How do you select your company's health insurance broker?
Choosing the right broker to handle employee benefit plans has always been important. A good broker should ensure that the company is managing plan costs while meeting employee's needs. What factors are you looking at when hiring a broker?
I just went through this < 9 months ago for a startup in CA but also had employees in TX. My key learning is that I would make sure the broker is well aware of all of your requirements (# of current employees, growth plan, # of locations, types of employees, potential budget). The more information you can give them the better they can tailor it to your needs.
So I would a 2nd time around present 2 - 3 of them with my requirements and get them to come back at you with a presentation. And score them on how well they listened and met your requirements. I would also ask around to other similar companies for a referral on what they are using.
Thank you Morgan for the feedback. I am actually a broker. I wanted to see what other people are using as their criteria for hiring their benefits broker. Every prospect is different and I am trying to create a wedge to help give me the leg up on new business and how to get the current broker "fired".
If you meet with multiple brokers, do you give your incumbent last look? If they didn't bring something that one of the other brokers brought to the table, would that be reason to fire them?
Hi Becca - I have a checklist if you would like. You could go through it and decide what is most important to you. It is a great interviewing tool. I do suggest approaching this as an interview rather than a spreadsheet dog and pony show. There are too many variables for me to give any other helpful/suitable advice. Connect me if you would like the list or any additional guidance.
Hi Becca - Ah yes... It is a conundrum...I always assume the incumbent - even if they screwed up - have the upper hand (its comfortable). I have changed my behavior. Meaning I pull myself out of the "bidding" process. I do not like or deal with spreadsheets - too many times my work was just passed along to the existing agent, nor am a low bidder. Businesses that do are not a fit. It takes at least 2 meetings before a prospect get numbers - I need to get to know them and have an understanding. I come from a large group consulting background - so I use that to differentiate myself. My checklist is proprietary so unfortunately I can not share. Can I suggest - if you are not already- join an association like National Association of Health Underwriters (I love them! and volunteer on their committees). They work really hard to give brokers the education and suggested tools they need to compete in this new marketplace. I hope something I said is helpful.