The relationship between an insurance carrier’s sales representative and an employee benefits broker continues to gain more importance and relevance, according to a recently completed industry survey commissioned on behalf of OneAmerica.
The data comes from the survey OneAmerica Worksite Producer: 2019, a custom research project conducted by LIMRA.
“Sales representative relationship” tied for third out of 18 possible attributes available for brokers to select. While the top two attributes remain “pricing” and “providing competitive products,” the poll displayed an uptick in the increasing value that brokers place on sales relationship – from 29% in 2014, to 38% in 2018, to 44% in the most recent 2019 poll.
“At OneAmerica, being broker-centric means we are always looking for ways to positively enhance the experiences brokers and their clients have with us,” said Jim McGovern, senior vice president for employee benefits, OneAmerica. “Broker-centric also means doing all the things that bring the highest value, and our sales team brings that commitment to the job every day, long after the sale and seamless onboarding of the employer’s plan.”
Sales representatives in the employee benefits division’s local and regional group offices provide personalized, professional support to help brokers and financial professionals understand clients’ needs. Together they: build strategies; assist with employee open enrollment; host classes, seminars and workshops to stay on top of the latest trends; and provide opportunities to earn continuing education credits toward licensing, regulatory or other requirements.
“Sales representatives at OneAmerica are deeply committed to broker success,” said Steven Lynch, employee benefits vice president of national sales and service. “Other carriers may focus just on cost but brokers also value dependability. That’s what our regional sales professionals provide, and this poll reinforces our focus on relationships and to be responsive to broker needs.”
The LIMRA survey, conducted online July 15-August 2, 2019, included responses from about 100 brokers. Survey respondents self-identify as mainly life and disability insurance providers. Most focus on the small case market with 67% targeting businesses with fewer than 100 lives and 39% targeting businesses with fewer than 25 employees.
The top six responses in order for 2019 were:
- pricing (50%)
- competitive products (49%)
- sales representative relationship (44%)
- customer service (44%)
- claims processing (25%)
- implementation process (24%)
Joining sales representative relationship as important carrier attributes were claims processing and implementation, which each rose compared to where they ranked in 2014.