Offering your employees excellent benefits is vital for every employer. Those benefits play an important role in bringing and keeping great talent to your company. Consider these statistics.
- 80% of individuals said they would choose a job with benefits over an identical job that offered 30 percent more salary but no benefits.
- 66% of employees say that a “strong benefits and perks package” is the largest determining factor when they consider a job.
- 78% of employees say that they are more likely to stay with their current employer because of their benefits package.
It can’t be overstated how important employee benefits are to your business!
Baily Insurance Agency has been offering insurance products to the Southwestern Pennsylvania region since 1880. That’s a long time!
One of our areas of expertise is in Employee Benefits. We help clients of all sizes. If you have 2 employees or 1,000 employees, we have resources for your business.
But we recognize we are not the only Employee Benefits Team in our area. To help as you narrow your choices, this article gives an overview of the major players in the Pittsburgh region.
Babb Inc. is an independent insurance agency with three locations – one of which is located in Pittsburgh, PA. This agency was founded locally in 1929 and now serves clients all over the United States. Babb emphasizes employee wellness as a strategy to reduce costs.
Duncan Financial Group has its home base in Irwin, PA. This agency was recently acquired by a large venture capital firm. Having been in operation for over 40 years, Duncan Financial Group offers personal, commercial, and wealth management services.
A.J. Gallagher is a company that serves clients both nationally and internationally. Gallagher has an office in downtown Pittsburgh. This firm specializes in mid-market and large employers. Many of their employees also have former experience within the insurance companies and know both sides of this industry – the insurance company side and the advisor side.
Since 1893, Henderson Brothers has been serving clients in Southwestern Pennsylvania. This is a larger, family-owned, commercial insurance firm located in Pittsburgh. Henderson Brothers are known in the Employee Benefits world for being a well-managed firm that serves small, mid-market, and large clients.
My Benefit Advisor is a national firm with a Pittsburgh location. My Benefit Advisor specializes in association benefits like dental and vision products. To simplify, they consolidate billing for their clients. My Benefit Advisor does not sell other commercial insurance products.
One Digital is a great full-service broker that launched in 2001. This firm works with all-size groups and specializes in union health plans. They offer consolidated billing, operate a payroll company, and own a third-party administrator that manages self-funded programs, HSAs, FSAs, HRAs, and Cobra products.
This agency is based out of Indiana, but also hosts an office in Pittsburgh. They specialize in benefits for public entities, schools, and religious institutions through risk-pooled consortiums. This firm also offers casualty and property insurance. They work primarily in mid-market and large markets.
Located on Mt. Washington, TJS Insurance Group is now partnered with Assured Partners. This family-owned business is very familiar with local carriers and networks. They also offer commercial and personal insurance products.
Seubert and Associates are known for working with mid-market companies. They also manage large municipalities like Pittsburgh. Seubert and Associates offer commercial insurance products in addition to employee benefits solutions.
What makes an Employee Benefits Advisor exceptional?
Now that you’ve had a look at the top Employee Benefits firms in our region, let’s take a few minutes to describe what you can expect from these advisors.
The best Employee Benefit Advisors:
- Offer excellence in customer service both at the employer level and the employee level
- Simplify information gathering at renewal
- Provide quotes from multiple insurance companies
- Set up electronic enrollment for you (often referred to as a benefits admin system)
But that’s just the bare minimum. What makes an Employee Benefits Advisor exceptional?
Great Employee Benefit Advisors will also:
- Help with claims management
- Audit their clients’ claims
- Have expert knowledge on creative solutions like HSAs, FSAs, and HRAs
- Inform their clients about different networks
- Provide employee health management systems to encourage wellness
- Help employees with disease management
- Analyze full-funding and self-funding options
- Evaluate the possibility of carving out prescription drug coverage
Having a lot of options can be paralyzing. So how can you choose which firm might be the best fit for your company?
The best way is to interview potential firms before asking them to quote your insurance package. By asking some preliminary questions you can get a good feel about what the firm can bring to your business and if they can meet your company’s expectations and goals.
You also want to make sure that you are comfortable working with the agent before you get too far along in the process. Communication with your advisor is a key component to putting together a successful Employee Benefits package for your employees. You need to be comfortable with your advisor’s communication style.
Here are four interview questions you can ask a potential advisor to get a sense if they will be a good fit for you.
#1 Which insurance companies do you use to write insurance policies for other businesses like mine?
To follow up, you should ask the agent to tell you about his relationship with those companies. If the agent does not frequently work with an insurance company or has little relationship with the company, the insurance company is not as likely to negotiate with the agent. This will prevent the agent from being a successful advocate for your business.
#2 What combination of insurance companies and funding solutions would be best for my company?
You might ask: From what I’ve shared about my company, are there other lines of employee benefits that I should offer like life and disability? What employee voluntary products would you recommend I offer? Cancer insurance, extra accident insurance, etc.
Is self-funding an option for my business? What about tax-advantaged solutions like HRAs? Are there other creative ways to build my benefits package?
#3 What is the main market that you work in?
Do you primarily work with large groups, mid-market employers, or small-market employers? Can you tell me about some clients that you work with that are similar to my business? How did you help them?
Your potential advisor will need the right experience and personnel to support you. To find out if they are capable of servicing your needs ask questions like, “What extra resources do you have in place for businesses similar to mine? “
#4 Do you help with managing and tracking claims?
Depending on your goals – you may need your advisor to dig into claims and help you manage them. Often this is a key priority if you want to take control of your insurance premiums. Ask the potential advisor how they help their clients with tracking claims.
For some businesses, however, it’s not appropriate for your advisor to dig into your claims. You can ask the advisor up front what they would suggest for your business.
Finally, making sure that claims are managed effectively is important to both you and your employees. Claims that are not dealt with effectively can produce unhappy employees. Ask the potential agent what processes they use to manage claims.
Looking for an Employee Benefits Advisor to help you?
At Baily Insurance, one of our primary goals is to educate our clients. Working as a team, we want to help our clients understand what they can do to control their Employee Benefits costs.
We also believe that the best insurance programs do not rely on quoting and hoping. What I mean by that is that the best insurance programs don’t simply plug in the numbers and wait to see what the insurance companies will offer.
The best benefits programs take a long-term approach. They require a deep dive into the factors that affect your group health costs and a plan to address those factors. When you approach benefits in this way, employers end up with happier employees, improved work cultures, and control of their premium costs.
To learn more about our process, this short guide will help you understand what Baily Insurance can offer to your company. We would also welcome the opportunity to meet with you in person, over the phone, or virtually to discern if working together would benefit your business.