Three Ways Insurance Brokers Can Use Technology To Help Small-Business Clients

The insurance landscape has seen significant changes over the past decade, more than in any previous decade. The rise of cloud-based software and the adoption of Zoom in the Covid-19 epidemic have had a dramatic impact on the insurance landscape, particularly about employee benefits.

These changes are continuing to merge, so small business HR priorities focus on three areas: bringing in and maintaining talented employees, handling compliance issues, and keeping costs down. Insurance brokers can help their clients achieve their goals by leveraging technology. Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) can meet the needs of their employees and increase business efficiency.

Over three decades of my life in the insurance industry, including time as a broker and as the CEO and co-founder for a digital benefits management company, I have learned that brokers can lead the digital transformation of benefits for their clients. Insurance brokers should offer SMB clients three things to grow their business and unlock new opportunities.

  1. Technology solves the problems of manual benefits administration. Guardian Life Insurance Company of America conducted a 2018 study and found that employers have increased spending on benefits technology in the last five years. Guardian’s recent workplace benefits survey found that over a third of employers said they had increased the use of benefits tech due to the pandemic.

Insurance has been slow to change as a legacy industry. However, the pandemic radically altered the landscape. Online interactions allowed for in-person interaction, such as meetings between employees and brokers. It was not always possible to fill out paper forms. Businesses needed a way of getting their employees started. Brokers need to offer digital solutions for small business clients. The user interface should make setting up a group easy, efficient, secure, and straightforward.

  • An employer-employee benefit package that is customizable to suit the diverse needs of each. Both the demographic shifts and the pandemic have changed the expectations of employers and their employees about the benefits experience. The Great Resignation is a trend in which more workers are leaving their jobs. According to the U.S. Department of Labor (a 20-year high), 4 million Americans quit their jobs in April. Some employees are leaving the workforce to seek better jobs or better wages.

Businesses need to offer their employees voluntary benefits due to the dominance of millennials in the labor force. A Guardian survey found that nearly three-quarters (37%) of respondents preferred digital benefits enrollment. This is because employees can access their benefits anywhere, anytime, from their smartphones. This is understandable: According to a 2016 Gallup survey, 85% of millennials use their smartphones to access the internet.

3.   Suite if resources to HR manager.We hear from brokers that small businesses seek a comprehensive benefits and HR software package (SaaS). While payroll software is not new, it has become increasingly popular for other functions such as employee benefits. Business leaders are tired of having to train and manage employees using multiple systems. What is the solution? A strategy that “talk to each other” will ensure that HR and business owners only have to change one system to reflect the changes made in the other. Brokers have the opportunity to pitch and “build” groups by using integrated systems that offer the best experience.

SMB clients will appreciate the simplicity, ease-of-use, and appropriate-sized tech solutions that insurance brokers can provide. This is what makes them most successful. You must first get your feet wet before you can expand and grow your business.

1. You can start by researching HR SaaS options and benefits administration. Next, you can find out about your competitors.G2 has ratings and independently verified reviews. Be sure to narrow your search to small and medium-sized businesses as they have different needs. This solution will work for groups of 25 or 200.

2. Talk to your existing or potential groups. It is essential to understand their needs and what holds them back from adopting a digital solution.

3.  Schedule demos for your top choicesAsk about any current or future friction points. Do you have an auditing tool that can reduce errors and discrepancies?

4. Find out more. Get pricing confirmations, understanding discounts, information about their carriers and solution connections, and learn more about the onboarding process. Ask about ongoing support.

5. Ask about their security procedures and protocols. Is the solution HIPAA compliant Does the solution comply with industry standards regarding data encryption? Do they require two-factor authentication to gain access?

6. Based on your unique business structure and needs, pick your SaaS selection and sign up for a few of your most important clients. It would help if you kept open enrollment dates in mind to avoid scrambling during peak times.

7. Provide the solution to more customers once you are comfortable with it, continue onboarding clients and other ancillary benefits.

Employee benefits are personal experiences that can be altered by the changing needs and demographics of employees. Small businesses have different decisions than large businesses. This is important to remember. They need solutions to keep employees happy and keep costs down. Get online to help them embrace technology.

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Robert Scoble
Robert is the assistant managing editor for HC News, overseeing coverage of markets, companies, strategy and business leaders. Originally from Boston, Scoble began his journalism career in 1997 & now resides outside New York.

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