Ease Reveals How Insurance Agencies Are Preparing for 2021 Open Enrollment

Ease, a HR and benefits software solution for small businesses, insurance brokers and insurance carriers, released the findings from its 2021 Digital Broker’s Open Enrollment Readiness Report. Findings explore how insurance agencies are preparing for open enrollment season and the pandemic’s impact on the future of employee insurance benefits and priorities.

The report, which surveyed 568 insurance brokers at agencies ranging from 1 to more than 100 employees, found that 90 perecent of agencies anticipate their groups wanting more insurance options this open enrollment season, with the majority saying their groups will want worksite benefits options, such as accident, life or critical illness

“Novel challenges brought on by the pandemic will continue to be a hurdle for insurance agencies,” said David Reid, CEO, and co-founder of Ease. “Where agencies may have been accustomed to offering traditional employee benefits and hesitant to embrace new technology, evolving to meet the employment needs of today will be a key factor in remaining competitive this year. Our survey findings provide greater insight into how insurance agencies are preparing to meet the needs of their clients during this year’s open enrollment season.”

The COVID-19 pandemic forced agencies and companies to reassess employee benefits. As employers face a hiring shortage, attracting talent almost certainly will be contingent on being able to offer employee benefits that cover a full spectrum of needs.

Seventy-six percent of agencies reported they’ve changed the way they do business since last year because of the pandemic. Further, agencies with more than 100 brokers saw the most change following the pandemic, with the largest number of brokers (60 percent) stating most of their business is now conducted remotely as their clients have evolved to a flexible or permanent work-from-home structure.

The ability to conduct business digitally and have enrollment meetings online was a driving factor for 43 percent of agencies that acquired new clients. Further, almost half (48 percent) of the agencies surveyed cited offering more support to clients by helping them onboard new hires online, conduct benefits elections remotely and provide compliance support. Overall, 58 percent, cited the ability to offer innovative ways to help clients contain costs is key for preparing to acquire new brokers of record during open enrollment.

The full report. which looks deeper at the latest benefits trends and opportunities shaping open enrollment for insurance brokers and agencies, can be found here.