By Henry Stimpson, Stimpson Communications
InsuranceBroadcasting.com, April 1, 2010
Owner Jim Mooradian projects revenues will be up 30% to 40% in 2010.
The Boston-based firm is working on deals with a big national manufacturer, an LA law firm, a large New York nonprofit and a cross-section of New England firms.
Voluntary insurance programsthose that employers pay for through payroll deductionare growing fast because:
- Most employers are scaling back employer-paid benefits and imposing bigger deductibles. Voluntary programs fill the gap.
- The recession has made everyone much more aware of the need for security and financial protectionespecially if they get sick.
Mooradian says his firm is one of a handful nationally that specialize in voluntary benefits, with unique expertise in customizing programs. A typical custom program is a “hybrid” that provides distinct benefits for the entire employee population.
Executives and professionals pulling down big bucks face a huge liability if they get sick or injured and can’t return to work for a long time, if ever. Company-provided disability insurance is usually capped at a modest level and the benefits are taxable.
Mooradian’s firm can design a voluntary disability program to layer on top of that, so that if an executive or professional becomes disabled, he or she can replace the bulk of his or her income. When the employee pays the premium, disability benefits are not taxable.
But the same company’s rank-and-file workers face a different dilemma. Let’s say the company has imposed a $1,000 deductible on its health plan. That represents a real hardship for a low-wage worker who breaks a leg off the job.
Typically, the voluntary program for such workers includes disability, accident, critical illness and life insurance, providing valuable benefits for a modest price. It’s always customized for each employer.
Mooradian sees himself as more an educator and communicator than a salesperson. “We strongly believe that by educating consumers, we enable them to make wise choices that will provide them with the security and benefits that they need,” he says.
Because it has great expertise in a well-defined niche, his firm has a national presence despite its small size – just three professionals and an office manager.