News for HR Professionals


Steps to Choosing the Right Voluntary Benefit Provider

If you've ever wondered whether voluntary benefits are really that important to employees, wonder no more. According to recent studies by Aflac and MetLife, 81 percent of employees see a growing need for voluntary benefits1, and 73 percent agree that having benefits customized to their needs would increase their loyalty to their employers2.

With so much demand, the competition is hot. As an HR professional, you're faced with numerous voluntary benefit providers to choose from, and at first glance, it may look as if they're all offering more or less the same benefits. But are they really? Consider these four questions for weighing your options and choosing the best provider for employees' needs.

1. Will they use it?

Being prepared for the unexpected is one of the main reasons people want insurance. That said, they'd rather not have to experience an accident or critical illness to see any benefit from it. They're more likely to keep benefits if they use them, so look for a provider that offers coverage not only for the unimaginable, but also for day-to-day needs.

The solution: Consider frequency of use. What sets Nationwide® apart from other pet insurance providers is our wellness coverage, which provides reimbursement for checkups, vaccines and other services all pets need, as well as for unexpected accidents and injuries.

2. Is it easy to understand?

Legalese can make understanding and communicating about benefits difficult for both employers and employees. It's no wonder that a full 67 percent of employees say that reading about their benefits is complicated, long or stressful1. On top of that, many employees are uncomfortable asking questions, and HR representatives may not have the time to answer, adding to the confusion.

The solution: Choose a provider that keeps it simple. With Nationwide, customers can use their pet policies in three easy steps: go to any vet, submit a claim and get reimbursed. Unlike other providers that factor in copays and per-incident deductibles, Nationwide reimburses 90 percent on eligible vet bills after a single annual deductible, so there's no guessing how much they'll get back.

3. Can they trust the provider?

Insurance isn't like orange juice or paper towels: people won't buy an off-brand to save money. They want a brand name they can trust to protect themselves and every member of their families. According to Forbes, brands with a history of consistent leadership, experience, and accountability are the most likely to engender that level of consumer trust3.

The solution: Look at their history. At Nationwide, we're not just experienced—we're the first pet insurance provider and have outlived more than 50 other providers. That's why we’re offered by nearly half of Fortune 500 companies that include pet insurance in their voluntary benefits.

4. Is there support for you?

In this competitive marketplace, providers need to offer more than just benefits to set themselves apart. One way to do that is by helping employers with decision support and benefits communication for their employees. In many companies, great benefits end up flying under the radar due to lack of reminders: SHRM revealed in 2017 that as many as 30 to 40 percent of employees say they want benefits for next year that they either already have, or are already eligible for4.

The solution: Find a partner, not just a provider. Nationwide offers members dedicated support that includes everything from monthly pet tips to wellness programs that help keep employees physically and financially healthy.

Keep these tips in mind, and you'll be better prepared to choose the best provider for all your voluntary benefit needs. You and your employees deserve no less!

  1. 2017 Aflac WorkForces Report
  2. MetLife 2018 Employee Benefit Trend Study
  3. Forbes: "How Brands Should Be Working to Fix the Consumer Trust Crisis"
  4. SHRM: "Know What You Need to Select a Benefits Provider"