Employee Benefits Solutions for the Car Dealership Industry
by Clint Gamble, Leavitt Group
Are you a business owner or manager in the car dealer industry? Are you struggling to understand health care reform and to know whether or not you are in compliance? As an insurance consultant with the Leavitt Group, I have found these, among other issues, are common concerns in the car dealer industry. Here are some of the main insurance needs I have found exist within this industry and the solutions for these issues:
Navigating health care reform.
Like many businesses, I have found that a lot of car dealers are not yet prepared for the health care reform changes due to take effect in 2014. Many dealers simply do not know what to expect and what they need to do to be in compliance. I have even found there are some who are not in compliance with health care reform requirements that have already taken effect. Many are not getting the information they need from their current insurance agent.
SOLUTION: All businesses should act now to be in compliance with health reform requirements that have already taken effect and should prepare now for requirements scheduled to take effect in 2014. Don’t wait for 2014 to arrive before you respond. Engage a professionalto help you 1) understand health care reform requirements, 2) recognize areas where you are and are not compliant, and 3) make the necessary changes to become compliant.
Example: I recently began insuring a car dealer with two locations. While in the process of reviewing their prior insurance program, I discovered that not only were they overpaying, they were also not in compliance with one of the health reform requirements that had already taken effect. They were not providing the Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) on their HRA plan. They were not even aware they had to meet this requirement. I was able to bring them into compliance in addition to saving them money on a different employee benefits plan.
Overpaying for employee benefits and lack of familiarity with new options.
I am finding many car dealers are still on the same employee benefits plan they have been using for years. As a result, they might be overpaying and might not be taking advantage of new options that have become available.
SOLUTION: My team and I keep our clients informed of the changes that are occurring in the insurance market and make recommendations for solutions that are best suited for the unique needs of each client. If the market changes and it makes sense to move you to a different plan to save you money or to help you take advantage of better services, I will make sure you are informed so you can make the right choice for your business.
Example: Total compensation statements are an example of a solution many are not taking advantage of simply because they are unaware this is an option they can utilize. I provide this as an option for all of our clients. Total compensation statements are customized for each employee and provide details on the total financial investment your company is making toward their health and welfare. The statement outlines the employee’s full salary or wage plus the additional money the employer is spending on them for their medical benefits, 401K, workers compensation, disability, life insurance, etc. Most employees probably have no idea the amount of money that is spent on them in addition to their wage. Total compensation statements help communicate this value and show that their compensation is more than just their wage. This is a great tool for employee retention.
Insufficient staff to effectively and efficiently manage HR and employee benefits.
While some car dealerships are able to dedicate employees to full-time management of HR and employee benefits, others simply don’t have the resources to dedicate to these tasks. This can lead to frustration as employees who already have a full work load are also left to deal with HR issues and manage the employee benefits plan (often a full-time job in and of itself).
SOLUTION: I have the staff and resources to assist you in managing your HR and employee benefits plan. Some of our clients utilize our services for complete support of these tasks, while others simply call on us for a few select responsibilities. For example, for some of my clients I simply manage open enrollment and communications for their employee benefits plan, and they manage everything else. For other clients, my team and I act as their backroom HR department and manage everything related to their employee benefits plan throughout the entire year.
Example: I have a client whose office manager has been trying to manage both the day-to-day tasks of running the business but also manage HR and employee benefits. These responsibilities have left this office manager feeling extremely overwhelmed. I have been able to help alleviate this burden by providing backroom HR and employee benefits support which has freed up the office manager to focus on other aspects of running the business.
I recognize that every business is different and there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution, even if the businesses are all in the same industry, such as with car dealers. Each business has different needs and a desire to run their health plan in a way that best fits those needs. I make it a priority to listen to each of our clients, work to find solutions that meet their desires, and offer additional suggestions that might provide them with a better rate and the possibility for other services they might not have had before.
Clint Gamble has over 20 years of experience in providing insurance solutions for the new car dealership industry. He provides group benefits insurance for the Northern California New Car Dealers Association (CNCDA) and as part of the Leavitt Group is recognized as the CNCDA’s exclusive insurance provider.