While preparing for the future has always been an important matter, the uncertainty of current events has heightened this urgency, prompting many individuals and businesses to take a closer look at their current life insurance, benefits and investment plans. Swartzbaugh-Farber & Associates has witnessed this uptick firsthand, working tirelessly to provide advice and solutions to clients throughout the pandemic.
“Our primary goal is to make sure our clients are taken care of,” Mary Drueke-Collins, vice president of employee benefits, said. “Many employers are struggling right now with either having to lay off staff or add additional staff to keep up with demand. A lot of employees are concerned about their benefits, too. It is our role to make sure we are helping our clients by offering answers that will ultimately help them provide support to their employees.”
While the industry is financially stable, Bob Swartzbaugh, president and CEO, said there are many courses affecting the market, causing many carriers to shift their focus.
“People don’t know what to do or they’re often confused in a time like this,” Swartzbaugh said. “We are working with our clients to advise them to stay steady and stick to the objectives they had before COVID-19 hit.”
Mike Demman, business development consultant, said the pandemic has allowed the company an opportunity to push the “pause” button to evaluate how to manage current client relationships, while continuing to grow the business.
“At Swartzbaugh, we adopted a high-touch, client-centered consulting practice that proved to be effective and valuable for our clients pre-COVID-19,” Demman said. “As employers continue to embrace the new work-from-home-strategy, as well as adhere to social-distance guidelines, we realize that the annual benefit enrollment process will never be the same. However, since health benefit decisions are so important to the employee, we needed to identify a solution that would typically be managed by on-site, face-to-face benefit enrollment meetings. We were able to pivot quickly to bring a solution to our clients without having to sacrifice our core values.”
In the upcoming months, the company is focused on executing its open enrollment process for clients while maintaining social distancing standards.
Although employers may be reluctant to make changes to benefit plans, Demman said they definitely need to make changes that allow them to communicate more effectively with their employees.
“Employees are going to be more engaged this year,” Demman said. “As a result, the communication of benefits is going to be more important this year than ever. It is our responsibility as an advisor to be proactive and provide the tools that will allow our clients to communicate effectively.”
"Our primary goal is to make sure our clients are taken care of."
~ Mary Drueke-Collins, Vice President of Employee Benefits