When purchasing group insurance or an employee benefits plan in Canada, you will quickly be exposed to several marketing tactics of various brokerage firms. Doing your homework is extremely important so spend the time to get to know both the insurance carrier and advisor that will look after your employee benefits plan.
Major insurance companies and national associations advertise how great their service is and that their employee benefits are better than the rest…but how do you really know? The major insurance companies bank on the fact that advertising sells. Invest some extra time and research the insurance broker to ensure they are knowledgeable about the products you require.
Do The Research
There are several ways that you can investigate a particular firm you are planning to do business with when purchasing a group plan or an employee benefits plan.
Here are a few good places to start:
- Better Business Bureau. The BBB is a trusted and instantly recognizable association that most reputable businesses are a part of, especially in the insurance industry. Start by checking if the firm you are considering working with is in good standing with the BBB. This can easily be done through their website.
- Provincial Insurance Council. The provincial insurance councils publish disciplinary actions against advisors & their firms, making it an excellent resource to get a look behind the scenes. Each province has their own and some records are searchable online.
- References From Current Clients. Purchasing an employee benefits plan is a financial investment that you want to entrust to the right people. It is not unreasonable to ask for references, reputable advisors will be happy to provide you with them. Make sure you ask for at least two references.
- Community. Does this particular firm have credibility within your community? Ask several colleagues, friends, or acquaintances if they know them or have any information regarding their services. A quick search on Google and LinkedIn will surely reveal some useful information as well.
Specialist or Generalist?
Many insurance brokers that will sell you an employee benefits plan are specializing in specific areas of insurance, rather than being generalists in this evolving market of complex products. Make sure that they have researched the market and analyzed all the products available. At our firm, we compile research about all insurance policy details and compare them in more detail then our clients could ever do on their own. Each firm is different and is likely to bring something unique to the table.
The most important thing to know is if your advisor is providing you with the products and services you need in your employee benefits plan and not just telling you what you want to hear.