Group Benefits Advisor

How Getting a Group Benefits Plan Works

A company that is looking for a benefits plan engages an advisor (e.g. a broker or agent) who then submits that company’s details to several insurance companies for a quote. (An experienced advisor will know which insurance companies are best suited for that particular company’s details).

It is then the job of the advisor to present the resulting quotes to the employer along with a recommendation of which group benefits plan that company should choose.

Of course, the cheaper the insurance premiums are, the more attractive that plan is to a company. There are also other factors to be considered, though, such as the types of coverage, the amount of coverage, and annual maximums.

What many employers may not realize is that getting having multiple brokers advising them actually comes with significant pitfalls!

Pitfalls of Having Multiple Group Benefits Advisors

Oftentimes an employer will get multiple insurance advisors involved with getting them a group benefits plan.

While it is important that a company find the right benefits advisor, it is important to know there are some significant pitfalls when dealing with more than one broker or agent.

For starters, when insurance companies receive requests from multiple advisors for the same business, they will only release one quote. This can lead to conflict and delay among advisors (the agents who are submitting the company’s details), and the insurance companies may then offer less favourable rates and take longer to finalize any quotes.

This situation can be made worse if (which often happens) if there are slight discrepancies in the specifications that multiple advisors submit to the insurance companies. Just some of these potential discrepancies can be:

  • More or fewer employees.
  • Differences in requested plan design.
  • Inconsistencies in underwriting information given.

Any or all of these differences may cause insurers to look less favourably on a prospective company.

What a Good Advisor Will Do for a Company Looking for Benefits

The following are some of things a good advisor will do on behalf of a company looking for a group benefits plan.


  • Clearly explain clearly the process and timeline for getting employee benefits quotes.
  • Gather all required information.
  • Consult with the employer and outline plan design options.
  • Prepare plan specifications.
  • Solicit quotes and paint a favourable picture of the prospect company to insurers.
  • Present options in a clear and concise proposal outlining differences and advantages of various offers.

At the Time of Sale:

  • Assist with the application process and required documents for submission to the insurer of choice.
  • Submit application(s) and follow up for confirmation and timeline to implementation.

Post Sale:

  • Ensure the Plan Admin has all necessary resources from the insurer and understands how to access benefits that have been offered to employees. (The Plan Admin is an employee who is basically the designated point of contact for the company being insured).
  • Offer opportunities to employees to review their new benefits and answer any questions.
  • Be available to address any concerns or issues that may arise between plan members and the insurer.
  • Act as a point person/liaison between the Plan Admin and the insurer.

At Renewal:

After the initial rate guarantee period every group benefit plan renews on an annual basis. At this time your advisor should:

  • Consult with the company to ensure they are satisfied with the plan and see if there are any changes that they would like to make (upgrade, cost containment or other changes).
  • Negotiate with the insurance company to ensure they are getting the best possible price.
  • Market the plan as required based on a few basic principles:
    • Is the company dissatisfied with the current insurer over the service they are providing?
    • Does the renewal premium seem competitive, and if not, does the advisor need to advocate for better rates?
    • Are significant changes required for the plan design? Have there been significant changes in the make-up of the company (growth, contraction, etc.)?


We hope you found this article about choosing a group benefits advisor helpful.

If you have any questions feel free to contact us. As experienced, licensed Canadian insurance brokers we are here to help!

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