Premier Choice Group (PCG), the health and protection intermediary, was called in by Thirteen Group, the North East housing management company to offer health insurance advice and protection products to its employees.
Thirteen Group manages more than 32,000 homes and is one of the largest employers in the North East with 1,400 staff from executive and director level to administrative and skilled trades staff.
Thirteen wasn't able to offer its whole workforce a full range of employee benefits, ie private medical insurance, death in service, group income protection, group critical illness.
However it wanted to demonstrate how it values its workforce and understands the importance of offering these benefits.
The challenge facing Thirteen was to find a way to make it easy for its workforce to access these products, while providing them with the support they may need to select the right products for their own needs. This was where PCG was to come in.
When PCG came on the scene therefore there were certain challenges it then had to pick up on.
Les Schroeter, head of individual protection at Premier Choice Group explains:
"From the outset it was clear that while the benefits of such products would be promoted to the workforce by Thirteen, workers were not being forced to enter into any agreement and it was entirely voluntary".
"This meant finding a solution that would give mass access, and background support, but no direct marketing. The main challenge for us was the need to find and develop a web-based solution. It meant making considerable changes to our website, working with our existing partner the protection platform LifeQuote to find compatibility, and then linking these with the benefits section of Thirteen's website.
"This obviously involved engaging with both internal and external web developers (with resultant costs), and coordinating the link between the three different websites (Thirteen, PCG, and LifeQuote).
"The resulting package meant that employees are offered advice on private medical insurance from Premier Choice Group and access to protection insurances too through Thirteen's intranet benefits and reward site. Under its Benefits section staff can follow a link to PCG's website and click an online button for advice on either private medical insurance (PMI) or protection - or both.
"If employees select the PMI button they will be contacted by a PCG adviser for advice. If they hit the Protection button they can either speak to a PCG adviser for advice or can go direct to LifeQuote, where they can obtain quotes for simple life and critical illness products on a non advised sale basis.
"Technology clearly played a key part to the whole employee benefits solution. "By maintaining joint logo branding and using URL links which creates a seamless journey from the thirteen website via PCG to LifeQuote, an employee should be comfortable in the knowledge that this was created exclusively for their benefit," says Schroeter.
An example of how the initiative works for employees comes from John, a painter /decorator at Thirteen. One of John's colleagues fell from a ladder at work, sustained a severe head injury and has been signed off work for six months.
This has focused John on how his family would be impacted financially if wasn't there to support them. Through the benefits section of the Thirteen's website he was directed to the Premier Choice web page dedicated to thirteen employees.
He was given the choice of advice on private medical insurance or all personal protection products, or to proceed without advice to purchase life insurance. Opting for the latter within 20 minutes he had obtained life cover with critical illness at a very affordable price.
A follow up call from PCG next day ironed out a few concerns he had about his level of cover.
Launching later in 2019
Considered least important
Research from Canada Life
Putting the tech into protection