The companies we deal with daily have done an excellent job of encouraging self sufficency. Clients have now been trained to download invoices, add, terminate, change employee information, etc.

Coming within the next few weeks, Sun Life will be introducing mobile applications that will facilitate claims adjudication and payment for claims before an employee even leaves the practitioners office.

Arguably these transactional processes are best managed by the Insurer, but we are finding that some of our clients are under the mistaken belief that they are responsbile for financial and benefit plan management as well.

As an independent advisory firm, we bring specific underwriting, cost management and negotiating skills to the table. So while most of our Suppliers refer our clients back to our office. Organizations have gotten themselves into real trouble by making plan changes without sufficient consultation on the financial or legal ramifications of those changes as relates to Collective Agreements.

Insurers are excellent order takers. Their role is to manage risk (usually their own), not to second guess orders drafted by a plan sponsor or advisor.

Fortunately, we are still a few years away from self diagnosis by way of a Google search and there are precious few You Tube videos documenting complicated surgery. Our curtain call as ‘professional insurance advisors’ will come at the same time when Fortune 500 companies leave professional accounting firms in droves, choosing instead to defer to Turbo Tax or Netfile.

So, the next time you think about contacting your Insurer, please consider the nature of your querry. Anything that impacts plan design, financials, or escalated service issues should come through our office. Lori Murphy has recently been brought on to handle service related issues and we welcome the opportunity to serve you (no matter how small or inconsequential you believe the issue to be). After all, this is why you hired us as your advisors.

We would much rather be in the loop as relates to all service, financial or plan design issues, than learn about them at our mid-term or renewal meetings.