One of the serious problems in the stop-loss industry is that employers are not aware of the risks many of them take on when signing a one year only contract for a plan they expect to keep indefinitely. Multi-million dollar lasers can be the great educator on how the stop-loss market really works in many (but not all) cases. The clients blame the advisor for not fully explaining the risks in the contract sold, the advisors blame the stop-loss carriers for not making their renewal process known in advance, and the carriers blame the advisor for not being better educated.

While it is true that many advisors are not experts in the stop-loss policies that they sell, the carriers do not put such renewal processes in writing and made available to the advisors and public at large. While some carriers will explain privately that they only underwrite future “unknown” risk at renewal (thus relegating large ongoing “known” risks back onto the laps of the employer in the form of a laser or commensurate rate increase), it is not something that they put in the contract, website or other public marketing material. (There is a small exception to this, when the plan purchases a No New Laser | Rate Cap option, but there the contract does not state how long that rider may be renewed on a guaranteed basis.)

To perhaps help in this dearth of published, public information on how stop-loss plans are renewed in cases of large ongoing claims, this website offers to post any carrier’s published documentation along these lines. This will help educate the advisors on the guidelines for any carrier shown.