Picking an insurance Agent to work with is an important decision to make. Each Agent is unique and offers a different level of experience. With so many Agents in the field, how do you know who is right for you?
The best way to learn about an insurance Agent is to talk to them.
Tips for Selecting an Insurance Agent
If you find yourself asking this question, here are some tips to help you select an insurance Agent to work with:
1. Ask for Referrals
Word of mouth can be a beneficial method in discovering the best Agent for you. Do you have any trusted family members, friends, or centers of influence (like your banker or financial advisor) to whom you could reach out to for a referral? If so, ask them about their past experience and any advice they have to offer. Make sure you understand the reasoning behind their recommendation before making any decisions – you don’t want to choose someone for the wrong reasons; for example, the Agent could be “nice,” but if they aren’t knowledgeable in the type of insurance you’re looking for, they probably wouldn’t be the right fit.
2. Speak with the Agent
The best way to learn about an insurance Agent is to talk to them. Once you’ve found two or three with whom you might want to work, schedule some time to speak with them either over the phone or in person. Ask the Agent questions to learn more about them and their expertise. Some questions you might want to consider include:
Cushion if you don’t have savings
Bankrate conducted a survey and found that 63% of Americans wouldn’t be able to handle a $500 emergency. An accident insurance policy could help save you from going into debt for an accidental injury.
- What types of insurance can I choose from?
- How much insurance should I consider?
- What options can be added to my policy?
- How much does it cost?
- Will my premiums change or increase over time?
- How do you deal with claims?
The right insurance Agent for you should be knowledgeable when it comes to knowing the specific coverage you’re seeking, and should offer you insurance products to meet those needs. Additionally, they should make you feel comfortable working with them. If you are concerned with their experience, intentions, customer service, or actions, you might want to continue your search until you find an Agent you feel could best serve you.
3. Review their Credentials
Make sure to review an insurance Agent’s background before working with them. Check to see if they have an up-to-date license in your state. When you’re checking their licensing credentials, also check to see if any complaints have been filed against them. You can check information regarding company licensing and complaints through the NAIC’s Consumer Information Source (CIS) or by contacting your state insurance department.
Another way of checking their credentials is by looking at their business cards. Typically, Agents will have letters behind their names, indicated by an acronym, which represent designations or credentials they’ve earned from various insurance associations or groups.
Some common designations you might see from a life and health insurance agent include CLU (Chartered Life Underwriter), LUTCF (Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow), and CFP (Certified Financial Planner).
In addition to making sure their licensing is updated, find out information about their reputation. Learn more about the experiences of past and existing clients regarding the service they received by checking the following:
- Better Business Bureau reviews
- Facebook reviews
- Google reviews
- The NAIC’s Consumer Information Source (CIS)
- Yelp reviews
4. What to Expect When Purchasing an Insurance Policy
When you decide to purchase an insurance policy, what expectations do you have?
Make sure the options you review meet your specific needs and will provide you the best coverage based on your situation.
Additionally, trust your gut. If an offer seems too good to be true, you could be right. You shouldn’t feel pressured to choose an Agent, insurance company, or quote. Make sure to ask any questions you have regarding your coverage, until you receive a satisfactory answer.
It’s important to know each insurance company is different. Not all insurance companies use Agents, and many companies give you the ability to directly purchase coverage online. Regardless of the method you choose, make sure to do your research before making a final decision when it comes to purchasing insurance.
- III.org, How Do I Pick an Insurance Agent?, 2019
- Insurance.com, 4 Steps to Finding a Good Insurance Agent, 2017
- Insurancehub.com, How to Choose an Insurance Agent for Your Business, 2018
- NAIC.org, How to Choose an Insurance Agent, 2019
- Nerdwallet.com, How to Find the Right Life Insurance Agent or Broker, 2018
- Usinsuranceagents.com, Insurance Agent Designations – A Guide for New and Experienced Insurance Professionals, 2019