This is Part 2 of our story that started with our advisor in “Benchmarking from Coffee Shop to Boardroom”. This story comes to us prior to the events of COVID-19 so our Advisor Partner in this story still had the luxury of going ahead with the in-person boardroom meeting. Today, this story is still happening for our Advisor Partners but over a virtual shared screen.
After parlaying a coffee meeting into a boardroom meeting with decision makers present the stage was set for our advisor to present their evaluation. To prepare for their meeting our advisor ran several reports, a basic comparison, ranking and a comprehensive benchmarking report. To introduce these insights our advisor wisely started with a large sample size, with all industries, in their province under 200 employees. A quick review of the reports ahead of time, looking for talking points had our advisor ready to present the reports, not just deliver them! This would be the warm up however as the plan was to skip through some highlights from the benchmarking evaluation to present a complete plan audit of the group’s benefits plan. Courtesy of their advice assistant C.A.L.E.B. and in less than 5 minutes of the advisor’s time reviewing cards they were able to generate a custom report with 6 key recommendations and over 11 considerations to explore.
In the meeting our advisor started digging right into the benchmarking. A pattern began to emerge of a benefits plan that didn’t include several benefits that seemed commonplace now: dependent life, vision coverage, EAP etc. As the meeting progressed to the ranking it became clear that even benefits that were included were middle to bottom of the range at best. The life insurance was a low flat amount, LTD maximums and non-evidence maximums were inadequate and so on. Our Advisor made it clear with this tool they can also change the comparison group to look at different industries, provinces or group sizes as the employer needs. Careful not to overplay their excitement in the findings or to be too critical of the gaps in coverage our advisor took up the exploration alongside the employer. By presenting findings and asking questions about previous decisions made or not made our advisor was able to get a clear picture of the history of this client. The prospect played along too, not giving away any emotional revelation to these findings. Our advisor then drew attention to the comprehensive report but stopped the employer from flipping through the hundreds of insights. This report revealed several more gaps, aspects of coverage that were either out-dated and perhaps never brought to the employers attention. Our advisor explained, the benchmarking evaluation is just the beginning, part of the story and part of the toolkit their advisory firm uses to generate better advice and more informed decisions with their clients. Attention then turned to the Plan Audit Report, a concise documented summary of recommendations and considerations, with conversation peaking on risk and priority actions our advisor suggested should have been explored or implemented several years ago.
The closing pitch was simple, this process demonstrates the approach, the value of advice and identifies the lack of proactive support the employer was receiving from their current broker. The proposal was to be appointed as the new Benefits Advisors (Agent of Record) and to begin working with the existing insurance provider to quote alternates and amend coverage. The employer was surprised to learn the broker could be changed without having to market the entire plan and change policies for their employees. Two weeks later our broker got the call, they’ve decided to make a switch. The employer summarized the decision on the phone, “We’ve learned more in one meeting with you then we’ve had from our broker in years. Send over the letter, let’s get started!” Perhaps the previous broker just got complacent but it left the employer with out-dated coverage, underinsured employees and the lack of insight to make decisions that would benefit their people. It was time for a change and our advisor, powered by CloudAdvisors was there to bring the expertise and advice employers deserve when managing an employee benefits plan.
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