Should I stay or Should I go?
Laurie Clark of Scrutton Bland’s Employee Benefits team explains how a regular check on your company’s benefit package can improve the range of benefits, and can even save money.
We hear a lot in the media about the rising costs of services such as utilities, satellite television and car and home insurance, together with a reminder that we should review these regularly and switch providers where necessary to ensure we are always getting the best value for money. This can also be true when it comes to company benefits.
I have just been working with a company who offer their employees a range of benefits, which included the usual suspects of life assurance, private medical insurance and so on.
Many of the benefits have been with the same insurance company for a number of years. The benefits package had been reviewed recently, so the expectation was that the current rates would still be competitive.
Going through the list of company benefits with the firm’s HR team, it quickly became apparent there was a discrepancy between what the company believed was being covered, and the benefits they were actually offering to their employees.
In my experience this can often happen as companies grow and change over time, but it is obviously worrying for an employer if they find that they are unable to provide the benefits to their workforce that they had originally promised. In this case this was very easily remedied following a discussion with the insurance company.
After I had undertaken further discussions with the company it was decided that it would be easier for all to open the insurances out to a wider group, provided this was not at any significant cost to them.
Following several discussions I then talked to the holding insurance company and other competitors, and despite only setting their premiums a year earlier and guaranteeing these for two years, they were able to reduce their premiums significantly enough that a number of extra people could still be covered at no additional cost to the employer.
Turning to the firm’s private medical insurance policy, which again had been placed with their current insurance company for a number of years; after talking to a number of private medical providers we were able to improve on the cover being provided, whilst at the same time save the company over 20 per cent on the premium.
Many employers have benefits in place to provide for their employees, however, it’s not uncommon for these to stay with the same company for many years as the firm’s HR personnel may not have the time, knowledge or experience to review their Employee Benefits package.
It’s important to remember that there are sometimes risks with changing insurance companies and in some cases it may not be appropriate to make any changes, even if there is a cheaper alternative available.
However, what it is important is that that your cover is assessed regularly and your providers are reviewed to make sure that what you have in place is right for you and at the right price.
• Laurie Clark is a Consultant to the Scrutton Bland Employee Benefits department, and has over 26 years’ experience providing independent financial advice to businesses and business owners. He specialises in providing advice on benefit packages and company pension schemes. You can contact him at laurie.clark [at] scruttonbland.co.uk or tel 01223 928065.
Scrutton Bland Financial Services Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.