P-C Benefits Add Value, Not Costs, For Employers
At a time when the costs of providing employee benefits are escalating, employers are searching for low-cost ways to keep valued employees happy while also attracting new, high-quality workers. Property-casualty offerings via a voluntary benefits program often fit the bill.
Some insurers as well as independent agencies are benefiting from this trend by maximizing efforts to offer p-c and more unusual lines to employees of organizations around the country.
“Voluntary products, which are products employees pay for, are important ways for a company to meet their needs to decrease costs–including benefits costs–and maintain their relationship with employees,” said Jean Hamilton, chief executive officer at Prudential Institutional in Newark, N.J.
“Voluntary benefits are valued because employees get group rates, so theyre more attractive than buying individually. They also have payroll deduction, which makes [payment] more convenient,” she added.
A wide range of benefits are available on a technology platform called “Working Solutions,” Ms. Hamilton said. “We provide the platform to the employer with their sponsorship. Its seamless, and goes right along with what the employer is doing on its [employee] intranet.”
She said the technology platform is available now and that products are being “phased in. Were in the reasonably early stages of marketing, but weve had some major companies that we will be working with.”
Ms. Hamilton explained that the voluntary benefits program “has opened up new channels as well as relied on some existing channels.” Prudential has “more than 24,000 institutional clients, including 83 Fortune 100 companies,” and targets employers with “progressive human resources departments and intranet capabilities.”
Some of the products, such as group life, are “manufactured by the company,” she said.
The most popular p-c coverages, homeowners and auto, are “very important products which everybody needs,” she added. “They can be attractive because of the group rate. The acid test is that people like to buy their home and auto [coverage] this way.”
Some other products are offered that the company “doesnt choose to manufacture,” which include vision, legal and dental coverages and “an increasingly popular pet insurance policy,” Ms. Hamilton explained.
Ms. Hamilton said Prudential markets its program directly to organizations and through individual insurance agents, who she called “an important part of distribution.”