A good insurance agent can make a huge difference in how successfully you are insured – from a life insurance perspective – and that is very important indeed. Many people are over insured (you’re paying too much) and just as many people are under-insured (potentially putting their loved ones at financial risk) and a lot of it stems from not getting the proper advice from their life insurance agent. So what to look for in an insurance agent?
First, the basics:
Are they qualified to sell insurance in your state? You can double check here: Insurance Department
Do they have some experience in selling insurance products? Generally, the more experience the better. You can check the to see what professional designations the agent has earned, such as a Chartered Life Underwriter or Chartered Financial Consultant.
Then, what products they sell. If they’re a “captive” agent, they can only sell their company’s insurance products. For example, an XYZ Carrier captive insurance agent can only sell XYZ’s insurance products and so there isn’t any incentive to find the most price competitive products for your potential situation. The flip side of this is that sometimes a captive agent is the only way to buy a particular life insurance policy although these cases are rare and getting rarer.
Alternatively, an independent life insurance salesperson can sell a range of insurance carrier’s products and the good ones find the best policy at the best price for your situation.
In terms of finding good life insurance salespeople, there are some tried and true methods and some new ones as well.
First, there really isn’t any substitute for word of mouth. Ask your friends and your work associates – chances are some of them have been lucky enough to work with a good agent are happy to refer them to you.
Second, do a google search for “life insurance agents” and you should see a range of local and national branded agents that you can choose from. If you’re going in cold (i.e. no referral from friends or work mates) remember to apply the rules of thumb (above) in evaluating them.
Increasingly, social media is becoming an effective vehicle for finding professional services. For example, if you go to LinkedIN and type “insurance agent” in the search bar, you’ll immediately see agents in your professional network or within a link or two from your network.
Finally, you can always call insurance agents that CoverYoo works with – we do a lot of screening on your behalf (but we’re not pushing that). In any event, do a little homework, work with your friends and business associates to find your good Man or Woman and you’ll be glad that you did.