Insurance brokers make a living by helping their clients find and obtain the right kind of insurance for a particular need. The health insurance broker focuses on standard health along with vision and dental insurance products. It is all pretty straightforward. But thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, a typical health insurance broker's day-to-day routine has changed.
Here at BenefitMall, we partner with thousands of brokers as they work to meet the needs of their clients. We have seen first-hand just how the pandemic has affected them. Fortunately, our brokers now have access to our brand-new Agency Workspace platform that digitizes everything.
We encourage brokers to embrace technology in the COVID-19 era. Life will eventually return to some semblance of normalcy, yet there are some things we can never return to. Certain lines have been crossed; technology is one of them.
A Very Personal Business
We get the fact that insurance is a very personal business. Brokers are used to sitting down with clients face-to-face to introduce new insurance products. Broker and client pour over policy details covering everything from exclusions to deductibles. They talk about rates, provider networks, and everything in between.
Social distancing policies have brought those face-to-face meetings to a screeching halt. Things can be done over the phone and through email, but it is just not the same. There is a solution though.
Video conferencing is still not the same as a face-to-face meeting, but it's pretty close. Brokers can still see their clients as they chat. They can also share computer screens, giving them the ability to show clients the same information they would otherwise show in person. And of course, clients can ask just as many questions.
More Flexible Insurance Products
The COVID-19 pandemic has also impacted the products brokers present to their clients. Much of this is due to changing demand. In other words, the pandemic has affected health insurance on multiple levels. Cash-strapped employers are beginning to realize they cannot endure significant premium hikes for next year. They are also accepting the fact that they cannot pass higher premiums on to equally cash-strapped employees.
In addition, employees are looking for more flexible benefits plans. They want the ability to choose different health insurance. They want to be able to add or drop dental and vision. When all is said and done, brokers now have to be more flexible in the products they offer.
Some carriers are responding with innovative products that meet the unique needs of the modern marketplace. Others have chosen to stick with what they have always done. That's neither here nor there to us. More important is that we give our brokers the largest range of products possible.
More Flexible Brokers
The new emphasis on flexibility isn't just limited to insurance products. Brokers have to be more flexible these days as well. Through digitization, technology makes brokers more nimble and flexible in meeting client needs from meetings to submissions.
Companies have to adapt to the consequences of COVID-19 on a regular basis – sometimes weekly or daily. They need brokers who are equally responsive. For those brokers still stuck in the old ways of doing things, flexibility and responsiveness will be fleeting. If you want to be a responsive broker, it is time to look to technology in order to support your business but also help drive efficiency and adaptiveness in this ever changing market.