Voluntary Benefits for Employers

This week we visited a large voluntary payroll deduction company. We asked, what are the top voluntary benefits being sold nationally in worksite marketing today?

  1. Identity Protection
  2. Short-term Disability
  3. Accident
  4. Dental
  5. Critical Illness/Cancer

For this voluntary payroll deduction firm, in particular, the answers were a little different: 

  1. Short-term Disability
  2. Accident
  3. Limited Medical (Gap Plan) 

I was surprised that identity protection and short-term disability were among the top benefits being sold, but this shows the impact of millennials on the market today. They spend more time on social media and the internet and realize the vulnerabilities related to spending so much time on the internet. Also, they have very little savings and understand an accident or sickness could quickly cause them financial harm, thus the interest in short-term disability protection. The inability to pay car, house, or apartment bills could be financially disastrous.  

We see new products emerging in the voluntary market, desired by millennials, who are the fastest growing age group of employees. It is also interesting that some of these products are not insurance-related. It is incumbent on all agents and general agents to stop pushing what is good for us and our financial well-being and offer what is desired by the young employees of our employer customers.

Benefits are used by the employers to attract new talented employees. This means to serve our clients, we must provide them with what will attract these talented workers. To me, it is unfortunate that voluntary group life is not high on this list of benefits. Life insurance is not sold by brokers as an important benefit although life-ending accidents or sickness can leave a young family in debt and without a second-earner. Maybe brokers avoid this important benefit because it is very inexpensive and does not produce high commission dollars. I hope this is not the case.

New employer-paid benefits include college loan payment assistance and possibly even warranties on cars or homes. I am sure millennials would also welcome identity protection as part of their paid benefits package.

It becomes even more important for brokers and general agents to stay on the forefront of our industry and what these young workers want. For example, they want to make purchases on their mobile devices, not paper apps. If you are an older agent, then you must study these new offerings and stay current with all the changes in the market. If not, retirement may find you before you find it. This is not how you want to end your career.

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