No matter where you live, there is a good chance that you have multiple life insurance agents in your area. This is particularly true if you reside in a large city.
Maybe you have an idea of which agent you want to do business with. Maybe you are willing to speak with several agents before making a decision. No matter where you currently stand, it is important that you choose the agent and company that is right for you and your family.
It is easy to believe that all life insurance agents are the same, however nothing could be further from the truth. These professionals differ in a variety of ways including: the company they work for, location, types of policies being offered, and customer service.
These Six Questions Can Help You Decide if an Agent is Right For You
Make sure you address these inquiries to each agent that you are considering:
1. What sets you and your company apart from the competition?
Just as you are aware of the many agents in the area, so is the person you are speaking with. In other words, he or she knows the competition.
You want to put the person on the spot, making them tell you why they are better than the other agents in the area. The answers you receive may surprise you.
2. What types of life coverage do you offer?
Hands down, this is one of the most important questions to ask. The sooner you get an answer the better off you will be. You may find that some agents do not offer the type of policy you are interested in buying.
3. Do you have any current clients that I can contact as a reference?
This is something that many people overlook as they begin to search for a life policy. It is not required but can definitely go a long way in putting your mind at ease. When you know that others are satisfied with the service you can be confident that you will feel the same way in the future.
4. How do your rates stack up against the competition?
It is good to get an idea of how the agent perceives his or her pricing structure as compared to the rest of the industry. Of course, you should not stop here. Instead, you should compare prices on your own to ensure that you have accurate numbers guiding you through the buying process.
Note: While price is important it shouldn’t be the primary factor for your decision. See question 5 below.
5. What is your company’s payout ratio?
This might seem like an awkward question to ask but it is vital. Your policy isn’t going to be worth much if the company tries to find reasons not to pay. Unfortunately this is not uncommon, leaving an individual to seek legal recourse against a team of lawyers representing the insurer. In addition to the agent’s response it is a good idea to do some independent research on this topic.
6. What is your philosophy on customer service?
There are a lot of life insurance agents out there who only want to sell you a policy. Once they do this, they move onto the next consumer.
Learn as much as possible about the agent’s approach to customer service. This will help you better understand what to expect in the future. The last thing you want is an agent who is available to help when buying but disappears when you have a question or need to make a claim.
By asking multiple agents these six questions, you will have an easier time deciding which one is right for you.
Buying life insurance is a big decision. If you choose the first agent you come across, you may not be happy in the end. With so many agents to consider, you should have no problem taking your time and eventually finding the right option.