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Using OEP to Evaluate Current Coverages

Using OEP to Evaluate Current Client Coverages text overlaying an image of a magnifying glass on a yellow backgroundThe Open Enrollment Period (OEP) has a way of turning every insurance agent’s normal routine into an unpredictable and hectic adventure. It is one of the most vital times of the year for most agents. Needless to say, that when it is over, there’s usually an overwhelming sigh of relief. During this time, the majority of your focus is likely on helping new clients navigate through their insurance options. Your reputation lies on the ability to assist them in selecting the best coverage for themselves or their families.  While we can’t underestimate the importance of new clients, taking care of your existing clients is equally important. 

 

The OEP is a perfect opportunity to sit down with your clients and help them evaluate their current coverage. These meetings provide you chances to see if clients are satisfied with their existing coverage. If not, it’s your job to help them find a new plan that’s better fitting. When engaging in policy reviews, there are a number of things to keep in mind.  Since you already have a full plate, we’ve put together a list of strategies for you to use. By effectively assessing client’s wants and needs, they will become more satisfied with your services. This ultimately helps your business thrive. 

Why is Evaluating Existing Coverage Important?

There are several reasons why you shouldn’t let your clients and their policies fall by the wayside this OEP. These reasons include:

 

  • Customer Satisfaction: Making sure that your clients are paired up with the coverage that best suits their needs, wants, preferences and financial situation will enhance their satisfaction with you. This commitment to their well-being goes a long way. 
  • Compliance: As we all know, policy details and other regulations tend to change from year to year. By taking time to review your clients’ coverage, you can rest assured knowing both parties are compliant.
  • Client Retention/Renewals: When clients are happy with your services, they are highly likely to stick with you and your agency for the long haul. By taking a proactive approach by exploring where they stand with their current policy, you will maintain a solid customer base. 
  • Client Referrals: In addition to wanting to renew with you, satisfying clients through policy review opens up new opportunities. This comes in the form of valuable referrals to their friends and family.
  • Exploring Changes: No one year is the same as the last, and this means that many of your clients may have experienced major life changes. When evaluating their coverage, you’ll can explore these changes, and offer solutions to help them.

Strategies for Evaluating Current Coverage

Now that we’ve established some reasons why it’s important to review your clients’ current coverage, lets look at some evaluation strategies. 

Schedule Appointments 

One of your responsibilities during the OEP is to reach out and set up a times to discuss current insurance policies. Even for well-established clients, it’s a good idea to shoot them over a text or email at the very least. Simply explain to them that the OEP is approaching, and you’d like to sit down and review their current coverage. Whether you hold appointments in-person, or virtually, it’s important that you actually speak to them. Some tips to help you tackle these appointments with ease include sending your clients reminders well in advance of the appointment, preparing with a checklist of relevant topics to go over, and remembering to ask them about any major life changes.

Ask Specific Question About Life Changes

It’s important to ask your clients about any change in their lives that may have occurred. As an insurance expert, it’s your job to explain what changes will actually affect their coverage status. A great technique to use is to ask a variety of specific and open-ended questions. Some important questions to cover include:

 

  • Have you and your partner had a child or are planning to have one? 
  • Have you gotten married or divorced in the last year? 
  • Is retirement on the horizon? 
  • Has your or your spouse’s income changed?
  • Have there been any deaths in the immediate family?

These are just some of the questions that will help you to reveal important information that may cause changes to their current policy. 

Review Their Existing Coverage

This is maybe the most important part of our list of strategies. The focus of your client appointments should be to go over the details of their current coverage. Touch on information such as copayments, deductibles, limits, exclusions and premiums. While completing this review, make them aware of more cost-effective options. Even if they are satisfied with their current coverage, it’s worth mentioning. Highlight the premium and other associated costs that they are currently paying. In turn, compare these costs to other plans that have similar benefits. Sometimes clients don’t even know that cheaper plans are available. Showing them these options is a great way to increase their satisfaction with you. 

Offer Supplemental Coverages or Other Products

Another opportunity that the OEP provides is a chance for you to offer supplemental coverages like vision or dental. Additionally, if you are an agent dealing with multiple insurance products, you have the potential to make cross-sales. For example, maybe a client is satisfied with their current health policy, but they’ve been thinking about exploring life insurance. This would provide you with a great chance to make some more commission. 

Point Out Any Policy Updates or Changes

Another key aspect of the policy review is to educate your clients about updates or changes to their existing policy. The insurance industry is highly regulated and with that comes many changes. By keeping your client informed, they will be sure to stay in compliance. Additionally, they will not be surprised by anything later on down the line. 

Take Detailed Notes and Keep Records

During the policy review you be sure to take notes about your clients preferences, major changes or concerns they might have. Since you have lots of clients to keep track of, this information will be helpful for you during future interactions. Additionally, be sure to keep these records in a safe and secure place, and if possible, create backup copies. This ensures coverage if anything happens to go missing. 

Discuss the Future

While keeping your clients happy in the present day is your main concern as an agent, you should also take the time to discuss their future needs, goals and aspirations. This suggestion goes hand in hand with the “Ask Specific Questions” strategy. Things we already discuss such as future plans of children, marriage or retirement should all be a part of this discussion. In turn you can then provide them with potential solutions for their future events. 

Provide Continuing Assistance

Towards the end of your meeting you should make sure to let your clients know that you are always available around the clock if they need any assistance or have any questions. It’s essential that your clients don’t feel like your job is done after they leave the meeting, but instead that you are a resource that will remain in their lives if necessary. 

Send Regular Updates and Educational Materials

After your policy review is over, it is still important that you work to build a lasting relationship with your clients. This will help to keep them satisfied and encourage them to keep coming back to you for their future insurance needs. One great way to do this is by sending them regular updates or educational materials that are relevant. Examples of these materials could include helpful articles, blog posts, webinar invites or newsletters. All of these materials will show them that you are going the extra mile to keep them in mind. 

In Closing

While the OEP gives you the chance to bring in and satisfy new clients, it also provides the opportunity to check in with your existing ones. By reaching out well in advance, sufficiently preparing for your meetings, taking the time to understand their needs and preferences, and then offering personalized solutions, they will be sure to receive the insurance plan that best suits them for the upcoming year. Follow our suggestions and your client relationships will be stronger than ever. Theses tips also encourage clients to come back to you for the next OEP. When it’s all said and done, by prioritizing your existing clients in addition to your new ones, everyone will be able to walk away with smiles on their faces. 

 

Your existing client base is the backbone of your business, but sometimes you may find yourself in need of some new interested consumers. If this is the case, we’ve got the solution for you. At Benepath we provide insurance agents of all types with exclusive leads that are guaranteed to boost your sales. We offer both data leads and inbound phone calls all of which are produced in real-time in the following verticals: individual health, group health, Medicare, life and commercial insurance. If you’d like to learn more about what our lead generation services can do for you, fill out a form or give us a call today at 888-684-3121.

About The Author: Cassandra Love

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