HR teams have mobilized to adjust to a virtual workplace, while helping employees stay healthy at home and advising them on what to do if they experience symptoms. But are you doing everything in your power to help them stay afloat and navigate COVID-19? The pandemic took us by surprise. Now, it’s time to be proactive and get ready for the potential second and third waves of COVID-19. In this week’s Broker Tool Belt, we share a broker’s guide to helping employers navigate COVID-19 so you can meet your clients’ needs and increase their satisfaction during these unprecedented times.
1. Stay Informed
Staying up to date and complying with the evolving regulations for your city and state is crucial to helping employers navigate COVID-19. Below, you’ll find the government programs and the COVID-19 resources we recommend you to review:
- Government Response to Coronavirus
- Coronavirus.gov for the latest official information from the Coronavirus Task Force at the White House
- State Action on Coronavirus to follow the state and local response, including state legislation responding to COVID-19
- Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Employer Paid Leave Requirements
- U.S Small Business Administration put together the Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources
- The CARES Act Works for All Americans to provide fast and direct economic direction to your clients
- Coronavirus Emergency Loans: Small business Guide and Checklist for a quick overview
- Marketplace Coverage and Coronavirus
Once you’ve got the knowledge, use it. COVID-19 is affecting your clients differently. Don’t assume they are all facing the same issues and need the same solutions. Today more than ever, their needs will be unique and continuously changing. When helping employers navigate COVID-19, reach out to them one by one and take the time to have a meaningful conversation to assess their circumstances. Afterward, you can use your knowledge to help them. For example:
- Create alerts for your clients that notify them about legislation changes in their state.
- Create COVID-19 resources for your clients with relevant information, such as the Small Business Guide and Checklist or the Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Employer Paid Leave Requirements.
- Host a webinar about coverage, claims, and regulatory updates or write a blog post about workers’ compensation and employee benefits coverage.
During this crisis, your clients will be counting on you even more than usual. Don’t find yourself in the position of having your clients reach out to your first as they pursue the information they might need in these uncertain times. Helping employers navigate COVID-19 means being proactive and consistently sending relevant messages that speak to any change in your business—or any information that might impact theirs.
Actively communicate plan changes to your clients. More than ever, HR professionals need to be kept aware of updates, so they can translate the information to employees and quickly adjust to reduce the impact on their business. Your ongoing, proactive, and transparent communication is critical to their success.
3. Implement Technology
Technology is what facilitates remote work in the first place. Utilizing software/online tools is crucial to continue helping employers navigate COVID-19 and keep business as usual. As a group health insurance broker, there are two pieces of software you must have:
Video Conferencing Software
It’s time to bring your meetings online. While nothing can replace in-person connections, video meetings are the next best thing and have become the new normal in this unprecedented environment. The working-from-home model leans heavily on tools like Zoom, GoToMeeting, Skype, Microsoft Teams, and Slack. In addition, here is a comprehensive list of video conferencing software that you can use to determine the best solution for you.
Virtual meetings can pose some challenges. In this Broker Tool Belt article, you can find specific advice on how to run a successful virtual meeting to get over the initial discomfort.
Benefits Administration Technology
How are you going to access your book of business? Since you are not able to deliver paper forms or meet your clients in person, it’s important to put in place a technology solution. In a recent survey conducted by Ease in March 2020, 70% of employers said they would change their health insurance broker if the broker provided free ben admin software. Companies are becoming increasingly more reliant on digital solutions to conduct business and meet their employees’ needs. Brokers who have not already adopted technology solutions run the risk of quickly becoming obsolete.
4. Boost Your Insurance Agency Marketing
The insurance industry is more competitive than ever before. Employers can work with brokers, PEOs, or direct-to-employer software when giving employees access to benefits and health insurance. If you still rely on in-person meetings and paper, how will you survive in an environment that has gone virtual seemingly overnight? It’s time to up your insurance agency marketing game to retain your current clients and win new business.
The blog you are currently reading is your resource to learn how to market your agency online, access the vast marketplace the internet has to offer, and edge out your competition.
This resource will give you the knowledge you need to successfully implement and execute a digital marketing strategy to help your business grow and succeed.
This checklist shares 10 steps you can follow to win new BORs one step at a time while keeping physical distance.
5. Adapt Your Services to the New Environment:
The challenges we’re facing are unlike anything we’ve ever experienced. Things that were overlooked before can become your competitive advantage now that America is on lockdown. Do you have the necessary tools to keep helping employers navigate COVID-19?
As many PCPs close their offices and physical points of care present risk of exposure to the Coronavirus, telemedicine is rapidly becoming a critical necessity. Help clients connect their workforce to board-certified, 24/7 virtual care, all from the safety and comfort of their own homes. We’ve created this guide to help you get started.
Unfortunately, many individuals will lose employment due to COVID-19. By law, employers are required to offer COBRA. But COBRA is complex, and there are a lot of rules, regulations, and compliance concerns. To help your clients, offer COBRA admin services to employers. You can build COBRA eligible plans and send the COBRA administration provider any initial notification or qualifying event.
HR Tools for Clients
How can you help your clients rapidly accommodate the new norm of supporting an entirely remote workforce? Your groups need a broker partner who will connect them with the right technology solution. For example, HR software that provides onboarding, a company directory, or access to their benefits information 24/7 via web or mobile app.
Helping employers navigate COVID-19 is crucial to boost client satisfaction. To make it easier for you, we’ve transformed this blog post into a guide that you can save or print—and we’ve added more content, examples, and email templates so that you can offer your clients better service and maintain meaningful conversations while physical distancing. Download it now and equip yourself with the tools to prepare your agency and your clients for a post-COVID-19 world.