Employees are willing to share a larger burden of the cost of their benefits in return for more options and choices of coverage, new research unveiled April 4 from MetLife shows. Of those choices, home and auto insurance coverage are in high demand, the study revealed.

Melissa Bergen, national P&C director at MetLife explains what employers are offering the most, when it comes to benefits programs, how often these programs are being offered and how advisers and brokers can play a part in connecting their clients with these programs.

EBA: What products are employers offering most and why?

Bergen: Employers are making a wider array of benefits available to employees, who in turn pay out of pocket for voluntary benefits and co-share the premiums with their employers. This gives employees greater choice without creating a burden for employers. According to MetLife’s 14th Annual U.S. Employee Benefits Trends Study, over half (54%) of employees surveyed agreed with the statement, “I am willing to bear more of the cost of my benefits in order to have a choice of benefits that meets my needs.”

As a voluntary benefit, auto and home insurance are parts of a comprehensive array of benefits from which an employee can select coverage to fit his or her unique needs. MetLife’s Employee Benefits Trends Study found that 62% of employees agree that they’re looking to their employers for more help in achieving financial security through employee benefits. Half of employees strongly agree that because of the benefits they receive at work, they worry less about unexpected health and financial issues and 70% say that benefits that can be customized to meet their needs would increase their loyalty to their employers.

Since some form of property and casualty coverage is required of those who own a home or car, the demand for these products is strong. The Employee Benefits Trends Study found that auto and home insurance products are the top two nonmedical benefits cited by employees as “must have” benefits: 81% of employees name auto insurance as a must-have benefit and 73% name home insurance, making them an important consideration in any competitive benefits package. A group auto and home program is one of the few employee benefits that can actually put money back in an employee’s pocket, as these programs offer competitive group discounts and when supported through payroll deduction, require no down payment and divide premiums across an employee’s regular paycheck.

EBA: Are employers offering these plans more or less?

Bergen: Every year more employers are adding a group auto and home program to their benefit offering. Thousands of companies currently offer access to a group auto and home program including more than half of the Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 companies.

EBA: How can brokers play a role with these benefits?

Quote
"Adding a group auto and home program to a broker’s existing benefits package helps diversify their portfolio as well as generate an additional, ongoing revenue stream; broker commissions are generally on both new and renewal business."

Bergen: Adding a group auto and home program to a broker’s existing benefits package helps diversify their portfolio as well as generate an additional, ongoing revenue stream; broker commissions are generally on both new and renewal business. These programs require very little administration on the part of the employer and can be added at any point in the year.

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