Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal (R) has signed into law a bill that allows state residents to purchase individual health insurance policies across state lines.
Supporters feel that allowing more insurance carriers to enter the market will allow consumers to be able to comparison shop and find the lowest rate when purchasing health insurance.
Agents and brokers have to do their homework to understand the needs of their clients and pay attention to what policies are offered across state lines, says Adam Bruckman, President and CEO of Digital Insurance, based in Atlanta, Ga.
For an average adviser based in a local market, this bill may be a challenge, Bruckman says. “When clients want a policy that is sold by a carrier in another state, that policy might not have the same benefits the adviser is used to selling every day. This is a fine print issue that could be a concern for consumers and ultimately agencies. They must make sure they are advising their clients the right way.”
Bruckman says professional advisers are needed to shed light on policies so Georgia customers are not attracted to policies based solely on lower cost.
“For the agency community this is one more reason our role has become that much more important. We have to become students not only of the business in our home state but in other markets in which our Georgia customers might now have an interest,” he says.
Digital Insurance partners with agencies in other states that have businesses in local markets, so Bruckman feels confident about the law.
He is a proponent of the legislation, but emphasizes that it requires advisers to be careful and understand the game.
“We believe that more competition among insurance carriers is good for our clients. We talk to our insurers every day about what we’re trying to accomplish for our client. There are several vibrant options in each state, or in this case, outside your state. Ultimately this is a good thing for the consumer. We want to make sure insurance companies are secure, have good financial ratings and are going to be able to be around for a long time for our clients,” he concludes.
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