Reaping RFP Rewards: A Life/Disability Insurance Success Story


At Findley, we are focused on results, not process. Our RFP projects are thorough and efficient. We strive to provide our clients with critical insight into vendor capabilities, leading to tailored solutions and a stronger client-vendor partnership.

Web Advantage:

We leverage technology to optimize RFP results for both our private and public sector clients. We developed a proprietary e-procurement tool we call™ (Latin meaning “to procure by asking”). We work with our clients to develop and weight Impetro’s on-line RFP questionnaire, enabling us to quickly analyze fees and the relative strength of each carrier or vendor, as well as identify gaps between the client’s requirements and the vendor’s capabilities.

By logging into™ our clients can monitor the competition until the bidding is closed. As shown on the carrier’s view of the rate response form, the carrier can tell by color indicators whether they are the high or low bidder and can adjust their quotes on-line. This “reverse auction” feature drives aggressive pricing

Case Study: The Inter-University Council of Ohio (IUC)

In January 2010 Findley responded to a RFP from the IUC for Consulting Services. The IUC intended to select a Consultant to competitively bid Life/AD&D and Disability benefits with these objectives:

  • Ensure the participating IUC schools’ survivor and disability income protection benefits remain competitive;
  • Deliver the survivor and disability income protection benefits in the most cost-effective way;
  • Leverage the participating schools’ collaborative purchasing power to best manage future insurance expenses; and
  • Improve account management and member services

Findley was named a RFP finalist and was interviewed by the IUC Benefits Committee on March 26, 2010. Findley then responded to follow-up questions on April 14 and met with the Committee again on April 28 to negotiate final maximum not-to-exceed fees per participating school. Findley was awarded the IUC contract on May 7 and quickly began to work with the Benefits Committee to start a Life/Disability RFP process with a January 1, 2011 effective date.

IUC schools were polled by the Committee and eight (8) decided to participate in the RFP process:

  • Bowling Green State University
  • Northeastern Ohio University College of Medicine and Pharmacy (NEOUCOM)
  • Ohio State University
  • Ohio University
  • Owens State Community College
  • Shawnee State University
  • University of Cincinnati
  • Wright State University

A RFP document was developed by Findley with input from the IUC and these 8 participating schools. It contained these “ground rules”:

  • Participation in the RFP is voluntary;
  • Contracting with the selected carrier(s) is voluntary (neither the IUC nor Findley could guarantee any specific volume for an agreement with the selected carrier(s);
  • The selected carrier(s) must contract with each interested school;
  • Since most of the participating schools had collective bargaining agreements, the selected carrier(s) must agree to duplicate each school’s current benefit specifications;
  • Rates must be on a net commissions basis;
  • The IUC reserves the right to negotiate additional terms and conditions, including final prices and guarantees, as well as the offering of new services; and
  • The selected carrier(s) must be committed to the success of the IUC’s collaborative purchasing arrangement and partner with the IUC and Findley to increase the number of participating schools.

After collecting the necessary benefits, claims and demographic data from each participating school, Findley released the RFP in June 2010 to 28 carriers, including those who had previously registered with the IUC to receive future RFPs. 14 carriers responded to the RFP, using Findley ’™ procurement platform. However, of those carriers who declined to bid, four (4) were incumbents at one or more of the participating schools.

Findley analyzed the respondents’ quotes and capabilities and worked with the Benefits Committee to identify five (5) finalists using two (2) possible scenarios: One carrier underwrites both Life and Disability; or two carriers are selected with one underwriting the Life insurance and the other underwriting the Disability insurance.

On August 17 Findley facilitated interviews of the 5 finalists, during which the IUC Benefits Committee explored the finalists’ financial strength, service and claims management capabilities, and technology tools. The Committee decided on two options: either work with UNUM for both Life and Disability; or contract with Minnesota Life for the Life/AD&D insurance and have Unum administer the Disability benefits. Findley was asked to negotiate with both carriers final 3-year guaranteed pricing for each school. After the Committee conducted reference checks, they decided on working with both Minnesota Life and Unum. The collaborative annual savings for the 8 participating schools were:

Carrier Option Annual Savings: Employer-Paid Coverages for 8 Participating IUC Schools Annual Savings: Employee-Paid Coverages for 8 Participating IUC Schools Total Savings
Minnesota Life (Life/AD&D) + UNUM (STD/LTD) $2,280,641 $3,443,273 $5,723,915
% of Total Current Premium Outlay (1) 17.1% 27.6% 22.2%

Note: There were two instances where the IUC school was already using Unum as its LTD insurance carrier. In these cases, Findley negotiated 4-5% reductions in their annual LTD premium to reflect the value of the IUC buying arrangement. These savings are not included above.

Findley then began working with the participating schools on implementing the new Life/Disability arrangements. Shawnee State decided to implement first, with an effective date of 12/1/2010. NEOUCOM, Owens State Community College, University of Cincinnati, and Wright State followed with 1/1/2011 effective dates and reported smooth, seamless transitions. Ohio University implemented their new arrangements on 7/1/2011, followed by BGSU on 10/1/2011 and OSU on 1/1/2012.

Later, the University of Akron transitioned their Life/AD&D insurance to Minnesota Life on 1/1/2012. Cuyahoga Community College transitioned its Life/AD&D insurance to Minnesota Life effective 1/1/2013 realizing a 21% reduction in their Employer-Paid coverages. Cleveland State University then transitioned 7/1/2013 realizing a 36.5% savings compared to their incumbent carrier’s renewal.

Today, Minnesota Life covers more than 51,000 employees at IUC schools, generating annual life insurance premium of more than $13.2 million. Unum covers nearly 41,000 employees at IUC schools, generating annual disability insurance premiums and STD/FMLA fees of more than $10.2 million.
Findley remains interested in helping other IUC schools take advantage of the savings afforded by Minnesota Life and Unum. In addition, Findley is interested in working with Unum to bring total absence management programs (including FMLA Administration) to any interested IUC school.


As experts in the Life/AD&D and Disability insurance marketplace, we are able to leverage our knowledge and experience to create a competitive environment that is able to benefit the individualized programs of any organization. For more information, please contact Bruce Davis at or 419.327.4133.

Requests for Proposal (RFP) are valuable tools in evaluating and selecting the right carrier.

(updated August 2013)

Category: Findley Proof