The voluntary benefits market is a real opportunity for life carriers, providing them a way to claw back some of their lost middle-market customers. But a clear strategy is essential.
In the previous three blogs, I’ve given a bird’s-eye view of the scope of the opportunity that the voluntary benefits market offers. Much of the data is based on the US marketplace, but the broad trends are applicable across many of the developed markets.
Each market, of course, will be particularly affected by legislation and regulation—obviously, benefits is one area in which governments see themselves as playing a vital role. In the United States, for example, the Affordable Care Act is expected to stimulate the voluntary benefits marketplace. Scenarios diverge, but in the main we believe that private healthcare exchanges are likely to proliferate and that the market for healthcare and other employee benefits will expand.
One factor that should not be forgotten: the much-publicized war for talent is a real one. In a number of areas—data analytics, for example—it seems there will be huge demand for skills that are in short supply, or not located where they are most needed. Employee benefits will be one of the ways employers will seek to attract and retain the next generation of talent on whom their success ultimately depends. (Read more about The looming global analytics talent mismatch in insurance.)
In such a complex environment, how will life carriers craft the strategy for success? Accenture believes that the following five actions will put you on the path to success:
- Develop a clear and concise segment, channel, and positioning strategy.
- Offer a broad portfolio of benefit solutions that meet multiple employee needs in the segment(s) targeted.
- Make it easy and seamless for employers.
- Re-imagine, simplify, and personalize the shopping and ongoing customer service experience for employees.
- Allow employees to enroll at any time.
For an in-depth discussion of these five factors, download Voluntary benefits: A strategy for capturing the underserved middle market—or feel free to contact me directly.