Here’s the most important thing for you to know about the benefits industry: Most agencies offer basically the same products—from the same carriers—with no real cost difference to you.
So why choose one agency over another? It’s not a cliché: It comes down to customer service. Because selecting the best agency—the one that offers you the best service—is the first and most important variable in choosing your optimal benefits plan. You can’t control costs or laws, but you control what you get from your agency. Let’s take a look at what you should expect:
- Navigation. The insurance market changes almost daily. You don’t have time to spend keeping up on it—your agency should be constantly looking for changes that affect you or offer a better solution for your situation.
- Personalization. What works for one individual or business may not work best for you. Your agency should really know you and your needs—and craft the most optimally customized package possible.
- Specialization. Don’t count on an agency that sells every kind of insurance to have the time to focus on your benefits needs. It’s a complicated field, so you should have someone who specializes.
- Experience. There is no substitute for years of firsthand knowledge, a broad background and practical experience structuring and administering benefits packages. Choose an agency that has learned the best angles over the years.
- Independence. Whether you’re looking for a particular “brand” or you just want the best benefits package, it’s simple: An independent agency gives you more choices. If your agency offers only a narrow selection, you’re missing valuable options.
- Creativity. What separates the merely competent agencies from the great ones is the ability to think creatively. Your agency should be able to craft you a package that stretches your dollar to get the most for your exact situation.
- True Customer Service. Trust your instincts: Does your agency care about you, or just the commissions they receive? A great benefits agent knows you, your needs and your preferences—and does more than just check in with you only at renewal time.