Preparing for the 4th Quarter Now!
The unofficial kick-off to summer has occurred so now we can sit back, relax at the pool, grab a drink, pick up a good book, and put it on cruise control. Yeah right who am I fooling! If you are like me, these days of summer are just like any other time of the year, busy! I can’t just stop working, and in fact, in the insurance industry it seems the “busy period” is now all year long.
One thing is for sure, it seems the summer is a great time to prepare for the upcoming 4th quarter. Regardless of your industry, the 4th quarter is always a busy and stressful time both personally and professionally, and if you want to stay ahead of it, the best thing to do is prepare early.
Planning, organizing, and cleaning can go a long way in everything you do. But let’s focus on insurance for a minute and how to apply these traits to the employee benefits world!
With your plan year coming to an end, you need to focus on renewals. Look back at what happened last year, and past years renewals, so you can look at trends. How did open enrollment go for your clients? Did you communicate effectively with your team members, your clients, and employees? How many hours did you spend on fixing employee applications, gathering dependent data and missing information? Did you use enrollment software? Did the software help or hurt you? Is it providing everything you need?
Once you have answered these questions you can start working on fixing things, researching new options, and planning! And if you are still using paper and want to make things more efficient by moving to online enrollment and eligibility platform, or just want to find a better a solution, the summer is a great time to do it!
Start to organize your renewals now! Do you send out formal RFPs, or just request renewals from carriers with an email? Regardless of your approach, organize your needs as clearly as you can so the recipient knows exactly what you need, and send it out early so you can get ahead of the game. Start organizing your OE timeline and communication plan, and then get it out to your clients right away. They will appreciate the organization, and you will be adding value to your relationship.
Do you have employees who have not given you the items you need to process their Evidence of Insurability (EOI)? Are you still missing dependent SSNs? Audit your employees’ data now and clean up what you have and do not have. Not only can it save you administrative time down the road, it can also save you money!!
I know that planning, organizing and cleaning doesn’t sound like the most fun, but stop and think about all the long hours you put in previous 4th quarters. If you can even take small steps this summer, you may actually be able to get home on time to pick up your kids or hit a happy hour come October!