Brown & Brown Insurance updated dealers and members of the Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA) about its RV Dealers Health Collective Purchasing Arrangement during a seminar at this year’s RV Dealers International Convention/Expo in Las Vegas

The presentation offered members new ways to provide employee health benefits by leveraging the value of being in a collective. Angie Weilage, presenter for the program and a consultant for Brown & Brown, detailed the anticipated outcomes of the latest Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) workarounds signed by the Trump administration on Oct. 12. 

“The president signed an executive order that will have a direct impact on associations and the RVDA program,” stated Weilage in her presentation. “This will help us all get out of the box when it comes to healthcare.”

She said the government would begin to take action on these measures in the next 60 to 120 days, noting, “So far we don’t know exactly what’s going to happen relative to this, but we know it’s coming sometime in 2018.”

Weilage said the main point relating to RVDA is that the new program will enable carriers to sell insurance across state lines, adding that her company is ready for this change. “This is a really big deal. We designed a program (for the RVDA) that allows us to sell insurance across state lines,” she said. “But we had to do it in a way that was unique to the marketplace ready for this change.”

She explained that the new program provides more markets, or carriers, that Brown & Brown can shop on behalf of the RVDA in order to continue to expand its healthcare program. ”We’re ahead of the curve, I’d like to say,” said Weilage. “But at the same time this will be beneficial long-term because more competition will be added to the mix in order to provide better coverage on behalf of the membership.” 

Being prepared to increase competition across state lines will allow Brown & Brown Insurance more “account status” with carriers, according to Weilage. “Think about the underwriter that’s sitting behind their computer rating your group. They’re going to think about you differently as part of the RVDA association program,” she related. “We will have additional leverage when it comes to that underwriter. There’s more skin in the game for them because they don’t want to do anything to harm that overall (RVDA) population.” 

Weilage also believes that with the increased competition the clout of the organization can be leveraged to improve service to individual dealer members. “I like to call it preferred status,” she said. “We should have dedicated customer service representatives and things of that nature. If something goes awry with the program — if there’s a claim issue — there are questions for employees. When we say ‘jump’ they should say ‘how high?’ because we have this leverage built in with the carriers, which is another added bonus.

“The underwriters are happier the more people they have in this pool,” said Weilage. “It makes things more predictable for them. It allows them to be less conservative in terms of the risk that they’re willing to take because there are simply more bodies to spread that risk around. All those things are positive with a collective group.”

She also pointed out that the group plan lowers cost, stating, “It’s real simple, it lowers fixed costs. When you think about administrative costs associated with running a plan as well as reinsurance costs — reinsurance being the coverage for catastrophic claims — all those fees are a lot lower when you’re collecting as a bigger group.” 

She used the hypothetical example of a dealer that had a “bad claims year” with their business. “If you were sitting by yourself as a dealer, and that underwriter was looking at your risk, they’d probably do whatever they could to get rid of you by raising your rates. But when you’re part of a larger pool, part of what you’ve written into this contract is to protect the members of the pool, and your cost will be lower.”

Currently, the RV Dealers Health Collective Purchasing Arrangement endorsed by the RVDA has grown to 1,000 members (individuals) and 18 dealerships since its inception in February of 2017. “I have about 15 more dealerships interested in the RVDA program,” Weilage stated in a post-RVDA Con/Expo interview on Nov. 18. “I am working on getting those dealers on the program for Jan. 1.” 

“This is phase one,” she said. “Our goal is to have 2,000 members (individuals) signed at the end of this phase. We are the only endorsed brokers by the RVDA. ”