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Best practices: checklist for choosing a voluntary benefits provider

Vetting voluntary benefit providers

There are numerous voluntary benefit providers from which to choose, but employers should be careful to select a partner that’s a good fit with their business. For the more traditional voluntary benefits, companies often sign on with the known brand names as well as other established carriers.

 

For non-traditional voluntary benefits, however, the choices aren’t always as obvious. Many of the new, innovative voluntary benefits on the market today are provided by companies who are recently-established. Thus, a bit more due diligence is warranted.

Employers should scrutinize the provider just as they would any other vendor partnership. 

 

Here’s a checklist of factors to consider when evaluating non-traditional voluntary benefits partners:

 

Experience

Find out how long the company has been in business. Companies who have a proven history and an established track record are most likely the ones you want to work with because there’s a good indicator of what you can expect. If you are considering working with a relatively new company, however, you’ll want to learn more and look deeper into how your benefits will be handled:

  • Who owns the company? If owned by another company, what is the commitment to the business?
  • What is the staff’s experience?
  • What are the company’s long-term goals?
  • Can they provide case studies for companies they have worked with?

Business Understanding
Look for a partner with a foundation of best practices across a wide variety of industries and with companies the size of yours. This assures that they have an understanding your company’s and your employees’ benefits needs.

 

Customer Service
It's important that your employees receive good customer service for the voluntary benefit you provide. Make sure the provider you are considering has a solid reputation and commitment to ongoing customer service. If they participate in any independent customer service surveys, ask to see the results.

 

Security
Be sure to ask how they keep employee data secure as well as how they communicate with your employees that their personal information won’t be shared with the employer.

 

Benefits Communication
Benefits communication expertise should be a prime consideration when selecting a voluntary partner. Find out what benefits communication programs they offer and how it is implemented.