Raise your hand if last year’s renewal season was one of your toughest ever. With the introduction of the Affordable Care Act and all the complexity and requirements that go with it, we all know that 2013 and 2014 renewals were tough on brokers. Renewals that were once spread across 12 months were now crammed into December and January, forcing brokers to work overtime, spend less time with each client and scramble like never before.
The impact on clients
Of course, this compressed renewal season wasn’t the fault of the broker or the client, but both suffered. The impact on the clients was that they got less face time with their broker—at a time when they needed it most.
Brokers were understandably pushed into survival mode, being reactive instead of proactive. Many brokers didn’t have time to perform their typical comprehensive plan design analysis, or were forced to hand-pick only select clients for their in-depth services. Unfortunately, clients often left meetings confused about their plan options and/or their obligations under ACA.
How to make this year different
The silver lining to take from last year’s chaotic and unfavorable renewal season is that it offers significant opportunities for brokers who up their game this year. Naturally, when clients are frustrated, it is the perfect time to challenge the incumbent—and this coming renewal season will be a prime prospecting occasion.
The most important thing is to learn from last year’s renewal season and focus on being proactive this year. Clients are overwhelmed with plan design options as they try to manage ever-increasing health care costs. Most are also still unsure of ACA compliance, and want to rely on a broker’s expertise to guide them. This is the chance for rock-star brokers to set themselves apart and give clients the experience they are looking for.
What are your thoughts on last year’s renewal season? I’d love for you to share your comments below.
Plus, read our ebook, Brokers: Learn From Last Renewal Season, for three specific areas that brokers can address to make sure their next renewal exceeds client expectations.