A solid employee benefits plan can be a competitive advantage in recruiting top talent.
In the battle for talent, dealerships need all the tools at their disposal to attract, recruit and retain their key employees.
That means providing a solid benefits program that is both fiscally responsible for the dealership, but that also offers the coverage and flexibility to meet the needs of today’s employees.
“The overall costs associated with providing a great employee benefits plan is always a key concern for dealers,” said Cindy Robinson, Director, Governance & Plan Management, CADA Employee Life & Health Trust, with the Canadian Automobile Dealers Association. “We are always working to improve the program to ensure it is flexible and allows dealers to create their own benefits offering for their employees at a price point they can afford.”
Robinson said to ensure dealer needs are always at the forefront, they recruit active dealer principals from across the country to serve on the CADA 360 Employee Benefits Dealer Committee which oversees the plan. CADA 360 doesn’t operate to generate profit for the plan; instead, any proceeds are used to fund CADA’s extensive advocacy work on behalf of dealers.
The flexibility of the plan is a huge bonus for dealers. Dealers can choose to add a HCSA, Group Retirement Savings, Critical Illness Coverage, Teladoc (Best Doctors) and Consult + (Virtual Health) to enhance their individual dealership’s plan.
“That’s why our program’s tagline is ‘It all comes back to you,’” said Robinson. “The plan proceeds help amplify the voices of dealers with governments, industry groups and the media.”
The fact that the plan is fully-insured also helps protect dealers from any additional risk. “To spread risk and keep costs low within the trust, the total experience of all the dealerships is aggregated to develop block renewal factors,” she said.
Drug claims are typically any program’s largest spend. To help manage drug claims CADA 360 introduced Reformulary in November of 2019 on a staggered basis to all provinces, except Quebec. This program ensures that clinically acceptable, and cost effective, first-line drugs are tried and are placed on file with Canada Life before a more expensive second-line drug is used. This limits dealers’ exposure and reduces drug claims which impact a dealers renewal each year. “The feedback has been very positive with very few issues. Reformulary helps each dealership manage their individual drug spend to ensure health rates remain as low as possible,” said Robinson.
CADA 360 also pools high-cost health and drug claims along with all out-of-country claims. Pooling helps to keep rates low as high-cost claims are not included in renewal calculations.
The flexibility of the plan is a huge bonus for dealers. Dealers can choose to add a HCSA, Group Retirement Savings, Critical Illness Coverage, Teladoc (Best Doctors) and Consult + (Virtual Health) to enhance their individual dealership’s plan. Until August 2025, EAP is included in all CADA 360 Employee Benefit plans at no additional cost to dealers.
“We also have optional benefits available such as Optional Life and AD&D which employees can apply for and purchase at a discounted rate,” said Robinson.
As an added bonus, Retiree Plans ensure ongoing coverage is available to dealership employees throughout retirement. “This is a valuable additional feature to your employee benefit program, and since retiring employees pay for their coverage it does not cost the dealership for this enhancement,” she said.
Robinson explains that one of the distinct features of the plan is its higher Target Loss Ratios: which represents the difference between premiums received by an insurer and the claims they pay out. “Our ratios are typically 10 per cent higher than industry standard. Due to the size of the CADA 360 Employee Benefits program, all dealers can benefit from our economies of scale,” she said.
CADA 360’s Target Loss Ratios are on a sliding scale based on annual premium. Typically, the larger the dealership or dealer group, the higher their premium is, and therefore the higher their ratio becomes.
“So for dealerships looking to win and retain more employees by offering a comprehensive benefits plan, while keeping costs low — and helping fund advocacy efforts to protect their business interests — CADA 360 Member Benefits plans are a win-win-win,” said Robinson.