Chances are, you have concrete criteria (and perhaps some softer considerations) you’re looking for when you’re selecting a broker. Ever wonder what criteria your broker looks for when they shop for a vendor for you?

A new survey from Colonial Life offers you a peek into brokers’ decisionmaking process when selecting a voluntary benefits carrier to recommend to employer clients. According to the survey, brokers most look for a carrier’s:

1. Ability to educate employees about their benefits programs.
2. Efficient claims processing and payment.
3. Ability to create a consistent enrollment experience for all employees.

“With increasing health care costs, employers are investing more budget dollars in their benefits programs. Consistent and effective benefits education during one-to-one benefits counseling sessions can go a long way in helping employers get a better return on their benefits investment,” says Henry Price, SVP of customer acquisition services at Colonial Life.

Brokers in the survey also ranked these other voluntary benefits carrier services as “very important” in this order:

* Receiving timely, accurate enrollment reports.
* Enrolling employees in their benefits quickly to minimize time away from the job.
* Supporting my clients with ongoing, in-person benefits support from a local team.
* Assisting with new hire enrollment.
* Helping with enrollments at little to no cost to my agency.
* Enrolling employees at multiple locations and/or a variety of shifts.
* Coordinating enrollment of multiple carriers in an account.

“Today’s voluntary benefits carriers must be able to deliver not only a wide variety of voluntary plans, but also a portfolio of enrollment options,” Price says. “Voluntary benefits carriers who can deliver these services to employee benefits brokers and their clients at no direct cost will have an advantage over other carriers.”

What do you look for in a voluntary carrier? Are your broker and the ones surveyed on the same page, or do you have other priorities for a vendor? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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