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What should you expect from an employee benefits broker?

What Should You Expect From An Employee Benefits Broker?

All businesses want to have an easy-to-manage employee benefits scheme which provides genuine value for money in supporting a happy and healthy workforce. Employee benefits and health insurance brokers can play a vital role in helping you achieve this.

In truth, all brokers have their own ways of working and no one broker operates in the same way. We’ve explained the Hooray way, breaking the process down to show you what to expect from working with us as your insurance broker.

Looking to set up employee benefits and health insurance to support your staff? Or friendly team of experts can help. Email [email protected] or use the chatbox in the bottom right.

 

How does a broker work?

To stay true to our Hooray mantra, we’ve kept things simple by providing a six-point breakdown of how Hooray Health & Protection supports businesses.

#1 We start with an informal chat

We always start by arranging a phone call. There are two side to this. For us it’s a chance to understand your business, your current circumstances and what you’re looking for.

For you it’s a chance to ask about any aspect of the employee benefits market you’re unsure about.

From this initial conversation, we’re equipped with all the knowledge we need to deliver quotes, while you will have greater clarity and more confidence of the route ahead. At no point do we tie you into a contract.

#2 We deliver quotes

After agreeing the route forward, we bring a range of quotes tailored to your needs. We work across the whole market to source them. As an independent broker we have ongoing relationships with all the UK insurance providers – we are not restricted to just one or two. In fact, we are often able to source better quotes than are available direct-to-consumer.

#3 We purchase the policy

Once you’ve decided on the policy, we will purchase it on your behalf. So, if you have two or more policies from different providers, you only have to go through us – which saves on admin.

#4 We introduce it to your team

We continue to support you after purchasing a scheme. We’ll give practical advice as you implement it – including how to inform staff members of their new benefits and how they can put them to use, how the claims process works and more.

#5 We help with claims

If you need help with an insurance claim, we can advise. If an insurer turns down a claim we will investigate and if we believe you have a good case, we’ll take it up on your behalf.

#6 We review yearly

It’s always important to review benefits. Insurance premiums can go up, business needs change and the legal landscape changes. So, we’re always happy to provide an annual review of your scheme to see if you can gain better value.

 

“We received a significant refund from our previous provider, due to us unknowingly overpaying for services. This was credit to Charlie and his team for persevering and managing this with the provider. Needless to say, I was definitely in the good books with our Finance Director, once I made him aware of the refund!” – Kerry Noblett, HR Direct, Designer Group

 

How much does a broker cost?

Hooray do not come at any extra cost to you or your business; no extra fee is charged for the service!

How is this possible?

Normally, the insurer would need a sales team to deal with customer queries. However, a broker makes the sales team’s role redundant. We save the insurer time – and admin – as we manage the client instead, so the insurer is happy to pay us commission for placing the business and undertaking customer liaison.

However, not all brokers work the same way! Some brokers are known to charge. For example, we have heard of clients being charged £10,000 in fees when their insurance policy only cost £3000 and took less than a day to administer!

 

What’s the difference between an employee benefits broker and a health insurance broker?

The terms are often used interchangeably. Strictly speaking, we’re an employee benefits broker because we advise on all the issues surrounding employee benefits, not just the insurance side of things. For example, we can advise on which online platforms to use for administering benefits as well as providing advice on the full range of insurance products. Other brokers may restrict their advice to health-related insurance policies.

 

How can using a broker benefit my business?

As a first-time buyer, seeking an employee benefits broker’s guidance may save you a lot of time and money – not to mention frustration.

There’s no point in pretending otherwise: the marketplace is confusing. Brokers need to constantly keep abreast of the latest insurance products, tax rules and technologies. Quite simply, we do it so you don’t have to.

One of the key purposes of a broker is to make everything as simple as possible and help you avoid the pitfalls which so many businesses fall into.

Brokers like Hooray partner with all insurers/providers in the market with no allegiance to any. This means our advice is truly independent, giving you the full picture of the best services, prices and benefits to ensure you get the solution that fits your needs perfectly.

One of the main benefits of working with an employee benefits broker is that it alleviates the time-sapping frustration that would otherwise occur. As the saying goes: do what you do best and outsource the rest.

By employing a good broker, you can save money AND avoid getting dragged away from your usual responsibilities.

Through this process, our clients begin to see their time freeing-up and suddenly they can focus their energy on what really matters – making your business a success and caring for your staff.

 

Questions to ask an insurance broker

What size businesses do you work with?

Many brokers will cater for a particular business size – some specialising in large corporates or businesses with a minimum number of staff. At Hooray, we specialise in helping start-ups and SMEs – a traditionally underserved part of the business community when it comes to employee benefits.

Do you work with all insurers?

Any good insurance broker should work across the whole market and not be restricted by cosy relationships with preferred providers.

Do you charge for your services?

At Hooray, we don’t charge you a penny – a good broker will take a fee from the insurer instead. But some brokers work differently.

Can you advise me on specific insurance policies and employee benefits more widely?

We offer advice on all aspects of employee benefits and health-related insurance policies. Some brokers may have a narrower field of expertise, for example, they may just specialise in health insurance.

How do you find the best deals and quotes?

Brokers should first engage in a fact-finding mission to understand the needs of your business and then explore the whole market to find the best deals for you. That’s certainly what we do!

Do you help implement employee benefits after they’ve been purchased?

The answer should be: “Yes of course – our support and advice doesn’t stop once we’ve found your policies!” For example, Hooray can help introduce policies into your workplace – whether through written guidance or team presentations.

Will you continue to take questions if we have a problem?

Again, a good broker will understand that you may need advice further on down the line. For example, Hooray is always happy to respond to queries via phone or email.

Will you help with the claims process?

Now and again, a company might be refused an insurance pay-out. If this happens, a broker should be on-hand to help. We’ve often represented customers and managed to get a decision overturned in their favour.

Do you have any credentials which prove your expertise?

You might be surprised to learn that there are no formal qualifications required to be an employee benefits broker. However, you should check that they are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and are members of the Association of Medical Insurers and Intermediaries (AMII). Hooray have both these sets of credentials.

 

“Hooray really took the time to understand Unmind – who we were, and what we were trying to achieve; this shone through. The advice we received was detailed, thorough and honest; it always helped u to make the right choices” – Hazel Silvester, People Operations Executive, Unmind

 

Contact an employee benefits broker

Employee benefits are a daunting prospect for any company new to the industry, but we’re here to help! Contact Hooray Health & Protection on 01273 222805 or email us at [email protected] for a no-obligation FREE chat.

Further reading: Q&A with Hooray’s Junior Employee Benefits Consultant, Esme Pearson.

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