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Redbird has jumped into Voluntary Benefits with both feet. With employer-paid benefits rapidly decreasing, a once sleepy category of business benefits is now on the radar screen. We see great opportunity for agents wanting to expand beyond consumer offerings only. We have contracts with the industry leaders in Voluntary Benefits and have experts in-house that can help agents who are interested in learning more about this big opportunity. Over the next few weeks we will be expanding training and education as well as having more information in the Redbird Update.
To quote a recent article: “The days of employer-paid benefits are disappearing faster than a snow cone in July.”
If you’ve ever been an employee—and most of us have at one point in our lives—then you know how costly benefits can be. And, it’s only getting worse as the Affordable Care Act (ACA, also known as Obamacare) meanders toward a point that still remains unclear.
Voluntary Benefits are a simple concept:
- Offer benefits to employees through their employer where the employee pays 100% of the cost.
- The premiums are paid through payroll deduction.
- Depending on the size of business, employees should pay less in monthly premium than what they could get on their own outside of their employer.
- There may be instances where employees who would not qualify for a product on their own will be able to get that coverage through an employee-sponsored program.
- Some of the most popular products for Voluntary Benefits are Critical Illness, Cancer, Accident, Supplemental Medical, dental and vision, and others.
Want to learn more about how you can get started offering Voluntary Benefits?
Call Drew Gurley at 866-547-8780, ext. 102
Glance at these stats from an online nationwide survey recorded by Harris Interactive on behalf of Transamerica Employee Benefits (TEB):
- 65 percent of employees say it’s important that their employer offer these products (Voluntary Benefits).
- 47 percent of employees surveyed haven’t been offered an additional voluntary product since health care reform was implemented in 2010.
“Employee benefits are one of the most important factors in recruiting and retaining good employees. Voluntary Benefits add another layer for an employer to differentiate themselves,” said Redbird’s Agent Development guru. “And, the uncertainty of ACA is making Voluntary Benefits an even more important factor for employees.”
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 98 percent of employers in the United States have fewer than 100 employees, accounting for approximately 35 percent of the U.S. workforce and representing about 40 million workers. But, many employers don’t offer Voluntary Benefits according to a 2013 LIMRA study, which found:
- Among small businesses that do not currently offer benefits, six in 10 are unfamiliar with voluntary products, providing an opportunity for producers to educate small employers on the advantages of offering voluntary benefits to their employees.
- Depending on the benefit, most employees prefer to purchase their benefits through the workplace. Those who favor purchasing benefits through their employer cite convenience, the ability to pay through payroll deduction and less perceived need for background research as the three top reasons for this preference.
Agents: can you spell “gold mine”?
“If you’re a business owner do you want to spend more money on benefits for your employees? No. Do they want to retain good employees? Of course,” said Ray Smith, Redbird’s Regional Manager for Florida. “Many times for employees it’s not about how much they are paying but how much the employer is offering. Benefits are very important to employees, whether it’s a company with 10 employees or 10,000. When a company is offering more benefits the employees get excited. They now have what their friends have.”
Coming next: Ray talks about how agents can prospect.
- Old fashioned direct mail and business partners can be a strong combination. Earlier this week we met with the owner of a P&C agency interested in expanding his product mix. We were pitching Voluntary Benefits, which they think is a perfect fit. Then the discussion moved to lead generation. We suggested a decades-old tactic that has lost some of its glitter with the explosion of email: a simple, old fashioned business letter from the owner of the P&C agency introducing our agent to his clients. The letter is on his company letterhead with just 2-3 short graphs and hand signed in blue ink (blue lets them know if was hand signed). Top it off with a stamp on the envelope. From the looks of it, this is a very successful P&C agency with long-time clients. When the clients receive this letter it will get opened, and now our agent has a perfect opportunity to follow up and get an appointment. We suggested he send about 20 a week, which should get the agent plenty of opportunities. Old fashioned still works!
- Great advisors. What’s that great old saying about good sales people having two ears and one mouth? This is a good article to remind us all about the attributes of a good advisor, whether you’re selling stocks and bonds or Final Expense insurance. Be focused. Listen. Don’t give up. Have a plan. Full article
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