Picking a good life insurance agent is not only the initial step in getting coverage, but it’s also the most critical one you ever take throughout the entire process. The right agent will help you make crucial choices regarding the kind and level of coverage appropriate for you, while also being able to explain to you in plain language some of the more confusing industry jargon. Fortunately, finding an agent can happen in many different ways, ranging from online resources to getting individual recommendations from family, friends, attorneys, and accountants. On the other hand, not every agent will give you the same level of service others will. Be mindful of several crucial factors as you choose a life insurance agent.
A thorough agent will get a handle on your financial profile first and foremost because they know they can match you with the right products or policies until they know your circumstances. They’ll ask about income level, wealth, dependents, marital status, and much more. In general, you want an agent that is more likely to fill the conversation with probing questions that pushing products.
The life insurance industry is rife with arcane terminology. A good insurance agent will be your translator and interpreter so that you always have a clear understanding of everything you read or hear.
A good agent will also follow up with you from time to time. Life insurance needs can change based on anything from changes in your dependents to your income. Stick with someone that stays in touch to keep you up to date.
Be sure that any agent you deal with is licensed by the applicable insurance department of your jurisdiction. If you’d like to take an easy shortcut, choose members of NAIFA, or the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors. The various agents within this organization all subscribe to the code of ethics involved. The search features of the organization help you find agents in your area.
On top of that, you can look for agents that have industry designations used in the profession of financial services. Look for Registered Principals or Registered Representatives who are issued via the National Association of Securities Dealers or Certified Financial Planners designated by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards. The American College also designates some professionals as a Chartered Life Underwriter or a Chartered Financial Consultant.
Also, make sure you understand how any agent is compensated. Insurance brokers and agents wind up getting paid for connecting buyers or prospects like you with actual insurance companies. Many agents get their compensation through commissions, but some might get fees provided for their services. The majority of agents get the bulk of applicable commissions at the actual time of sale, before getting monthly residuals from recurring insurance premiums.
Before buying life insurance, know how your agent is going to get paid. If you get the feeling that your agent only wants to push products to you that means a nice commission for them, start looking for a new agent.