Last Updated: August 2019
Unfortunately, bad life insurance agents do exist in the life insurance industry and it is important for you to understand how to choose the right life insurance agent.
A life insurance agent that can truly tailor a policy for your needs and your family’s protection.
When speaking with a life insurance agent, you should prequalify them before you move forward with a life insurance application since ultimately, your life insurance agent is the one responsible for obtaining the rate they are quoting you.
Our job as a life insurance agent is to paint your risk in the most favorable light to an underwriter.
So you want to make sure you’re working with an agent who can handle your case adequately.
The rest of this brief article will detail how you should go about choosing the right life insurance agent and the important questions you need to be asking during the process:
- How To Find The Right Life Insurance Agent
- 3 Questions To Ask Your Life Insurance Agent
- Finding The Right Life Insurance Agent Is Easier Than You Believe
How To Find The Right Life Insurance Agent
Finding the right life insurance agent is easier than most consumers believe. It all comes down to who the life insurance agent represents and how they can tailor quotes and policies to fit your needs.
This in addition to other factors such as how long they have been in business and how much expertise they have in niche underwriting categories can make a world of a difference in your ability to obtain coverage and ultimately how much you pay for your coverage.
At the end of the day, it is your family’s financial future that is on the line, and choosing the right life insurance agent is not only imperative but can help you obtain peace of mind knowing that your family is protected.
Below, we want to detail 3 primary questions you should be asking your life insurance agent to begin pre-qualifying and deciding if you have found the right life insurance agent for you and your family.
3 Questions To Ask Your Life Insurance Agent
1. Are you independent?
An “independent” life insurance agent will have access to any carrier on the market. This is very important. You want to make sure they are shopping the ENTIRE market for you, not just a handful of carriers.
While some companies claim to be independent, they may only offer 5-10 companies.
For example, let’s look at Matrix Direct.
They claim to be independent, however, they are owned by American General and their agents will most likely quote you with them even though they advertise other carriers.
A good way to tell if an agent is independent or not is to look on their website.
If you see more than 20 life insurance companies listed, they are most likely an independent life insurance agency.
2. How long have you been in the business?
Truth is, over 90% of life insurance agents who start in this industry are gone after the 2nd year.
You want the agent on your policy to be there for you when you need to make changes or have any questions.
We recommend working with an agent who has been in the life insurance business for at least 2 years.
They’ll have a good chance of being there for you when you need them.
Also, the experience is what will bring you the best rates.
We had a recent case where a client of ours experimented with drugs while in college, he’s 52 years old right now with no health issues. He applied at Select Quote with ING and Banner Life with us.
BOTH companies offered him a preferred rating which was the same premium.
We went the extra mile by contacting Banner Life insurance’s head underwriter and explaining the situation.
With our petition, he received a “preferred plus” rating and the case was placed with us.
With our experience, we knew that underwriting guidelines said “preferred”, but common sense said, “preferred plus”. An experienced agent will go to bat for you.
3. Will I be able to contact you directly during underwriting and after the policy is in force?
This may seem like a silly question, but some of these life insurance agencies are run like sweatshops with horrible customer service.
You want to make sure you have your agent’s direct contact information and confirm with them they will be the ones that will take your call when you have questions.
Many of the big call centers have their agents just sell you a policy and you’ll never hear from them again after that.
So if you ever have a question or need to make a change, you’ll be speaking with a customer service representative who has no idea who you are.
This isn’t the way business should be done and you shouldn’t have to settle with this.
Avoid this scenario by simply asking if they’re the contact during underwriting and after the policy is in force.
Lastly, If you find a life insurance agent who can’t answer these questions to your liking, then move on.
There are plenty of independent life insurance agents out there who would love the opportunity to have you as a client, we included.
Not only will you have a better experience, but you’ll obtain better rates by finding the right life insurance agent.
Remember, it’s your life insurance agent who is responsible for securing the best rate.
After prequalifying your potential agent with these questions, then simply go with your gut.
Finding The Right Life Insurance Agent Is Easier Than You Believe
Hopefully, it is clear how you should be going about choosing the best life insurance agent for you and your family.
As long as they are independent and can work with a majority of all top-rated life insurance companies, you should be off to a good start in your pre-qualifying stage.
If you have built some trust, feel confident that they can serve your needs, and ultimately obtain you the lowest rate possible for the most robust coverage then trust your gut and give them the opportunity to secure your coverage.