How a consultant can help support your comprehensive benefits package
A common phrase used a lot in sales is “Cut out the middleman!”. This is often followed by sentiments like “Go betweens are costly”, and “they add very little benefit to you as a consumer”. That may be true in some industries but, in the world of corporate insurance, the right consultant can really enhance and support your comprehensive benefits package. Maybe you’ve consciously decided to run your employee benefits without help or perhaps you didn’t know help existed. Here, we aim to explain what a benefits consultant like Pacific Prime does, and why you might need one for your business.
What is a benefits consultant?
As a leading corporate employee benefits broker, we rely on our consultants to not just sell insurance to companies but to enhance your experience with our products. This means using our specialist industry knowledge and market experience to add the sort of value that companies themselves usually lack. This includes:
- Providing simplified explanations and overviews of the benefits market as a whole
- Using our in-depth knowledge to design a comprehensive benefits package that matches your business goals
- Engaging reputable providers that offer the benefits you want or need
- Negotiating fair premium prices that are consistent with the current market
- Creating staff communication and engagement plans to ensure benefits success
- Updating you on a regular basis about industry or regulatory changes that may affect your plan
A good benefits consultant does more than just act as an expert advisor to your business. They’ll become an integral part of your company that fits in alongside your HR team when it comes to administering and monitoring the performance of your C&B. With them, your company will be able to make better decisions for its future, while experiencing greater staff satisfaction with your employee benefit offers.
What to expect from a benefits consultant
Client-centric decision making
The first thing you should see from a good consultant is that they put you and your company at the centre of their decisions. You can keep a broker, and yet still change insurance and benefits providers – so look for a benefits consultant that is interested in building and maintaining a positive relationship with you. If your current broker only pops up around renewal time (where they make their commission), then maybe your “middleman” needs to be cut.
Expertise is also important for supporting a comprehensive benefits package. Anyone can sell a product but knowing the ins-and-outs of how it works, how to use it, and when to change it takes experience and knowledge. Without it, your company can risk wasting your budget on irrelevant benefits or paying for premiums much higher than market price. They’ll know about support levels of the providers you’re considering too, so you won’t risk being stuck with poor service for a year.
A good benefits consultant won’t keep a narrow portfolio. They know that the best plan depends on the company, and having a wide range of providers with which to source solutions from is key to matching you with the right benefits package. Their reputation as a partner with providers such as Cigna, Bupa, Aetna, and the like will also put your business in a good position when it comes to negotiating renewals.
Why might your company need a consultant to support your benefits package?
So we’ve talked about what a benefits consultant does, and what they can do for companies – but how can you be sure you need one? Here are some quick reasons why businesses can benefit better from a benefits consultant:
- Your premiums are not sustainable: This can be for a number of reasons. Either your provider priced your benefits package too low initially and has to raise it to be competitive, your plan has seen a lot of usage, or you were paying too much to start with. It can be difficult when managing your benefits alone to know why your costs are high, but a knowledgeable broker can put you on the front foot.
- Your worldwide offices aren’t aligned: Managing benefits across multiple locations can also be difficult with different regulations, and market trends to consider. Your regional HR staff will need to effectively coordinate with the central office in order to ensure your comprehensive benefits plan runs smoothly across the whole business. If you’re finding this a struggle, a consultant with global experience can help.
- Staff aren’t engaged with their benefits: Your HR teams already have plenty on their plate, and trying to educate your colleagues on how to utilize their benefits when they need them can be time consuming. If they’re not using them, however, the benefits are just costing you money. A consultant that supports staff engagement can make it all worthwhile.
- You’re not getting the service you expect: Denied claims, delayed processing, difficult to reach service centres – sometimes your experience with a provider can be the stuff of nightmares. While you might be set on changing insurers at renewal time, you’ll be stuck with the poor service until then. A strong benefits consultant, however, can deal with the insurer on your behalf to seek an improvement in standards.
Pacific Prime as a comprehensive benefits package consultant
The four reasons above are the most common reasons, among the clients we meet with, our clients decide to work with a broker like Pacific Prime. If you’re not currently using a broker or consultant, it could be hard to know how experts like us can help. We aim, in a meeting, to explain all of the things an employee benefits consultant from Pacific Prime can do to better support you benefits package, and what you can expect from us as your C&B partner.
Think of us less as a middleman, and more of a partner when it comes to supporting your benefits. Pacific Prime has an expert team that has experience in benefits design, policy brokering, and client support and account management. Our business is to simplify insurance – meaning you’re always in the forefront of our decision making.