10 January 2013 0 Comments

How to Select a Life Insurance Agent

Mother with baby.It’s not hard to find a life insurance agent.  Finding a good one with whom you can develop a rapport may not be so easy.  In my next blog I’ll identify some professional designations that will help you determine the degree to which an agent has studied his craft.  But those degrees, in themselves, do not assure that you have connected with a person who has your interest at heart or is aware of the policies and insurance companies who can best fill your needs.  So, before getting to the credentials, here are a few simple starting points:

Is there a long-time, trusted family agent?

This is a good place to start.  Before you set up an appointment tell them about yourself and what you have in mind.  If they have served your family well and are comfortable in assisting with your needs give them a try.

Ask friends who they use.

Ask people in your own age and family sphere who they have used and whether they are pleased with the relationship and service.  Ask your friends to have that agent call you and see how you connect on the phone.

Contact a direct marketer by phone or through the web.

If you’re primary need is to find the best term life premiums, this is a good way to go.  Don’t go to an insurance company’s site since all they’ll show you are their policies.   You’ll want to shop for the best rates and you can do that with a single call to a marketer offering several insurance companies.  Try SelectQuote.  Even if you’re looking for something more complicated than term, they can help.  They often consult with me on those cases.

What about your auto or homeowner’s insurance agent?

If you like your Property and Casualty Agent, try them for Life Insurance.  Keep in mind that a different insurance license is needed for Life Insurance and the two product lines have very little in common.  So, come right out and ask them how much they are involved in life insurance and what companies they might recommend.  They might want to refer you to another person associated with their office who specializes in Life Insurance.

Do not exclusively use an agent who is committed to only selling policies of a single company.

No single company is going to have the best premiums for all durations of term insurance; life-time guaranteed Universal Life;  Indexed Life and Whole Life.  Deal with an agent who can shop the market.  They might have a primary company with whom they place the bulk of their business, but should not be excluded from representing you first and the insurance company second.

Understand the professional designations…

…and that is where we’ll start on my next entry.

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