Choosing The Right Insurance Agent

Personality of the Insurance Agent

Have conversations with prospective agents. Explain your situation and ask for a quote. Simply asking does not mean you have to work with them. This is a chance for you to get a feel for how they work and if you’re comfortable with them.

There are 2 types of Insurance Agents:

A. Independent Agents – These are people who own a small business who represents or an affiliate of a number of insurance companies.

B. Direct Insurance Agents – A direct insurance company sells directly to you without an agent, typically online.

Best choice:

Go with the Independent Agent since they have the opportunity to offer you a best match price and coverage for your needs. They have all the data that they can compare between insurance companies. They sell a variety of insurance and financial products, including property, life, casualty, health, disability and long-term care insurance. They are your one-stop-shop for insurance needs.

2. Credentials

A knowledgeable insurance agent can give advice when deciding what coverage and limits a client needs to protect their family and investments. An insurance agent who have credentials has attestation of qualification, authority or competence, and guaranteed professional in the field of insurance industry.

Nice to Have:

  • CFP – Certified Financial Planner.
  • CLU – Chartered Life Underwriter
  • CPCU – Chartered Property & Casualty Underwriter
  • ChFC – Chartered Financial Consultant
  • PFS – Personal Financial Specialist
  • CIC – Certified Insurance Counselor
  • ARM – Associate in Risk Management

Licensing

Before buying an insurance from an insurance agent, make sure that the agent has a license to sell insurance. It’s like a patient consulting a doctor and the doctor is required to get a license before they can provide prescriptions. Each state requires insurance agents to hold a license to sell policies. Some states require separate licenses to sell property and casualty insurance versus life and health insurance.

3. Client Feed Backs

While you’re checking whether the agent is licensed, also check to see if they’ve had complaints filed against them. For the company, you can check the NAIC’s CIS or call your state insurance department. The insurance department can also tell you if any complaints have been filed against the agent. You also might check with the Better Business Bureau to see if any consumers have filed complaints – or compliments – about the agents you’re considering.

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