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FAQs - SmartsPro Insurance Websites

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I choose SmartsPro Marketing?

We not only build high-end professional websites, we know the insurance business. We’re very familiar with the kinds of features you need, the functionality you require and the marketing environment you work in. Working with website professionals who know your industry makes the process smoother and faster and the end-result more satisfying and effective. Please see our features page to read about the full scope of our services.

What will a SmartsPro website cost?

The one-time set-up cost is $499. The monthly service fee — which includes hosting, updates to your website and your monthly newsletters — is $99 per month.

Who provides the content for my website?

SmartsPro Marketing provides most content, with our coverage descriptions, quote forms and other material. But you also provide agency-specific content that positions your agency uniquely among your competitors. Our editors will help you make your content reader-friendly, professional and engaging. You may also purchase monthly newsletters from SmartsPro Marketing for only $39 per month.

Can I use quote engines on my website?

Of course. We will create links to the quote engines of your choice. Some agents may prefer to use our quote forms to collect a minimum amount of contact information, so they can contact the prospect directly for additional information and engage them with a full discussion of their insurance options. This approach tends to build stronger relationships. However, many agents pursue a quote engine strategy that can be quite effective and we are pleased to work with you, regardless of which approach you take.

Do I need to use the images you provide?

Not at all. In fact, if you have photos of your agency staff, local color and other subjects that you would like us to use for your website, please send us your images in png, jpg or gif formats. We also have access to hundreds of thousands of stock photos to select from, with your approval, for your website.

Can I have a blog?

We can set up a blog for you when we create your website at no extra charge. It’s simple to post to your blog; we’ll show you how. We are great believers in blogging to build your insurance business. If you’d like to read more about starting and running an insurance blog, see the Insurance Blogs category in the sidebar on our Blog page.

Can I make changes to my website myself?

SmartsPro Marketing uses the WordPress content management system, which makes it easy to edit your pages and posts yourself. It just takes learning some basics, which we will show you. If you have a technical person on staff who has taken some classes in WordPress, you could handle all changes yourself. We can also make any small changes you need, usually for only $35 – $140. For more extensive website building and changes, we charge $140 per hour, billed in quarter-hour increments. If you tell us what you need, we’ll provide a quote before we do anything.

Do you offer search engine optimization (SEO)?

SEO is built into our platform. We’ve written several helpful blog posts on SEO especially for insurance agents on our Blog page. See the SEO category in the sidebar on our Blog page. We also have a professional SEO expert on staff who can offer personal consultation if you want. Just give us call and will give you all the details.

Can I add Google Analytics to my website?

Absolutely. We recommend you do so to track your website’s effectiveness and use that information for changing and improving it.

Are discounts available?

Discounts are currently available only for our non-website newsletter services. Please inquire.

What’s the best name for my insurance website?

If you want to optimize your website for search engines, there are several factors to consider, including the name of your firm, the products and services you sell, the markets you serve and your location. You may decide to just use your firm name for your website and create landing pages with different domain names that are search engine optimized. For more information on naming your website, see the SEO category in the Blog Posts sidebar on our Blog page.

I already have a domain name for my website. Can I use it for the website you build for us?

Yes, you can transfer your current domain name to your new site. We’ll need to know who currently hosts your website and with what registrar your domain is registered. If your email addresses include your domain name, you will need to let us know how your current email service is set up.

If I am already using my domain in my email address, what will happen to my email accounts when I switch to my SmartsPro website?

It depends on your current email server. If your web host provides your email service, we will be able to set up a similar service with new email accounts for everyone. If you have your own email servers, we will need to know your settings so we can correctly route your email to your mail server.

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[accordion-item title=”What is Open Enrollment?”]Open Enrollment is the only time of year to add or delete dependents unless you have a qualifying event.  Qualifying Events would be: marriage, divorce, death, birth or adoption of a child or if your spouse loses their coverage elsewhere.[/accordion-item]
[accordion-item title=”Upon marriage, birth, adoption, or placement for adoption, what are a plan’s obligations to offer special enrollment?”]According to the Employee Benefits Security Administration page on the United States Department of Labor website, Employees, as well as their spouses and dependents, may have special enrollment rights after a marriage, birth, adoption, or placement for adoption. In addition, new spouses and new dependents of retirees in a group health plan also may have special enrollment rights after these events.

The plan has to provide at least 30 days for the employee or dependents to request coverage after the occurrence of one of these events.
If the event was a marriage, the coverage is required to be effective no later than the first day of the first calendar month beginning after the date the completed request for enrollment is received by the plan.

In the case of birth, adoption, or placement for adoption, coverage is required to be effective no later than the date of the event.

The plan has to provide at least 30 days for the employee or dependents to request coverage after the occurrence of one of these events.

If the event was a marriage, the coverage is required to be effective no later than the first day of the first calendar month beginning after the date the completed request for enrollment is received by the plan.

In the case of birth, adoption, or placement for adoption, coverage is required to be effective no later than the date of the event.
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[accordion-item title=”What is the age limit for a dependent child to be carried on his parent’s health plan?”]

According to Healthcare.gov, dependent children, can remain or be added to a parent’s health insurance policy until they turn 26 years old.  Note that they do not have to be financially dependent on the parent, nor do they have to be living with their parents or attending school.  They can also be married.

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[accordion-item title=”What is the difference between COBRA and State Continuation?”]

According to the COBRA Guide available on the Employee Benefits Security Administration webpage on the United States Department of Labor website, COBRA – the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act – requires group health plans to offer continuation coverage to covered employees, former employees, spouses, former spouses, and dependent children when group health coverage would otherwise be lost due to certain specific events.

Those events include the death of a covered employee, termination or reduction in the hours of a covered employee’s employment for reasons other than gross misconduct, a covered employee’s becoming entitled to Medicare, divorce or legal separation of a covered employee and spouse, and a child’s loss of dependent status (and therefore coverage) under the plan.

COBRA sets rules for how and when continuation coverage must be offered and provided, how employees and their families may elect continuation coverage, and what circumstances justify terminating continuation coverage. COBRA generally applies to all private-sector group health plans maintained by employers that have at least 20 employees on more than 50 percent of its typical business days in the previous calendar year. Both full- and part-time employees are counted to determine whether a plan is subject to COBRA. Each part-time employee counts as a fraction of a full-time employee, with the fraction equal to the number of hours that the part-time employee worked divided by the hours an employee must work to be considered full time.

State Continuation is available to employees who are not eligible for COBRA.

Under Texas state continuation, former employees and their family may remain covered under the employer’s health plan for up to nine months, if they are not eligible for COBRA.  In addition, state continuation is offered for an additional 6 months after COBRA benefits have been exhausted.[/accordion-item]

[accordion-item title=”I think I may be out of compliance, am I required to have an ERISA Wrap, and what is it?”]

No matter what size your company is, all employers are required to be in compliance with ERISA (Employee Retirement Investment Security Act) if they offer a health or welfare benefit plans, such as health, dental, life, disability, retirement, etc.  ERISA was established to ensure that employees are informed of their benefits and their rights.  Employers are required to provide an SPD (summary plan description) for all of their benefit plans to every employee.

In many cases, the benefit plans provided by the carriers do not have all of the required information, since it is not a Department of Insurance requirement, but a Department of Labor requirement.  An ERISA wrap is designed to provide all of a company’s benefits under one SPD.

ASK US HOW WE CAN HELP YOU GET AN AFFORDABLE ERISA WRAP![/accordion-item]

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