Your insurance broker. At Hays, we believe that your broker should be an extension of your organization, working on a day-to-day basis to support your business goals and helping to craft effective strategies that support your ongoing growth. At minimum, your broker should be your advocate in the marketplace, ensuring that you aren’t spending more than you have to on your insurance needs. It’s a critical service, as insurance related expenses (especially workers’ compensation and benefits) are one of the largest line items for most companies. Despite their importance, however, the search for a broker can be an unclear process.

When Should You Shop for a New Broker?

It’s smart business to regularly get a feel for what’s available in the market to ensure you’re getting the best value. The services and capabilities of a broker are always changing, which is something that a quality broker would regularly bring to your attention. You should, however, start the search for a new broker if you feel you aren’t getting the day-to-day service you need or if you question the value that your broker is bringing to the table.

Here are five considerations to make when searching for a new broker.

1. Build a Strong Candidate Pool

Conducting a broker search is not the time to Google. Given the low barrier of entry to create websites, starting with a search engine will hinder more than help (for example, a recent Google search of “Minneapolis Insurance Broker” returned over 6 million results).  While tools such as SHRM’s Broker Finder exist, and may help narrow your results, crowd-sourcing referrals from your LinkedIn network and other trusted advisors will likely yield more fruitful results.

2. Do your Due Diligence

These are the areas that we recommend asking a potential broker about. While it is by no means an exhaustive list, their answers will give some insights into what you can expect from them.

  • Service Model
  • Communication Options
  • Compliance
  • Enrollment
  • Support
  • Recruitment & Retention

3. Compare Answers

Think about what’s important to your company. Are you a tech firm that’s constantly fighting for talent? A construction company with high workers comp claims? Or an organization with an aging workforce? Whatever your situation, it’s essential that any potential candidates have taken the time to understand your business and demonstrated that they will work to achieve your business goals.

4. Conduct Finalist Interviews

As with hiring new employees, first impressions are not always accurate. Your relationship with your broker is one that must be built on trust and transparency, which simply is not possible if you do not click with the person with whom you’ll be working. In this, experience and expertise don’t always outweigh a personal connection. Take the time to meet face to face with your finalists.

5. Continue to Engage in Conversation Throughout the Year

Your broker selection isn’t one and done – it’s an on-going relationship throughout the year. Therefore, it’s important to engage with your broker as often as you need to feel comfortable, whether that’s monthly, quarterly, or biannually. Communicate to your broker what you need – if they aren’t able to deliver, it’s an indication that it probably isn’t a good fit.

Are you in need of a new broker? Connect with us today to learn more about what Hays can do for you!