In Canada farms have always been an integral part of the landscape. Anyone who grew up in this country outside of the big city has connections in some way, whether as a farmer themselves, had a summer part time job or friend to a farmer. Today many of the family farms of the past have become growing business enterprises, and in parts of the country there’s a significant hobby farm presence.
What’s really interesting is the often farmers haven’t looked for employee benefits, believing group benefits are built for other forms of traditional business. Nothing could be a more traditional business than a farm. In fact, many farmers have historically been of the opinion they couldn’t obtain employee benefits.
The Chambers Plan can provide coverage to farms whether they have 1 or 100 employees. With today’s uncertainty of weather and crop production no plan is more suited to farm owners, their employees and their families than the Chambers Plan. With the cost certainty of the pooling system combined of 35,000 other firms, the Chambers Plan provides consistent, fair and more importantly, predictable renewals for your budget.
Farmers are some of the busiest people. They must contend with long hours, inclement weather, staffing and fluctuating commodity prices. With all that stress, having a benefits plan to help makes a lot of sense. Having a plan looking after your family while you look after the farm can lower those stress levels. In addition, having certainty with insured benefits like life insurance, disability and critical illness can provide peace of mind that things are looked after if something does happen.
Income protection through disability and critical illness can allow the business to hire someone while injured or ill, keeping the farm business intact while recovering. An injury during the harvest season for even like a month or two could significantly impact a farm’s earnings depending on the crop, just as taking time to recover from a serious illness could do the same. Benefits can be based on average incomes as well so you can insure appropriate amounts even with fluctuating incomes.
Another challenge farmers have always faced is recruiting and retaining good employees. Surveyed employees have consistently preferred a position with benefits over another that paid in excess of $ 10,000 per year more. In addition, employees with benefits looking after themselves and their families are more productive and more satisfied with their jobs.
A Chambers Plan can be designed specifically for the budget and needs of you and your employees. It can include all the traditional things you would expect from a benefits plan, including insured benefits life, disability and critical illness, as well as wellness helpers like extended health; dental coverage and employee assistance program. In addition, the Chambers Plan provides a BAS, or Business Assistance Service to all plan holders. This is invaluable to farmers providing HR, Accounting and Legal assistance as part of the underlying program.
The Chambers Plan is also a not-for-profit program, so you can expect the renewal to be fair since there’s no extra margins required to satisfy shareholders. In essence every plan member is a shareholder under the pooling system it uses to renew rates. With Canada’s largest pool of businesses for benefits consisting of 35,000 members, this keeps plan inflation well below industry averages. Not having to spend weeks negotiating an unfair renewal is huge for any farm business owners. The program is also supported locally through a local Chamber of Commerce or Board of Trade which, in many farm communities is an integral part of the local business fabric.
All employees also receive the Best Doctors program. This can allow an employee to find access to specialists or get a second opinion on either a diagnosis or course of treatment. In many rural communities finding access to a specialist can be a challenge; something the Best Doctors program can help overcome.
The Chambers Plan is also administratively light and easy. Employees can access their own information and make claims or inquiries through our My-Benefits platform.Additionally claims can be submitted as simply as taking a picture of the claim invoice and submitting through the phone application with direct deposit right into the employees bank account. A Chambers Plan representative can help train you and your employees on how to use the plan and access the resources available. It has been designed to be very user friendly.
Really, its well worth looking at benefits for your farm, and if you have a plan with rising or inconsistent rates its easy to have a Chambers Plan advisor do a quick quote and review for you. Visit chamberplan.ca today for more information.