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The Difference Between Employee Benefits Brokers and Consultants

The benefits package that you offer employees is one of the main drivers today of recruitment and retention efforts. This makes choosing a partner who can help you offer the best benefits package crucial to any business. 

You likely have a choice between hiring an employee benefits broker or consultant to help you along the way. While these two entities are similar in some ways, there are major differences as well. 

Understanding the differences is important in making the right choice for your business. 

How Are They the Same? 

Both employee benefits brokers and consultants have a similar aim. They work with different insurance companies directly so they can offer different policies to their business clients.  

Businesses hire these professionals to do a number of different things for them — from researching possible benefits packages that might be a fit to negotiating better prices to locking down the contracts that are necessary to provide the benefits to their employees. 

The relationship between your company and the broker or consultant is where the two differ greatly. 

How They Are Paid 

Just like other consultants, employee benefits consultants charge a fee for a service. This fee might be a flat rate based on certain work that they are doing for you, or it could be an hourly rate.  

Employee benefits brokers, meanwhile, typically will work on a commission structure. How much they are paid, then, depends solely on what their clients end up purchasing. There are different commission structures for different brokers, but they could be purchased on how many policies are purchased and/or renewed. 

This shows one of the biggest distinctions between consultants and brokers. The relationship with consultants is much more transactional in nature, while that with brokers is much more consultative. 

What an Employee Benefits Consultant Does 

Employee benefits consultants are typically well-versed in how different businesses operate, and how an employee benefits package will impact the operations of not just HR but also the management of employees. 

Consultants help companies tailor benefits packages to employees who are currently on staff, and to what would attract top talent down the line. They work directly with the decision makers at the company to help them formulate a plan and ultimate choice for employee benefits. 

They also assist the company with various administrative tasks related to employee benefits, which could include billing, reconciliation, enrollment, renewals and onboarding.  

What an Employee Benefits Broker Does 

Employee benefits brokers take a slightly different approach to the process. 

They have immense expertise in various insurance products, and they have solid relationships with multiple insurance carriers. This helps them to tailor an employee benefits package that is a good fit for your company and your employees. 

Through these relationships, they’re able to negotiate rates as low as possible, based on the history that they have with the insurance companies. In addition, the companies they work with benefit from the purchasing power that brokers have with insurance companies. 

Brokers serve as the go-between for companies and insurance carriers, notifying you whenever there is a change in either the rate or policies from an insurer. They help with renewals, sign-ups and some other administrative tasks as well. 

Finally, employee benefits brokers will typically present the benefits options to employees through various presentations and resources, helping to explain not only what the benefits are but how employees can maximize their usage of them. 

Get the Best of Both Worlds with Beckham Insurance Group 

There are many reasons why you might choose an employee benefits broker over a consultant and vice versa. A lot of it depends on your particular business situation and, frankly, your budget. 

Sometimes, businesses have to make the tough call on choosing one over the other based on what service they might need the most when it comes to their employee benefits package. 

But, it doesn’t have to be this way. 

Beckham Insurance Group offers the best of both worlds. As employee benefits brokers and consultants, we provide all of our clients with expertise in finding and creating an employee benefits package, negotiating the best rates, and assistance with the cumbersome administrative tasks associated with these plans. 

If you’re in the Georgia or South Carolina region, you can take advantage of everything we have to offer in our one-stop shop for employee benefits. 

Contact us today to find out how much we can do for you as an employee benefits broker and consultant.