We are quickly approaching crunch time for insurance brokers who specialize in employee benefits. Open enrollment will begin in just a few short weeks and last through the end of the year. If you are a broker, are you ready? More importantly, are you ready digitally?
BenefitMall, a Dallas-based general agency that represents more than a hundred carriers, published a fantastic post in mid-August discussing the need for insurance brokers to enter the digital arena. It is hard to believe that such a post was necessary. But the facts do not lie. The insurance industry is known for lagging behind on technology.
An Online Benefits Portal
One of the big things BenefitMall talked about in their post was online quoting and enrollment. The point was to encourage brokers to engage with some sort of online benefits portal that acts as a one-stop center for both broker and client. BenefitMall offers such a portal; so do other general agencies.
There are a number of benefits to the portal approach:
- Online Quoting – Quoting is one of the most time-consuming things an insurance broker does every day. Unfortunately, not all quotes lead to sales. Embracing a digital tool that facilitates online quoting streamlines the process, saves time, and frees up brokers to pursue new clients.
- Less Paperwork – Going digital reduces the amount of paperwork a broker generates. Quotes still have to be submitted; applications still have to be completed; employees still have to enroll. But in a digital workspace, no physical paper is generated. That is a big time-saver.
- Increased Accuracy – A digital quoting and enrollment platform increases accuracy by reducing the number of people having to input data. Greater accuracy leads to greater efficiency and less down time.
There are other benefits to the portal concept that space will not allow this post to expand on. However, the point is clear: an online quoting and enrollment platform makes the entire open enrollment process easier for everyone involved.
Digital Marketing for the Digital World
Another important thing BenefitMall touched on was the need to embrace digital marketing. This goes without saying. The modern world is a digital world, and the most successful marketers know enough to go where customers hang out online.
The days of newspapers, trade magazines, and phone book ads are long gone. Today, marketing is a combination of search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, social media outreach, and email marketing. Here is the thing: you are an insurance and benefits expert. You are not a trained marketer.
You expect your clients to leave insurance and benefits to you. You are more than capable of finding the right products and facilitating enrollment. Likewise, you are better off leaving digital marketing to the experts. Yes, you do have to pay for digital marketing services. But it is money well spent.
Embracing Digital Communications
A good way to close this post is by discussing digital communications. These days, people expect to be contacted through email, video chat, text messages, etc. Even private messages over social media platforms are on the table. If you hope to connect with your clients on a regular basis, you have to be prepared to do so digitally.
Open enrollment is approaching quickly. It is going to be here before you know it. Are you ready with all the latest digital technologies that make quoting, signing new clients, and enrolling employees efficient and easy? If not, you are almost out of time. If you can’t get digitally prepared this year, make a point of transitioning to the digital world as soon as you can next year.