Multi-State Enrollment, Colonial Life vs. National Enrollment Firms

I often hear the horror stories of a multi-state, multi-location enrollment gone bad.

  • Poor implementation
  • Enrollers showing up late.
  • Enrollers unwilling to be flexible with their schedule, not able to come back for a follow-up day.
  • High pressure sales tactics.
  • Lack of understanding around any core benefits communicated and/or enrolled.
  • Agreed upon commission split is renegotiated after the enrollment starts, not leaving the broker with many options to say, “No”.

This update is a friendly reminder to step back and review your options before committing to one carrier and their National Enrollment Firm.

Remember, even though our Independent Agency is contracted as a General Agent with Colonial Life, we have the ability to enroll and suggest other carriers. In some instances, those carriers may be a better fit than Colonial Life, but when you are specifically looking at a client with many locations in many different states, you have to step back and ask yourself, whose going to coordinate and enroll my client? Will the enrollers be flying in or are they local? You may have a great relationship with many different Worksite carriers and they do a great job for you, but when you consider an account with locations all over the country that require onsite, enrollment assistance, you no longer know who will be meeting with their employees or how many days will be dedicated to each site. National Enrollment Firms need to control enrollment expenses to turn a profit on that enrollment. That control will lead to very little flexibility on follow-up dates and product offering in many instances.

After 20 years in the Voluntary Benefits business and a focus on providing enrollment support to over 300 independent agents, brokers and their clients, I still look at Colonial Life as having the best enrollment solution for a company with many locations and many different states. Why?

  • Colonial Life has a network of over 5,000, Independent Benefits Counselors who have all gone through Colonial Life’s advanced, enrollment training programs.
  • Their network of Benefits Counselors spans 50 states. Why is that important? They’re Local = Lower Expenses!
  • Local Benefits Counselors in all the major, metro cities, provides for a lot of flexibility with scheduling and follow-up dates. That’s important!
  • Colonial Life, like many carriers, has a Home Office team dedicated to coordinating and setting up, large, multi-state accounts.
  • We recently assisted a broker with one of their clients and visited over 100 locations, all over the country. Each location averaged 5-15 employees.
  • Colonial Life’s Benefits Counselors and the business they write is tracked and measured by a Business Quality Index. They look at three key areas;
  • Did the business written pay first premium?
  • Did the business written pay premium through 4 months?
  • Did the business written pay premium through 13 months?
  • Compensation
  • VERY IMPORTANT. Why do National Enrollment Firms take their largest split on those multi-state, multi-location accounts?
  • Why do National Enrollment Firms renegotiate the split after the enrollment has already started?
  • When our Agency writes any case with Colonial Life, the commission schedule is set and cannot be changed and due to the national team of Benefits Counselors, you’ll see Colonial Life’s commissions to be better than the, “Net” you’re receiving from the National Enrollment Firms.
  • Colonial Life calls it, “Nothing but Net”. Look at the, “Net Commissions”, not the “Gross Commission”. Generally, your “Net Commission” after a multi-state enrollment is complete is around 16% and maybe a little higher if Whole Life was included in the menu. Colonial Life’s commissions are 20-22% to the broker.

The next time you have any size client, literally 10 employees or more, give us a call and discuss our enrollment options. We can not only support all your client’s locations with onsite Benefits Counselors, we also employ a Call Center Team that is licensed in all states.