New research by Prudential Insurance says more brokers are relying on tablets and smartphones to help sell benefits programs.
Nearly 30 percent of brokers report using tablets to access benefits marketing material and plan information, while 30 percent wish they had access to the technology, according to Prudential. Another 20 percent are using mobile phones to access the material, and 20 to 25 percent wish they had access to such resources, Prudential said.
Results are based on “Tapping the Potential of Technology,” a research brief stemming from Prudential’s annual study of employee benefits. The Newark company says the latest results show technology is improving how employee benefits are marketed and sold by brokers, and delivered by employers.
“We’ve also seen some innovation in the ways brokers are using technology, from accessing leads and marketing and sales material, to claim processing and a variety of reporting systems,” said Joseph Hayes, vice president of information systems for Prudential Group Insurance, in a statement. “We’ve learned that 44 percent are either currently submitting or wish they could submit Requests for Proposals through a tablet or smartphone.”
Prudential’s research was conducted online in July and consisted of three district surveys of plan sponsors, plan participants and broker/consultant audiences.
In addition, three-fifths of employers — primarily those with more than 500 employees — report using an administrative platform to manage their benefits programs. Of those, 62 percent rate the use of their platforms effectively, with another 37 percent rating it highly effective.
Fifty-three percent of those using an administrative platform say it is integrated for all employer-paid and voluntary benefits, while 21 percent have only employer paid benefits on the platform.
“Platform integration is seen as beneficial by many benefits managers as the key to enhancing capabilities and driving results,” Hayes said. “About half of all those who do not have an integrated platform for all benefits say an integrated platform would make benefits management easier.”
Reporter Tom Zanki is @BizTZanki on Twitter.