If you’re a Human Resources professional or a leader in a small company, chances are you’ve dealt with an employee benefits advisor at some point in your career. If that sounds like you, you know the process of choosing an advisor and a plan can be tedious, expensive, and leave you feeling more than a little confused.
You’re not alone. The reality is, most benefits brokers have been using the same techniques for years and haven’t update their practices. In fact, it’s fairly common for benefit brokers to rely on traditional methods that, in todays’ world, can feel pretty archaic.
As it is, benefit brokers are an essential part of choosing a great benefits plan for your workplace. In recent years, new brokers entering the industry have adopted the term benefit advisor. Benefit advisors have successfully differentiated themselves as a new generation of tech savvy individuals – and advisors using CloudAdvisors have a further leg up above the rest.
What is the role of a benefits advisor?
The insurance landscape is complex and riddled with legal complications, which creates a need for an intermediary between insurance providers and the customer. Introducing the benefits advisor; like a real estate agent for insurance. The advisor’s job is to expertly navigate the complexities insurance products present – and help their client make the best decision for their people.
There are several important roles a benefits advisor fulfills, not least of which includes:
- Keeping their client’s plan up to date
- Helping navigate legal obligations
- Completing annual renewals
- Benchmarking against competitors
- Communicating all of the above effectively to their client.
It’s important to choose a benefit advisor that meets your needs, listens to the goals you’ve set for your company, and goes beyond to find you the best value for your budget.
Providers are unable to share documents directly with customers by law, so managers looking for a quick and easy way to compare options on the market will be disappointed. Instead, new clients should be prepared for a lengthy back and forth of emails and, very likely, hard copy leaflets. Sound tedious? That’s because it is.
What does cloudAdvisors do?
CloudAdvisors is first and foremost a marketplace for insurance providers, business managers, and benefit advisors to share insurance solutions easily. The Solution Marketplace is run through our online software where providers, advisors, and employers can log in to their respective portals and browse options. Providers upload their solutions, advisors find the best fit for their client, and share it with them to review – all on one platform. Employers don’t have to wait for their advisor either – you can search solutions and share your favourites with your advisor yourself.
In essence, CloudAdvisors is like a search engine for employee benefit plans. You can search by:
- Provider name
- Category of benefits (dental, retirement, EAP)
- Type of care you’d like to provide (wellness, health, disability)
- Instant quotes available
- AI powered insights
- Much more!
When you find a plan you’re interested in, share the solution with your advisor on the platform. Some solutions have instant quotes available (so your advisor can tell you quickly what price you can expect) and in other cases your advisor can request a quote which goes straight to the provider’s portal – no emails required. Side note: we’ll soon have instant quotes available on all solutions.
If our platform sounds like it should already exist – we agree. Though we’re the first company of our kind in Canada, we believe the transparent exchange of information should have been introduced to insurance ages ago. What do we mean by transparency? We believe advisors should go above and beyond to make sure their client has all the facts to make an educated decision. When clients are relying on their advisor to get them information, it can be easy for an advisor to overlook a detail they weren’t sure their client would want. By making all information available to all parties, no details are overlooked and everyone is equipped to make the best decision for their company. That’s one of the reasons why choosing an advisor powered by CloudAdvisors is your best option – they go above and beyond to put the client first.
Due to licensing laws in Canada, advisors are still a very important part of the benefits selection process. This also makes them a very important part of our platform. Our main business activity is helping advisors get important information in front of their client when they need it. This in turn helps every party get through the sale process easily and efficiently. In summary, we help benefit advisors help Canadian employers – everybody wins.
so How is cloudAdvisors different?
Benefit advisors have been operating with the same methods for ages. For Canadian employers, this means that as advisor practices fall behind the times, so do Canadian benefit plans. Without a change in the traditional pamphlet, printer, and fax systems used, updates to your benefits plan can take ages – if at all.
If you’re relying on a broker to deliver complete, accurate, and up to date information, the system that supports them should be all those things as well. If you as an employer can’t approach a provider yourself, you should expect your broker to deliver the right information so you can make timely decisions.
At CloudAdvisors, we asked ourselves how we could solve this problem – and we came up with benchmarking.
Benchmarking your plan isn’t a new concept. Generating reports on demand that compare your plan to 10,000 other Canadian organizations? That’s new. We use a combination of artificial intelligence and on-demand generated data to deliver insights a benefits advisor on their own would be unable to deliver. Our software specializes in comparing benefit plans by industry, number of employees, and regions within Canada from a database of our advisor’s clients. Advisors and their clients get primary data that would take weeks to manually collect, in seconds. These reports available range in quantities of data – from basic reports to comparisons of over 100 data points.
Through these reports, we’re giving employers information they have never previously had access to – allowing them to make better decisions around their benefits plan than ever before. Basically, if your advisors isn’t using CloudAdvisors, we guarantee you could be getting more value out of your benefits plan through easier means.