How many times have you experienced buyer’s remorse? You know, that feeling when a purchase doesn’t quite live up to an expectation or promise. I’ve found the feeling of buyer’s remorse is often proportional to a product’s significance: The more important the purchase, the worse the feeling can be.

As an adviser, one of your most important roles is to help your clients avoid regret after making the choice to switch disability carriers. Selecting the right disability carrier can make all the different to your clients, as they will rely on a carrier to provide support to an employee who is either on a disability leave or hoping to avoid one.

Jeffery D. Smith
Jeffery D. Smith

Choosing a new disability carrier comes with numerous decisions. These include analyzing options, comparing services and determining how a choice could benefit a client’s bottom line. However, one of the most important aspects disability carriers will focus on during the RFP process is how they will help with an employee’s stay-at-work or return-to-work accommodations. While all carriers promise results, the key here is to ensure you and your clients actually get those results.

Also see:10 unconventional job search tips and strategies.”

Ask these comprehensive questions
Conducting research and fact-finding are important components of selecting a disability carrier. Doing your due diligence can help ensure your client gets what they truly need. Here are three questions to ask — specifically about stay-at-work and return-to-work services — during your next client RFP:

1) Are all employees eligible to receive return-to-work and stay-at-work services? When an employee experiences a disabling illness or injury, the last thing your clients will want to do is determine if the employee is eligible for accommodations assistance. It’s easy for a carrier to say it will provide assistance to all employees, but there can often be unexpected red tape for an employer if the employee isn’t enrolled in the appropriate short-term or long-term disability program, or has elected voluntary coverage. Determining which employees are eligible and any additional costs associated with coverage for those who aren’t is important to understand before an employee experiences a medical issue.

2) Who will be working directly with the employee to develop the appropriate return-to-work or stay-at-work plan? It’s not unusual for nationwide carriers to use vendors from across the country to provide timely accommodations assistance. What you and your client will want to learn, though, is who manages the vendors, what type of training these individuals have and how they report back to the carrier about what is needed or progress that’s being made. Identifying who will provide this assistance will help ensure your client’s employees are getting the right kind of support.

3) How can the carrier showcase return on investment? Your clients have to report back to their executive teams about the ROI of their benefits package. However, success is measured differently for each employer. Will the board of directors or senior executives want to know their employees’ average disability duration? Or how many temporary or permanent workers weren’t hired as the result of comprehensive disability management? While all carriers will report that employees were able to return to work, not all carriers can translate successes in a way that these stakeholders will want to see.

Speaking up during the process and helping your client determine answers to what are often nitty-gritty disability questions can help prevent surprises down the road. Not only does this translate into success for the client and prevent buyer’s remorse, it helps position you as a consultant who understands your client’s needs.

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