An Easy and Effective Way to Enhance Your Clients’ Coverage and Build Your Book of Business
By Susan Fowler, CFPMs. Fowler, CFP, has served as vice president of sales for Golden Rule Insurance Company (www.goldenrule.com) since 1987. Today, Susan leads broker sales and marketing for UnitedHealthcare’s individual line of business which offers health and ancillary plans under the UnitedHealthOne brand. This includes American Medical Security and Oxford Health Plans in addition to Golden Rule. Susan can be reached at [email protected]
With ever increasing numbers of consumers choosing high deductible health plans to save on premium costs, the opportunity is greater than ever for brokers to reduce their clients’ risk exposure and out-of- pocket expenses by bundling other products together with major medical plans.
In fact, clients who purchase products like accident protection, critical illness and disability income might find that they are better covered against the potential economic hardships of a major illness than they would with a lower deductible plan only.
That’s because these plans can not only help make up for the out-of-pocket expenses resulting from the higher deductible, but also help cover non-medical impacts such as loss of income, travel expenses and other costs that can be associated with serious illnesses.
Smart bundling balances both cost and coverage. It’s not about selling as many products as your client can afford, but rather providing the right amount of needed coverage for your client. The sale can be lost if either the cost is too high or the desired coverage is not achieved.
Bundling also allows you to enhance your income opportunities by building new business and improving client retention. Packaging multiple insurance products can become a natural part of a client presentation and can make the session more productive for both the client and the broker.
“While major medical used to be our primary focus, we’re now using it as more of an entry to get into the door, and then we talk about the need for critical illness, accidental and other ancillary products,” says Larry McClendon of National Insurance Agency, based in Dallas, Texas, who markets in 43 states. “You have to do a little more education, but bundling to protect that exposure is very necessary for consumers, especially with today’s higher deductibles. And for the broker, it helps get commissions back to where they were.”
McClendon says he often talks about personal and client experiences to illustrate the need for additional coverage. “Many companies have come out with new and innovative products to serve this need in the marketplace. I try to explain that major illnesses or disabilities can happen to anyone at any age. When the client has that protection, they’ll never drop it. You’ll have a customer for life,” McClendon explained.
A wide variety of products – including supplemental accident protection, dental and vision coverage, critical illness, disability income, accidental death and dismemberment coverage and term life insurance – can be bundled together in any number of ways allowing great flexibility for your individual clients and their families. Each of these coverage options is designed to fulfill a specific need. When combined together, they provide a powerful and comprehensive package of coverage.
“It’s very convenient to have one provider for a client to cover things that their medical plan might not cover,” says Adam Kandulski of Healthcare Solutions Team, based in Lombard, Illinois, who does business in Illinois, Michigan and Florida. “At first I analyze their needs, and then I create a list to try to include accidental benefit, critical illness and other things that major medical won’t cover. I explain everything and if they decide it’s right for them, we go on from there.” He says it takes a little more time and effort, but it’s worth it.
By evaluating your clients’ needs for specific coverage types, you can help them save money on health insurance the right way. This allows your clients to improve their overall coverage without spending their entire health insurance budgets on medical coverage alone.
Your clients win because you have given them much more than just a health insurance plan. As their agent, you have protected them from the hardship that would occur if misfortune strikes. What’s more, you did it at a total monthly premium cost that is about what they would have paid for health insurance alone – or possibly even less if they decide they can go with a higher deductible.
And you win, because bundling health insurance benefits can help you provide greater value for many of your clients while growing and improving the size and income of your business. v