There are many confusing aspects when it comes to dealing with employee benefits, and knowing the difference between a benefits broker and a benefits advisor is one of them. These two positions both work to help you get the best insurance package you can for your business, but they work in very different ways and have very different roles to fill.
It’s important to understand the differences between these positions so you can choose the one that will work best for you and your business. Let’s take a closer look at what each of these roles entails, from their most basic functions to their key responsibilities.
What is an Employee Benefits Broker?
An employee benefits broker is a person whose job is to help you purchase and renew any insurance or benefit products you may need. Brokers work on your behalf to shop for the best coverage for your business and facilitate your insurance needs year after year with new plans, renewals, or anything else you may need. Typically, brokers work on commission for jobs done and are paid solely through this method. Some may receive additional pay for policy purchases, plan renewals, or other services as well.
Employee benefits brokers have several key duties they undertake to ensure you’re getting the most out of your insurance benefits plans. Let’s take a closer look at a few of these key responsibilities.
They Are Insurance Experts
Your employee benefits broker works on your behalf to secure the best insurance policy for your company, so they need to be experts on the many different insurance policies and carriers on the market. They need to understand the ins and outs of the specific needs businesses have when it comes to insurance plans, and they need to know how to procure the best options for you.
Negotiate Lower Rates
After they find the best option for your company, it’s the broker’s job to negotiate rates with your chosen insurer. Rate reductions can come as a result of many different factors, but a few key ones to look out for include client history, relationships, and how much coverage they will need to purchase.
Notify You of Any Policy Changes
Once you have a negotiated plan in place, it’s the employee benefits broker’s job to keep you updated and aware of any policy changes, rate changes, or other adjustments made to your plan. This includes notifying you when it’s time to renew your policy and making sure you don’t miss key deadlines.
Explain Benefits to Staff
Because your broker is the most knowledgeable person when it comes to your specific benefits plan, it is their job to provide easily understandable, straightforward presentations to your employees. This is to ensure that your staff understands the benefits they’re being offered and they know how to use them to their best advantage.
What is a Benefits Advisor?
A benefits advisor, also known as an insurance consultant, is an individual who helps you in your business through various enrollment processes as well as aiding you in setting up your initial benefits package. Their job is to advise you in such a way as to make sure the benefits package you end up offering is the best one for your company, taking into consideration your specific goals, budget, and employee needs. On average, benefits advisors tend to work based on predetermined fees, but they may offset these fees with commissions if this method of payment is set up between your company and the insurer.
Typically, a benefits advisor will serve several different roles within their position as your consultant. Let’s look at a few of their most common responsibilities.
Be Experts in Business Operations
Your benefits advisor is one of the main people you consult about your business. In fact, their entire job relies on how helpful their business advice is, so it’s incredibly important that they have a certain level of expertise in their field and know a great deal about the many different aspects of running a business. These include, but are not limited to, general benefits, HR operations, employee management, and the inner workings of each of these departments.
Understand Administrative Processes
In order to successfully do their job, a benefits advisor must understand the administrative side of running a benefits program, and they must be willing to help with the tasks associated with this process. Remember, your benefits advisor is the expert here, so while you need to understand the basics behind your benefits program, it’s their job to make sure you stay on top of any tasks that may slip through the cracks. These can include enrollment processes, onboarding, billing, and associated automations.
Assist in Benefits Decision-Making
Your benefits advisor will need to work with you and your company to sort through and decide upon the best insurance options for you. This means they need to be in close contact with not only you and those associated with final decision-making, but also with your employees to determine the overall best options.
Beckham Insurance Group offers a team of knowledgeable and experienced employee benefits representatives. Building a benefits package can be stressful and confusing, but we’re here to make it as easy and stress-free as possible. Contact us today to learn about the help we provide.