The growing importance of group insurance plans in today's world

How to help employees safeguard their assets and make informed choices about insurance coverage

The growing importance of group insurance plans in today's world
Helen Riquinha, Vice-president, Business Development, NFP Canada

In the world of insurance, group plans have emerged as a popular choice for businesses, associations, and alumni groups, as well as their employees and members. These comprehensive insurance programs offer a range of benefits, including specialized service, lower rates, dedicated support teams, streamlined risk management, and community engagement.

In my role at NFP, an insurance broker, consultant, and financial services firm, I get to see firsthand the value that a group plan adds. An essential part of getting the most out of your group home and auto plan is choosing a broker who will be a true partner to plan members.

Specialized service

One of the key advantages of group insurance plans is the provision of specialized service to plan members. Unlike individual insurance policies, group plans often come with dedicated service teams who focus solely on meeting the needs of group members. These teams have in-depth knowledge of the specific insurance offerings and can provide personalized attention to employees, ensuring their insurance requirements are met promptly and efficiently.

In the era of remote work, having a dedicated support team becomes even more crucial. With employees dispersed across various locations, accessing reliable insurance guidance can be challenging. However, with a dedicated service team at their disposal, employees can receive expert advice, find answers to their questions, and navigate policy options with ease. Whether they need help understanding coverage details, filing claims, or seeking assistance during emergencies, employees can rely on their support team to provide the necessary guidance.

Lower rates

Group insurance plans offer the advantage of lower rates compared to individual insurance policies. The collective bargaining power of employers and associations means group plan brokers can negotiate discounted rates with insurance providers on behalf of their clients. These negotiated rates can result in significant cost savings for plan members, with discounts up to 25%. In addition, group plans frequently eliminate the financial service fees commonly associated with individual insurance policies. By removing these extra charges, employees can enjoy substantial savings on their insurance premiums.

Group insurance plans often also provide the opportunity to bundle home and auto insurance policies. Bundling means purchasing multiple insurance policies from the same provider. By combining home and auto insurance policies, employees can benefit from lower premiums.

Lower rates not only benefit employees but also alleviate the financial burden for employers. Providing employees with access to affordable insurance coverage is an attractive perk that can help attract and retain top talent within an organization.

Offsetting rising costs

The COVID-19 pandemic has had far-reaching implications, causing disruptions across various industries and sectors. As businesses gradually recover, rising costs have become a pressing concern, affecting everything from raw materials to services. Insurance claims costs have also been going up, and this is beginning to lead to rising insurance premiums.

As premiums begin to rise, access to discounted rates through group insurance plans becomes even more attractive. Through group insurance plans, employers and associations can access better rates, giving their members comprehensive coverage at a more affordable price than they could access individually. These discounted rates help mitigate the impact of rising insurance costs, making essential coverage accessible and affordable for employees, even during challenging economic times.

Streamlined risk management

Managing multiple insurance policies can be complex and time-consuming. With group insurance plans, however, employers and employees have the advantage of consolidating their policies under a single broker. This streamlined approach to risk management simplifies the administrative process, making it easier to keep track of policies, updates, and renewals.

Having a single broker managing all policies also allows for a comprehensive overview of coverage, ensuring there are no gaps or overlaps in protection. Additionally, the broker is familiar with the organization's insurance needs and can provide tailored recommendations based on their understanding of the business. This personalized approach enables plan managers to make informed decisions about their insurance coverage, ensuring they have the right policies in place to address their specific risks.

Emergency preparedness and claims support

Insurance brokers play a vital role in championing the interests of employers and employees. They act as trusted advisors, ensuring that organizations are well-prepared for emergencies and equipped to handle unexpected events effectively. An experienced broker guides employers in developing comprehensive emergency preparedness plans tailored to their specific needs and risks. These plans can include strategies for risk mitigation, disaster recovery, and business continuity to safeguard the welfare of employees and protect company assets.

Moreover, in the unfortunate event of a claim, a good insurance broker will work with members throughout the claims process. From documenting the necessary evidence to liaising with the insurance provider, brokers streamline the claims journey, enabling a seamless and efficient resolution. Having a dedicated broker by their side during challenging times provides plan members with reassurance and peace of mind, allowing them to focus on their recovery without unnecessary stress.

Community engagement and education

The best group insurance brokers are not solely focused on providing discounts; they are actively involved in supporting communities. By engaging with local organizations and initiatives, insurance brokers demonstrate their commitment to making a meaningful difference beyond the realm of insurance coverage. They contribute to community development efforts, support charitable causes, and participate in educational programs.

Group insurance providers also often offer educational resources and materials to plan members. These resources help employees better understand their insurance coverage, enabling them to make informed decisions about their home and auto insurance needs. By promoting knowledge and awareness, insurance providers empower employees to take an active role in safeguarding their assets and making informed choices about their coverage.

Group home and auto insurance plans offer numerous advantages to employers and employees. Through specialized service, dedicated support teams, streamlined risk management and cost savings, employees receive comprehensive coverage at affordable rates. Insurance brokers act as trusted advisors, ensuring organizations are well-prepared for emergencies and guiding employees through the claims process.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath, rising costs have become a concern, making access to discounted rates even more crucial. Group insurance plans provide a solution, allowing employees to secure comprehensive coverage at affordable rates, despite the challenges of a changing economic landscape.

When looking for a group insurance broker, look for one who actively engages with the communities in which they work, demonstrating their commitment beyond discounts. Seek out a broker who will empower employees to make informed decisions about their insurance coverage. The right broker for your organization will not only offer access to discounts but will also be a vital partner with you through the journey.

Helen Riquinha is Vice-president, Business Development at NFP Canada.