4 December 2012 0 Comments

More Venting…

Continuing what I started last time, this entry should take care of my venting…at least for now.

Here are some more examples of non-professional adviser practices:

The apples-to-oranges comparison.

“You’re paying that much?  Boy, I can get that for much less!”  And then the comparison showing the huge premium savings uses a totally different policy without the same guarantees and possibly requiring a huge, future increase in premium…unless you’re lucky enough to die before that premium increase kicks in…just kidding.

It is possible that the lower priced policy might solve the applicant’s needs, but wouldn’t you appreciate a more honest approach.  First, the agent could state “Let’s assume that the policy amount and type that has been recommended is the best way to solve your needs” and then do a true apples-to-apples comparison.   If they can beat it, fine.  If not, they should admit it.  Next they could suggest, “But, here’s a better way to solve your needs,” and admit to showing an alternative solution.

The bad-mouther.

An agent who resorts to bad-mouthing either the competing insurance agent or company is attacking from a point of weakness.  There is nothing wrong with an agent accentuating their strengths or those of the company they are recommending, but it need not be done by denigrating the competition.  The truly strong agent can do this in such a way that their prospect will recognize these advantages and choose to deal with strength.

Poor fact-finders—lousy listeners.

Good agents should ask many questions and then listen to the answers.  Over many years of working with thousands of agents, too often I found this not to be the case.  Whether it was as specific as ignoring family medical history that dictates qualification for the best underwriting class, or as broad as not understanding what the applicant wanted to accomplish, the agent didn’t have the total picture.  So, the solution was often text book, but inappropriate for the prospect.

With this in mind, if you are applying for life insurance, I implore you to be patient with the agent who asks many questions.  Likewise, question the competence of the agent who is willing to give you a solution after knowing little more than your date of birth.

There are many highly professional agents out there—both the in-person and direct marketing variety.  Locate them, deal with them and say no to those who are not.

Next, it’s back to the effect of medical histories on life insurance looking at conditions of the heart.

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