Making The Case For Integrated Disability Management
The direct costs of employer time-off and disability programs averaged an astounding 14.3% of payroll in 1999, according to a study released by Mercer and Marsh in 2001.
Couple this hefty cost with the current unstable economic conditions, and it’s not surprising that employers are urgently seeking new methods to reduce disability costs, improve employee productivity, and streamline benefits administration.
In my view, integrated disability management is an excellent solution that insurance agents, brokers, and consultants can offer. IDM is a product that combines workers’ compensation with short- and long-term disability into one program, the goal being to coordinate management of all occupational and non-occupational disabilities.
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In this age where clients are looking for value, such a program offers an extremely powerful way to create and solidify stronger long-term relationships. Moreover, the industry has found that persistency and client retention are strong among clients using the IDM approach.
Even so, and despite their need for this solution, not all employers have rushed to buy the product. A key reason, it appears, is lack of opportunity. Simply put, many employers have never been offered IDM. Also, misperceptions exist about the product, and often its benefits are not effectively communicated.
To overcome this resistance, focus on these four key steps:
1) If your practice employs both employee benefits and workers’ compensation producers, team up with a colleague from the other specialty, so you can prospect/consult for IDM in pairs.
This teaming approach will enable you to address the differing buyer motivations of the clients Human Resources and Risk Management Departments. Typically, risk managers focus on financial returns, return to work and claims analysis to reduce costs. Human resource executives are more likely to focus on offering a good benefits package to attract and retain employees.
2) Present a strong case about the benefits of IDM.
For instance, point out these attributes: