Shop the Broker, Not the Insurance

February 18, 2015 | 1 Comment

I received a referral from a business owner that was “shopping” for insurance because he had a renewal coming up in a couple months on his Property & Casualty insurance.  During our initial meeting, he said that he hates this process more than anything.  He said that every year he meets with several  brokers, who bring their proposals from different insurance companies, and he has the task of reviewing each one to make sure they are all “apples to apples,” based on the same coverage limits, gross sales, square footage, payrolls, etc.  He added that they all bring him their proposals a couple days before the renewal date, which doesn’t leave him much time for his comparisons.   He gets so beat down evaluating all the proposals and usually runs out of time and ends up renewing with his current program.   In the end, he isn’t sure he has made the best decision for his organization.

I asked if I can be candid and make a suggestion that will make the renewal process a more bearable, and probably assure him of getting the most competitive rates.  Rather than bring in multiple brokers to shop his insurance, shop for a broker rather than the insurance.

What I am suggesting is, outside his normal renewal cycle, maybe 6 months prior to the renewal, meet with multiple brokers and interview them.  Find out what that broker and their agency can provide to your organization.  From there, select the broker you feel most comfortable with, that will best represent your company, understands your needs and has access to enough insurance providers.

Once the broker has been selected, they will take your company to market and allow them to bring you a summary of the marketplace and present the insurance company offering the most competitive premiums for the coverage your company requires.  When multiple brokers shop the market, each broker has only a small piece of the market and does not have a clear picture as to the entire market to know if they are competitive.  By having one broker do the shopping, they will have a complete picture of the market, and even get the insurers to sharpen their pencils to bring their client the most competitive rate.  Contrary to popular belief, you will get the most competitive rate from using one broker, not multiple.

Once you choose a broker, stick with that broker for a few years.  You don’t have to interview brokers every year.  You may want to “shop” brokers every few years.  By doing that, the broker can better manage your account, and assure you are competitive every year.

It will put you at ease, as well as the broker.  The broker will be able to work on your behalf knowing that they have your trust and confidence.  This system works for both your property & casualty insurance and employee benefits.

Written by: Brad Snitzer, REBC, RHU, Vice President at The Cornerstone Insurance Group

Posted in Blog, Commercial, Risk management

Don’t Play? Soon? You’ll Pay!

February 06, 2015 | Leave a Comment

Don’t Play?  Soon?  You’ll Pay!

Much has changed in the world of individual health insurance coverage.  Terminology such as guarantee issue, community rating and open enrollment didn’t exist until Healthcare Reform and the Individual Mandate changed the healthcare landscape and required individuals to obtain health insurance coverage, or face a penalty.

Though the Individual Mandate has been in place since 2014, recent polls and slower than anticipated national enrollment figures, suggest that a large percentage of Americans are still unaware of their obligation to obtain health insurance.  For those that choose to go uninsured in 2015, you’ll likely be subject to a penalty based on a percentage of your household income or a flat fee – whichever is higher.

The good news?  You have time….though not much.  Open enrollment runs through February 15th, for a March 1, 2015 coverage effective date.  After that, you cannot obtain coverage unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.

With a few short days remaining, let us know how we can help.  As Individual Coverage Consultants with The Cornerstone Insurance Group, Joanna Vidakis and Angela Gain can help bring solutions that speak to an individual’s specific circumstances.

The clock is ticking.

Read more about this by clicking here.

Posted in Benefits, Blog, Health Care Reform Info