Are standard voluntary benefit offerings enough to keep employees (and, by extension, employers) satisfied? A Society for Human Resource Management study found that while three-quarters of HR professionals believe employees are happy with benefit offerings, only 27 percent of employees reported high satisfaction.
What’s causing the disconnect?
Perhaps it’s that employees now expect a more robust benefits package that can help with more of their medical, emotional, financial and legal needs. They want benefits that they can use in their everyday lives, on a regular basis — not just when they are sick, injured or elderly.
For example, long-term care insurance can help with the costs of assisted living or home health aides down the road, but what about everything they should be doing now to help prepare — creating an estate plan that includes a will, trust and other legal documents that make their wishes clear?
Employers who want to be more proactive about their employees’ health and well-being are turning to other voluntary benefits like legal insurance to fill in gaps. In the past 20 years, the percent of employers who offer a legal benefit to their employees has gone from 13 to 25 percent, according to SHRM. These are the employers who understand how legal insurance complements and supports other voluntary benefits.
When employers are choosing what to include in their benefits package, many of them tend to go with more traditional voluntary benefits. One reason is because they aren’t as familiar with legal insurance and may need additional education about the benefits.
Employers may not realize, for example, that legal insurance is one of the few voluntary benefits useful to every single employee. No matter an employee’s age, relationship status or background, every single person encounters legal situations. ARAG recently conducted a study that found three out of four Americans experience at least one legal event every year. Common legal matters include wills, traffic tickets, divorce, child support and bankruptcy.
Providing employees access to a legal insurance plan will help them save money on attorney fees, which average $343 an hour, according to The National Law Journal and ALM Legal Intelligence. With legal insurance, those attorney fees are usually covered.
Not only does legal insurance save employees money, it also decreases the time and stress employees spend dealing with these issues – which impacts their productivity at work. By providing employees a benefit that reduces financial stress (by saving money on attorney fees) and connecting them with professionals to help with stressful situations like divorce, caregiving and debt, employers benefit their own bottom line.
Once employers understand this and add legal insurance to their benefits, they see the value firsthand. In fact, 97 percent of employers with ARAG legal insurance retain the plan from year to year.
When employers realize they need a more comprehensive benefits package to remain competitive, they’ll be looking for options beyond traditional voluntary benefits. Legal insurance is easy to implement and provides more value to employees.
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