Common Benefits Advisor Problems: Adding Value, Part Three

Mike Ignatz has managed Business Development at The Benefits Trust since 2005. His drive and focus has helped The Benefits Trust provide better benefits plans to small and mid-sized businesses throughout Canada.

Common Benefits Advisor Problems: Adding Value, Part Three

In the first two parts of this series, we discussed how educating employers and employees leads to higher plan satisfaction, and why it’s important to know what you are shopping for before you shop the market.

In the final part of this series, we will cover the various roles and responsibilities of all parties involved.

The Roles and Responsibilities of Brokers, Insurers, TPAs, and Clients

Over the last few decades, the importance of these roles has changed significantly. This is partially due to the increase in benefits costs—in the past, monthly health premiums may have cost less than $10 per month. Jump to the last five years, and we’ve had our first premium of over $1000 per month for an executive plan!

Benefits are showing up on clients’ radar, and they want to make sure they’re getting the best value. With so many moving parts, benefits plans can be compared to an orchestra. So, what does this mean for your role?


Of course, clients want to make sure they have the best value in place. As the broker, you are the orchestra conductor responsible for making sure all parts are moving in harmony and keeping the client happy.

Selling is engaging someone in a future result that is good for them. It’s your job to ask great future-based questions, communicate effectively, educate, and lead all parties involved. A good broker needs to translate and explain things in a way that makes sense to the client.


The insurance company is responsible for protecting against sudden catastrophic events with respect to a benefits plan promise. They provide risk insurance for a fair price, and protect the integrity of the promise made between employer and employee.

Third Party Administrators (TPAs)

TPAs are also responsible for keeping this promise, as well as reporting back to the broker, the client, the member, and the insurance company. They take care of the logistics and administration behind the plan.


Clients need to communicate effectively and in a timely manner about what’s going on in their company and any changes ahead. Whether the company is growing and adding more employees, or terminating workers and offering severance packages, it’s important that they inform their broker, TPA, and insurer.

By understanding these roles and responsibilities, you can lead the orchestra effectively.

It’s important to keep an open line of communication between all four parties involved to successfully manage expectations. A benefits plan is in constant motion and always changing, and it all starts with the broker leading the orchestra.

The goal is efficiency, growth, and profit for all involved. If any part is not profitable, it all breaks down.

Are You Adding Value?

Benefits plans are not a race to the bottom. It’s about a maintaining profitable long-term relationship, which includes continuous education, asking insightful questions, knowing why you’re shopping the market, as well as being an active participant and defining the roles and responsibilities in your relationships. These are surefire ways to make sure that as a broker, you’re adding value for your clients.

The Benefits Trust helps successful business owners build a better benefits plan than they can get anywhere else. Get in touch with us today!

Don’t miss our conversation-starter resource: 101 Sales Questions Every Benefits Advisor Should Know.

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