Voluntary Benefits that Matter. Now.

by Hannah Robinson 


For more and more companies, updating their menu of voluntary benefits is just one more necessary step to stay competitive and attractive to new employees. The future of benefits are tailored for the employee and hinge on open communication between customers/employees and their care providers. A study by Willis Towers Watson explores this topic thoroughly, finding that “employer interest in offering voluntary benefits has been burgeoning, with 94% of employers finding voluntary benefits to be important to their employee value proposition”.  



Survey says… protection and pets are top of the VB list. 

This study also contained a survey where the top five fastest growing benefits were identified: identity theft, hospital indemnity, pet insurance, critical illness and group legal. These are in order of descending point percentages, with identity theft coming in at a 25% increase in two years. Amanda Foley with 3PRisk echoes this when she writes, “For example legal assistance, identity protection and pet insurance are becoming standard offerings. An individual’s digital identity and presence are ever-increasing components of their lives; a shift in remote working has made mobile devices even more relevant to one’s success; the workforce cares as much about the employer values as it does about salary. Since we all navigate the world much faster now...our time has become more valuable.”  



Protection includes both our technology and our people. 

Allan Hilsginger, Founder and CEO of Guard Well Identity Theft Solutions answers the critical questions: what does his company offer that matters right now? Hilsinger remarks that, “the reaction to the virus and remote workforce has seen a 1000% increase in cyber attacks and identity fraud.” Guard Well offers “full identity theft and fraud resolution for the employee and the household no matter what is purchased”, therefore allowing the employee to return to work with less stress and keeping the company running smoothly. With employees having less security working from home, these services are nonnegotiable.  



Amanda Foley with 3PRisk offers a “device tracking feature to keep loved ones always within reach...and a nationwide network of attorneys who will provide the member with a large discount off their standard rates for any legal issues that may arrive.” Foley also remarks that since “nine out of ten businesses are dependent on their employee’s ability to access mobile business apps from their smartphone, we view our protection as a benefit for the employer as well as the employee - with our plan, the employee enjoys peace of mind in a digital world and will have substantially less down time as the result of identity theft or their device being damaged, lost, or stolen.”  



Pandemic puppies are a thing. 

You probably know of someone who got a ‘pandemic pet’ because so many people did. (The American Pet Products Association documented that in 2020 pet ownership in American households rose to an all-time-high of 70%.) Returning employees may be worried about separation anxiety or accidents for their furry friends that haven’t ever been alone. This is a new voluntary benefit that employers can add to attract new employees who should have the option to cover the whole family. This is a sentiment bolstered by David Martin, vice president of PetPartners. This company is the first to offer True Group pet insurance, which covers illnesses, accidents, and provides access to a 24/7 Vet hotline. It is in an employer's best interest to understand that the animal-human bond can’t be disregarded and that pets play a huge role in mental health during the pandemic.  



Placing it into the plan year. 

Employees are craving flexible benefits that reflect their new and changing needs. Identity theft, pet insurance, and other personal protections are rapidly becoming crucial to employee retention. As we move into plan redesigns and a new open enrollment season, these are also one of the most frequently searched topics according to statistics from The Granite List.  Brokers and employers are taking notice, no matter the group size. 



“The pandemic has given rise,” states Willis Towers Watson, “to an increase in benefits that protect employees against big hospital bills and loss of income, and provide personal protection." 




To search and source solutions like the ones mentioned in this article, visit The Granite List at www.thegranitelist.com



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