It's a Whole New World: How to Shop for Online Employee Benefits

Posted on June 2, 2019

Unemployment in Ontario is holding steady at 5.5-percent as of early 2018. If you should find yourself among the more than 420,000 unemployed in the region, however, this statistic will do little to offer comfort.

In 2019, Ontario residents can find peace of mind with private supplementary employment insurance. The unemployed no longer have to rely only on online employee benefits to survive while between jobs. Several providers now offer employment insurance, but they’re not so easy to find.

Government Online Employee Benefits

Ontario employment insurance (EI) through the government is available to workers who’ve lost their jobs due to circumstances beyond their control. These circumstances may include work shortages, changes in seasonal demand and industrywide layoffs. If you do lose your job, it’s essential to sign up for EI immediately so that you don’t lose your benefits.

It’s not possible to know ahead of time how much benefits you’ll receive. Each worker gets varying amounts depending on their circumstances.

As a rule of thumb, you can estimate that you’d receive approximately 55-percent of your average salary. The largest insurable earnings amount is $53,100, so the most anyone will receive is $562 per week.

Recipients can collect EI from 14 to 45 weeks depending on the region. For most workers, this isn't enough to maintain the lifestyle that they've grown accustomed to. Private supplemental insurance is an essential safety net for emergencies.

The New Employment Insurance Marketplace

Now, a few significant insurers have realized that they have to offer more value. Some do this by partnering with technology companies. Today, consumers want digital access. These partnerships help the organization’s appeal to consumers.

Insurer and technology company collaboration allows policy providers to reposition themselves in the marketplace. Technology also helps insurers reduce risks.

Today, consumers want on-demand access to goods and services. Technology empowers consumers with 24-7 access.

Liberal digital access is a growing trend in essential fields such as healthcare. In this field, consumers have continuous access to their medical history. Also, physicians can now monitor patients’ health remotely. Over time, more companies – including insurers – will incorporate technology to promote improvements.

Why It Pays to Prepare for Unemployment, Even if You Think Your Job’s Secure

A recent National Bureau of Economic Research report reveals that unemployment can lead to broken relationships and poor health. According to the study, underemployment can produce the same adverse outcome.

Rather than looking at EI as a safety net, it’s better to think of the government employment benefit as a starting point for surviving unemployment. Workers should hope for the best, but plan for the worst. Even if you’re fortunate enough never to experience unemployment, you can’t put a price on peace of mind.

Today, it’s growing increasingly difficult to save money for emergencies. Lack of savings places workers at increased risk. They can succumb to debt quickly if, for some reason, they find themselves unemployed. Couples, however, at least have the benefit of a second income should the unimaginable happen.

Nevertheless, if you wait until you find out you're unemployed, it’s too late to secure your financial future. You don’t want to wait until things go wrong to ask yourself, “Can I survive using only my benefits?”

It’s human nature, unfortunately, to believe that tomorrow will remain the same as yesterday. In reality, however, the only constant is change.

A Clear Solution in a Sparse Market

Private employment insurance is a rare commodity. Very few companies offer the service. To remedy this, several forward-thinking insurers now offer online tools.

Employees can search for policies that will suit their needs. Insurers such as iA Financial Group, Equitable Life and Willis Towers Watson have launched online portals.

The portals enable Ontario residents to search for private supplemental employment insurance. Willis Tower Watson’s offering is available in both mobile and web-based formats.

Willis Tower Watson officials express that their Benefits Marketplace allows the company to provide policy shoppers with a personalized experience. Furthermore, the marketplace enables employers to shop for and contribute to private supplemental insurance plans for their workers. The entire experience, state company officials, is as easy as online shopping.

One company, Swoop Incorporated, has already used the platform to provide benefits to employees. A Swoop Senior Leader reports that 90-percent of surveyed employees state that the portal provided a positive experience. Also, 98-percent of responding workers said they preferred choosing their benefits instead of having their employer do it.

Insurance platforms such as Willis Tower Watson’s help employees manage costs. They also give workers the flexibility to make their own choices.

A New Breed of Shopper

Today, many consumers are digital natives. This makes them the first generation of their kind in this regard. Now, insurers must compete with more than other companies. They must also contend with modern consumers’ increasingly personalized retail experiences.

Accordingly, insurance companies have started offering a new level of personalized service by leveraging technology. Furthermore, the old method of trial and error to find out what works is no longer acceptable.

Now, companies plan operations by putting consumer needs first. This new practice is especially beneficial for consumers who are hunting for hard-to-find benefits such as private employment insurance.

Smart companies think like consumers. Resultantly, the process of finding employee benefits online is becoming simpler.

Only a handful of companies offer employment insurance. However, researching policies gets relatively easy once you know where to look.

Today, insurers monitor the activity of their websites to find out how to provide better service. This includes sites, such as the ones hosted by Willis Tower Watson, iA Financial Group and Equitable Life.

On the insurance sites, employees are welcomed with a streamlined selection process. You’ll have access to convenient shopping tools and an easy sign-up process.

Read the Fine Print

A sudden job loss can send you on an unfortunate downward spiral. It takes a while to find a job. Meanwhile, bills continue to arrive, and debt continues to build.

Hopefully, those who experience unemployment don’t also have to deal with a sluggish economy simultaneously. These combined circumstances can make life tough. What's more, those unemployed citizens will wish they'd thought ahead and purchased private supplemental employment insurance.

The challenge is to weigh the risks of unemployment against market conditions. It's difficult to see a need for it when you're gainfully employed. In fact, it’s almost impossible. In most instances, there’s no way to know you’ll need insurance before you lose your job.

Most benefits don’t start immediately. Also, it’s important to know the details about the employment insurance that you choose. This highlights the importance of securing private supplemental employment insurance as soon as possible.

Many existing insurers do not cover voluntary resignation, retirement, pregnancy leave or termination. Furthermore, policies could include a collection delay of 30 to 60 days.

Some policies may not pay out once policyholders reach a certain age. Others may require that you maintain employment with the same company, for example, for up to six months.

Policies could offer extra protection for temporary unemployment, such as strikes and lockouts. However, it’s important to understand the fine print to find out what scenarios insurers exclude from coverage.

The Benefits Marketplace Is Now Consumer-Driven

In the past, it was nearly impossible to nail down private supplemental employment insurance. Today, however, online access makes it a little easier. You can now go online and research a few companies offering the service.

Online employee benefits portals help workers get the most out of company perks. Employees can go online to find out about employment or health insurance in Ontario.

Companies even provide digital assistants that help workers find out information about their benefits. What's more, you can find the information that you need from anywhere and at any time.

The Power's in Your Hands

Now, insurers want to make it easier for you to use their services. As a result, they’re making increasing use of technology to improve your experience.

What’s not so obvious is that insurance companies are also using technology behind the scenes. They use innovations such as artificial intelligence to process claims, forecast your needs and prevent fraud. Companies now leverage the latest in technology to protect the interests of policyholders.

Now, it’s easier than ever to find and sign up for private supplemental employment insurance. Invest in the security of your future to protect yourself and the ones that you love.

Find the Top Employment Insurance in Ontario

Now, you have a head start on finding private supplemental employment insurance. You can easily compare the top plans in Ontario. It’s important to find a good policy now, well before the need arises!

It’s super easy to get started. Fill out the form below and start getting quotes today.

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