, compliance and or benefits contact us today, let us take on the burden of coverage and refocus back on what is important to you, your business.

You can reach us by phone toll-free at 1-800-999-1109 or by using our contact form located at the bottom of the page.

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Chappell, Smith & Associates, Inc.

1006 Merylinger Court Franklin, TN 37067


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