Renewing employee benefits: Why should you stay with your current provider?
Among all of the annual costs facing businesses these days, compensation and benefits packages remain among one of their largest expenses. Salaries take a significant chunk out of operating budgets and employee benefits will often not be far behind. With benefit plans being annual contracts, companies will be regularly faced with the option of renewing their current package or moving their platforms to a new provider.
Whether your company’s renewal period is coming up or you’ve just signed a new contract for the year, this Pacific Prime article will give you some insights into what to look for when reviewing the performance of your benefits plan over the past year.
Why is it important to review your benefits provider annually?
Too often, companies let their employee benefits plan go on autopilot, and insurers and providers are more than happy to accept an easy a renewal. This is because insurance costs rise each year and, unless your company takes the time to review whether or not you’re still getting value for money with your plan, increases may be out of proportion to your company’s claims data from the past 12 months.
Reviewing your employee benefits plan should also entail a review of the provider of those benefits. It may be that you have an attractive platform that’s valued by the staff you have, but if the service isn’t there to match those benefits then are you really getting what you should expect for the premium you pay? An annual review is always a solid idea for a company looking to not only maintain a good benefits plan but also control costs and test the market.
What should I be looking for from my provider when renewing employee benefits?
There are some key things to consider when weighing up the performance of your employee benefits provider before heading into your renewal period. Take these things into account to ensure that you truly do have the best benefits provider for your situation before signing for another annual period.
Fair market premium price
Each year, your benefits provider will issue you notice of how much your company’s premium will be increasing by. There are many things that impact the cost of health insurance, and group health insurance policies can be driven by a number of different factors. Whether it’s due to rising medical costs in your country, a significantly expensive claims year for your staff, or something else, there’s no excuse for paying more than market value.
Your benefits provider will offer you a competitive price on the premium you need to pay moving forward, taking into account the various impacting drivers on their own costs. They’ll not only make a fair offer but help you understand why the costs are rising by the amount they are. If something doesn’t feel right about your renewal premium, ask about it.
Commitment to continued high service
A good benefits package is worthless without a comprehensive and supportive service delivery framework. You’ll know if you’re getting bad service – your HR teams will likely have numerous horror stories of delayed claims, unhelpful service staff, and benefit or levels that don’t quite meet their needs. Those with great benefits providers will either have stories of praise or even no mentions at all of how their staff have interacted with their perks.
Having expert and efficient service that fits your company’s particular needs can be priceless, so it’s worth considering the support you get from your current provider before opting to choose a cheaper insurer. You’ll want to be sure you’re getting better service elsewhere before giving up a relationship that works for both your company and your staff.
Flexibility with benefits and levels
Of course, no plan is perfect, and even a good plan can become irrelevant over time. A good benefits provider will work with you to make changes to the plan if and when necessary. This can be for a number of reasons; to help control costs, to improve the relevance to staff, to match talent management, or due to changing demographics among staff. The world truly is your company’s oyster when it comes to changing the benefits of your platform.
Stay with a provider that not only knows your business, but knows how best to support it via your benefits. Renewing employee benefits might not be an easy task, but it can be made easier with an understanding and proactive insurance provider by your side.
Keeping current with your businesses needs
If you’ve been expanding your operations, have you considered consolidating your regional plans into a single comprehensive international solution? Particularly for companies with overseas offices, it’s worth checking that the capabilities of your current provider can support your people wherever they are. Businesses can save both effort and money by strategically structuring their benefits platform company-wide.
Making a decision when renewing employee benefits
Renewing employee benefits for your company is a thankless task, but an important one nonetheless. Identifying the reasons why you should stay with your current provider not only makes for a clearer understanding of how your platform works as a whole, but also saves you money when it comes to the potential costs of transferring to a new provider.
That said, if you find your current provider isn’t meeting your needs and expectations, then it might be time for you to look elsewhere. Whilst you can go through the effort of doing it alone – the best way to enhance your benefits renewal process is to get the support of an expert broker. If you have a broker already but you’re still finding your current provider and platform a challenge, talk to us.
Pacific Prime is an expert employee benefits specialist with a unique approach to renewals and negotiations that puts you and your company at the center of all of our decision making. You can trust us to ensure that your interests are always put first and, if you’re unhappy with your current insurance provider, we’ll work with our other partners to find you a fit that works.