The top concern, noted by 60% of brokers surveyed in Eastbridge’s latest study, Updated Broker Perspectives on the COVID-19 Pandemic and Voluntary, was reduced enrollment volume, followed by account- and employee-level lapses, noted by around a third of brokers.
Most brokers anticipate making changes to their voluntary enrollment plans over the next six to 12 months, with almost 75% planning to move to call center or telephonic enrollments, and a majority planning to reduce in-person meetings (group and/or individual), to move to online, self-service enrollments, and to virtual meetings (group and/or individual) using “Zoom” or other video-based enrollment technology. The expected impacts to voluntary enrollment participation as a result of these changes is primarily negative, although a quarter of brokers expect more employees will enroll or expect there to be no impact.
Despite concerns and enrollment changes, when asked whether COVID-19 will have a positive or negative impact on employer enthusiasm for voluntary benefits over the next 12 months, around a third of brokers continue to believe that employers will be more enthusiastic (34% of brokers surveyed in July compared to 39% in the August study).
Brokers shared their opinions on a variety of other topics related to COVID-19 impacts including ability to meet revenue targets this year; degree of change in voluntary sales activity; desired product modifications/offerings both traditional and non-traditional; employer interest in non-traditional benefit offerings; satisfaction with carrier response and desired areas of improved carrier support, and desired carrier financial relief measures at the employer and employee level.
Updated Broker Perspectives on the COVID-19 Pandemic and Voluntary is an Eastbridge Frontline™ Report. Eastbridge Information Partners™ as well as survey participants receive the Frontline™ Reports free of charge. For more information regarding the Information Partner program or about Eastbridge reports, call today at (860) 676-9633, email Eastbridge at email@example.com, or visit www.eastbridge.com.
Eastbridge Consulting Group, Inc. is a marketing advisory firm serving insurance and financial services organizations in the United States and Canada.