Premiums On The Rise

“Major health insurers in some states are seeking increases as high as 30% or more for premiums on 2018 Affordable Care Act plans, according to new federal data that provide the broadest view so far of the turmoil across exchanges as companies try to anticipate Trump administration policies.” – Wall Street Journal
How does Hays maintain our 4% average trend? Find out!

Why your company needs a trustworthy insurance broker

54624094 - commercial airplane flying above clouds in dramatic sunset lightAcross the U.S., employers routinely search for an insurance broker with the best health insurance benefits and risk assessments. Sorting through each insurance broker is a major challenge, which is one of the reasons businesses fail to get the best deal or service available.

Our background as an insurance broker tells us that it’s possible to do better—a lot better. As a data-driven risk management company, we are committed to providing our customers with more comprehensive analysis than any other provider in the marketplace.

The search for an insurance broker doesn’t have to be painful. Our company is especially proud of the fact that while the national average cost for annual health care per employee rises at about 8.7 percent each year, our rates are substantially lower in the 4.7 percent range. This helps businesses ensure they are sustainable for the long run.

Top questions to ask your insurance broker

An insurance broker that is worth working with should have an extensive knowledge of available products and accompanying rates in the insurance marketplace. Additionally, your insurance broker needs to be able to provide additional services such as:

  • human resources administration
  • benefit enrollment
  • payroll services
  • employee wellness

Our team provides this suite of services because we recognize the importance of having a comprehensive broker in your back pocket. Managing your risk means having go-to providers for the services you depend upon most.

When managing risk within your insurance portfolio, look for a broker that understands the nuances of insurance and can design cost-effective solutions to meet your needs. Within our company, we have deep knowledge of numerous insurance categories, including:

  • Aviation
  • Casualty
  • Executive risk
  • Property
  • Surety

Risk control is especially valuable because uncertainty can cost businesses to lose a lot of sleep, not to mention a lot of money. With top-shelf insurance, you can shield your organization from the hazards of your industry and adopt risk-control programs that limit your exposure to those threats in the first place. Our company has a deep understanding of risks that face an array of industries and can provide insights on best practices based on trends in your industry. We can structure programs to ensure your risk stays within an acceptable range.

Take aviation as an example of our insurance expertise. This industry is extraordinarily complex, and the results of a failure on the factory floor or elsewhere in the supply chain can be truly awful. Lives can be lost if an aircraft suddenly experiences a problem mid-flight. Vigilance is essential at every stage of the aviation industry, and we can provide the insurance services that protect the integrity of your business. Using our knowledge of the industry, we will manage multifaceted scenarios and negotiate rates that are competitive and affordable for your organization. We have worked with aviation underwriters for years and will help you attain expansive coverage.

Another example is property insurance, which protects your employees, resources and competitive edge. We can provide services such as claims advocacy, engineering and loss control, and property placement. Each business is different. Some have risks on land, others on water or in the air. Whether you are based in the U.S. or have a major global presence with offices in another country, we will ensure each contingency has an accompanying plan.

If you are looking for a dependable insurance broker Salt Lake City with deep insights into insurance and risk assessment for businesses, turn to Hays Companies of Utah. We look forward to customizing plans that will be an ideal fit for your company. Call 612-333-3323 for more information.

Group coverage for associations, franchises and other organizations

49923062 - group business people celebrating teamwork team conceptWhen it comes to insurance, there definitely is “strength in numbers.” Hays has the experience and knowledge needed to deliver cost-effective and better insurance coverage to the members of your association or business organization. We can help your group create a new insurance program or improve an existing one.

We design group insurance programs to provide more certainty of insurance availability, the right coverage and lower costs to your members. At Hays, we make the process simple by offering customized solutions and a variety of services including:

—Due Diligence

—Development of Proprietary Web-Based Communication Platforms

—Development of Insurance Coverage & Rating Parameters

—Customized Billing

—Superior Customer Support

Associations, franchises, professional organizations and other groups deserve access to quality insurance coverage at a fair price. At Hays, we work hard to provide every group with an insurance plan that addresses its unique needs. Email us today to learn more about group insurance plans at Hays Companies is one of the fastest growing risk management, insurance and employee benefits advisors in the country. Learn more about what our company can do for you at this link.

Custom, comprehensive and cost-effective solutions for managing risk

32529977 - risk managementThink businesses that have primarily office workers don’t have to be as concerned about workplace safety? Think again. Workplace injuries happen in all kinds of companies. In fact, a number of injuries involve workers who spend much of their time behind a desk — not at a construction site or in a manufacturing facility.

As a business grows, so does its risk of costly on-the-job accidents. Nationwide, occupational injuries cost U.S. companies nearly $170 billion each year. Worker injuries and accidents can hurt and even cripple a growing company. That’s why preventing them through an effective workplace safety plan should be a priority for even the smallest of companies.

At The Hays Companies, we’re here to help your organization better manage a host of different types of operational risks, including risk of employee injury. We help companies identify hazards and exposures inherent in their operations and create and implement risk-control programs to minimize the probability and severity of potential losses from these hazards. Every company has unique risks. We can help your business create a customized plan to address and mitigate them.

Employee wellness, done right

19202459_SWith health care costs on the rise, employers are exploring new and innovative ways to motivate employees to be more health-conscious. An effective wellness program has many potential benefits, including a healthier workforce, reduced health care costs, increased employee engagement and greater productivity. Thinking of creating a wellness initiative at your business? We invite you to attend Hays Companies’ complimentary seminar, Wellness Done Right, on July 18, 2017.

This seminar will cover the most important concerns for an employer sponsoring a wellness program. It will touch on three aspects of wellness programs —general wellness, financial wellness, and wellness compliance. Our featured speakers include:

Mariangela Noyes. An Account Executive for Metlife, Mariangela focuses on the sale and successful delivery of their PlanSmart programs. She manages strong relationships with clients by providing financial well-being programs that complement their benefits programs and fit their needs.

Dave Anderson. The West Regional Manager of WellRight, a leading provider of employee wellness solutions, Dave has experience in sales and marketing strategies in both the technology and healthcare industries.

Tad Mitchell. President & CEO of WellRight, Tad also is co-author of 21 Habits: A Wellness Survival Guide.

Nick Karls. Nick is an Associate Director in the Employee Benefits division for Hays Companies and created Hays CoreCompliance, a web-based tool for comprehensive compliance reviews of employee welfare benefit plans. He has developed an expertise in consumer health care and finance. As a mediator, he has resolved issues between Minnesota residents and businesses by monitoring these businesses for compliance with Minnesota’s consumer protection statutes.

The seminar will be at the Salt Lake Marriott City Center, 220 State Street. A full breakfast will be served from 8 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. The seminar runs from 8:30 a.m. to 9:15 a.m., followed by a Q&A from 9:15 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. We look forward to seeing you there! To register, go to this link.

A customized wellness plan for your company

42923672 - happy manager looking at colleague during conversationNearly three-quarters of companies in the most recent Society for Human Resource Management’s employee benefits survey said they offer some type of wellness program or plan. It’s easy to see why.

Research shows a strong link between wellness initiatives and lower health care costs, greater productivity and employee satisfaction. Employees participating in wellness programs, research shows, are less likely to experience health issues caused by work-related stress and more likely to fit healthy food choices and exercise into busy schedules.

These benefits, however, are found in quality wellness plans customized to the workforces they are created for. When it comes to employee wellness initiatives, a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work. Companies need outcome-based wellness programs designed to address the unique needs and challenges of their unique organization. And they need quality data to monitor whether these programs are achieving specified goals. At The Hays Companies, we are industry experts who embrace the challenge of creating employee wellness plans that work.

At Hays, we deliver cost-effective health, work/life, voluntary and other benefit programs to clients worldwide. From healthcare coverage to life insurance and beyond, our expert guidance equally supports your goals of administering effective employee benefits and managing expenses. We look forward to hearing from you.

Experience and passion are powerful catalysts for the work we do.

At Hays, we’ve created a synergy between teams that’s unparalleled in the industry. Each department is a specialized think-tank filled with masterminds that transform risk situations into smart solutions.

Crucial information is shared; not in silos, but in cross-functional teams that serve your needs, and your needs alone. We have generalists and specialists contributing on every level to be a holistic resource for our clients. One team that’s dedicated to your account ensures consistency, stability and quality control in everything we do.

Hays Companies Ranked in Top 25 in The 100 Largest Brokers of U.S. Business List

Hays Companies was listed again as one of the top 100 largest insurance brokers in the United States by Business Insurance, a leading commercial publication to the insurance industry. The list was based on 2015 brokerage revenues of U.S based clients. Hays Companies ranked 21st this year and achieved over a nine percent revenue increase from 2015, holding a position in the top 40 brokers for more than a decade.

With over 20 years in the business, Hays Companies is based in Minneapolis, MN, with 30 locations nationwide and over 700 expert professionals. Hays Companies has continued to grow while maintaining independence and an industry leading 94 percent client retention rate.

“Our customers are at the center of everything we do,” explained Jim Hays, CEO of Hays Companies. “Each year, we are growing organically and extending our reach to better meet the needs of our clients. We will continue to be an industry leading company by going above and beyond to ensure we are the broker of choice for our customers.”

Click here for the full list. A subscription may be required.

All. Together. Honored.

Want Innovation? Ask the Right Questions

Innovation is a hot topic right now, with websites, researchers, authors, and consultants sharing regular insights and revelations about how businesses can be more innovative in an economy that continues to be challenging.

While innovative businesses typically point to famous industry disrupters like Apple, Google, Amazon and Uber for creating new products and services while ramping up the quality of consumer experiences, pioneers do not have to have a household name. Smart, nimble insurance brokerage firms, for example, regularly deliver innovative programs using some of the same principles that made the major disrupters so famous.

According to a study of insurance sector innovation by KPMG International, disrupters and innovators do not necessarily create something brand new, such as a new coverage or new program. Instead, they learn from traditional competitors and other disrupters and they leverage successes and experiences and create new propositions and approaches to “delight customers and create value.” Disrupters, by nature, are always customer-centric.

Here are some examples of what questions to ask to determine innovation.


Innovators do not take the first solution they come up with. Instead, they ask questions: How can I make this better? What can I learn from the past? What approaches can I borrow from other industries/companies to make something old new again? They take an approach that questions all assumptions.

To discover if your broker is being “contrary” enough to benefit your company, ask yourself these questions: Is your broker doing things the way he or she has always done them? Are you being introduced to new ideas such as cross-analyzing benefits and workers’ comp data, trying out data-driven population health management and employee engagement approaches within your company versus the industry static wellness approach? Is your company protected from risks that could have an infrequent but devastating effect on your bottom line, such as social engineering, infectious disease epidemics, and cyberhacking/ransomeware? Is your benefits program “delighting” your company’s employees and improving their health outcomes?

Cross-pollination of ideas

Innovation is built on generating a lot of ideas, learning from successes and failures, and putting together something new through this process. This is the key, according to Wharton professor and author Adam Grant’s book, Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World.

He notes in his blog that “originals learn to see failure not as a sign that their ideas are doomed, but as a necessary step toward success. “A failure signals a gap in knowledge or a poor strategy, and motivates us to go back to the drawing board and get it right. Without failure, complacency can creep in.”

Innovators regularly identify the gaps in their knowledge that may lead to failure. Such experience creates a strong, cross-pollinated breeding ground for new approaches. Is your broker working hard to invent something new in this way?

A recent Wall Street Journal article on innovation reports that “most companies continue to assume that innovation comes from that individual genius, or, at best, small, sequestered teams that vanish from sight and then return with big ideas. But the truth is most innovations are created through networks — groups of people working in concert.”

Choice matters

Innovators identify and try out a variety of ideas to find approaches that work best — and customers benefit from having a range of choices. Is your broker giving you options or just offering the “one-and-only proprietary solution that you’ll ever need?”

For example, a proprietary HRIS/employee benefits module means that companies can be trapped by their broker’s limited offerings. Is your broker offering you several options, instead of just delivering a cookie-cutter product, service or technology? Are the systems truly user-friendly? Can features be added? In short, solution neutrality is key to getting the most innovative product and service.

Keeping up with technology

Basing decisions on strong empirical data and experience instead of top-level claims data is a key hallmark of innovation these days. Is your broker delivering on this best practice of mining data for the insights and innovations it hides? Are these approaches used on the employee benefits side as well as the property & casualty insurance side? How long has your broker used data independent of the carrier and what is their expertise? Any broker can lease or rent a “system” to interpret data, but their experience in developing an analytics system as well as the institutional knowledge developed by using these systems can be a significant advantage for their clients. Today, companies have access to the sorts of modeling tools long used by insurers, giving them the ability to better assess and manage a claim before it has the opportunity to spiral out of control. Is your broker providing you with such tools and do they have the experience and institutional knowledge to offer you the best choices?


When it comes to innovation, bigger is not always better. One of the most valuable attributes of innovators is their independence, giving them the ability to find and develop the very best ideas, regardless of their source.

How does independence play out in the insurance sector? It means your broker can provide the widest range of program choices that meet your company’s needs. Privately-held, debt-free, independent brokers can also review the entire marketplace to find solution-neutral options that are not tied to any one carrier or to their own ownership interests. In turn, that means you can choose among a variety of solutions and ensure you get the appropriate attention to implement and work with those solutions instead of being forced to accept a broker-centric program that benefits your broker’s bottom line, but may not work for your company.

Solution-neutral options also mean customers can retain them even if their insurer or broker changes. For example, proprietary internal systems for employee benefits and property and casualty programs promise efficiency and cost savings — but they are tied to a specific insurance program and broker. That limits a client’s ability to retain programs and systems if they want to make a change.

Choices also can be limited by brokers who merge and/or acquire other companies. Financing this growth means either incurring debt or paying higher shareholder returns and that can lead to constricting R&D investment and limiting customer choices and services. Knowing how financially independent your broker is will help you know if your interests are being well served.

What do you believe?

Finally, you will be most satisfied if you choose an innovative company whose values resonate with your own. Leadership consultant and author Simon Sinek is often quoted for his insight into why customers choose innovative companies: “People don’t buy what you do; people buy why you do it. If you talk about what you believe, you will attract those who believe what you believe.”

In the end, customers want their broker to provide innovative solutions that still satisfy the basics of providing the right coverage, controlling expenses, and delivering exceptional, experienced service — all in the name of helping your company thrive in a more competitive economic environment that rewards the innovators of our world.

About the Authors:

Eric Kasen is President of Hays Companies Northeast, Craig Dandrow is the Employee Benefits Practice Leader, and Owen Callaghan is the Property & Casualty Practice Leader. All three are based in the Hays Companies’ Boston office that provides Health and Welfare Brokerage and Consulting, Pension Consulting and Commercial Risk Brokerage and Consulting. 

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