Case Studies

The following cases studies are provided as a resource for those considering engaging Black Star Benefits. They were chosen at random from our portfolio. Client names and information is excluded for privacy reasons.

Case Study #1

CLIENT A successful Alberta based company with a major workforce in western Canada and an office in Halifax.

ACTIONS Detailed review and analysis of employee benefits booklet and benefits billing structure.

KEY FINDINGS Long-term disability (LTD) benefit was not designed to account for varying salary ranges. As a result, many key employees were underinsured while others were actually over-insured. In contrast to LTD the clients short-term disability (STD) benefit was overkill for their industry and the market place.

Hourly employees were receiving 40% more dental coverage, both minor and major, than salaried and executive employees.

Vision coverage at a $100 maximum was so low it was actually a frustration for staff. The client was better off not offering it at all. They increased it to $500.

The client was over-paying for their Employee Assistance Program benefit. Saving almost 20% per employee per month was locked in for this client.

Executive level employees were paying more than double the rate of standard salaried staff despite those benefits being exactly the same.

DECISION Became Agent of Record


Case Study #2

CLIENT A large Atlantic Canadian company experiencing strong employee growth over the last three years in a competitive talent-based industry.

ACTIONS Review of employee benefits booklet and statistical analysis of all employee data in addition to renewal history.

KEY FINDINGS The overall tax effectiveness of the client’s plan was poor as its design did not reflect the group’s size. In fact, it was costing them money. The implementation of a proper structure would help save money and provide better benefits in the long run.

The company also lacked corporate policy around handling the death or disability of an employee. Long-term disability and life insurance coverage, given the demographics of the employees, would be both affordable and have a tremendous impact on employee peace of mind, improving productivity.

Critical Illness insurance was a missing benefit for this client that would add an important protection for all employees and help attract the right type of new talent in the coming years.

No premium splitting strategy was part of the plan and thus did not provide employees with an incentive to stay longer with the firm.

The client’s plan required no waiting period for employee enrolment, an expensive options that didn’t align with the age of their staff or organizational goals.

DECISION Became Agent of Record

Case Study #3

CLIENT National retail brand in the auto-sector with a growing presence in Atlantic Canada. Looking to decrease overall cost of benefits.

ACTIONS Review of existing employee benefits handbook and analysis of a recent contract amendment.

KEY FINDINGS The client’s existing broker indicated no major carriers were interested in quoting their benefits business the previous year. We noted this as highly unusual given the quality of the potential business.

The renewal methodology was weighted heavily in favour of the provider, allowing them to show great rates up front but take advantage of the client in the long-run.

The client was not enjoying any profit sharing mechanisms that are commonplace for many of our clients of similar size.

Each year the client had also been paying thousands of dollars in unnecessary long-term disability premiums due to how it was structured. This had been going on for five years.

Short-term disability was an expensive perk that was driving up the cost of long-term disability by 6-9%.

Basic dental cap, after the reimbursement percentage was changed to 80%, was not adjusted allowing the client to incur almost double the normal industry cost for this benefit.

DECISION Became Agent of Record

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