How to Select a Life Insurance Agent
Selecting the right life insurance agent is an important first step in ensuring you have someone on your side as you go through the world of insurance.
Treat the search for an insurance agent as you would treat a search for a doctor or lawyer: seek multiple opinions and don’t settle for someone you’re not comfortable working with.
There are two main types of insurance agents: independent agents who represent multiple insurance companies and those that work exclusively for a single insurance company.
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Independent insurance agents
Because independent agents typically represent multiple companies, they often have a wider array of policies and providers to draw from. This can be helpful if you want to compare rates offered by several insurance companies or if a change in your life means you need to modify your existing coverage and shop around.
However, there are drawbacks to working with an independent agent. Some consumers prefer the convenience (and potential cost savings) that comes from working with a single insurance provider. Based on your needs, an independent agent may recommend you purchase policies from several providers instead of covering you under a single company.
Captive insurance agents
Agents that work on behalf of a single insurance company are sometimes referred to as “captive agents.” Captive insurance agents often have a deep insight into the many policies their company offers. This can be helpful when you are seeking a specific type of coverage. Working with a captive agent may allow you to “bundle” policies such as home and auto under a single provider, which can result in discounts on your overall rates. Captive agents, however, may not have as much freedom to shop around and find the best policy for your specific needs – especially if the insurance provider offers limited products.
How to find the right life insurance agent
Once you know what kind of life insurance policy you need, try and find an agent who specializes in that type of policy.
To find an agent who is right for you:
- Ask friends and family about their insurance agents.
Find out why your friends and family work with their specific agents and what types of coverage they have. How was their experience with their agent? Did the agent understand their wants and needs? Have they had any problems dealing with the insurance company? Ask about the rates they pay.
- Contact your state’s insurance department.
Each state offers different types of insurance licenses. As such, your state’s insurance department can provide unbiased answers to common questions. They can also guide you to reputable insurance companies.
- Ask questions.
Find out if the agent you are considering focuses on local clients or operates nationwide. Ask if they are independent and how many companies they represent. What are their areas of expertise? How long have they been in business? Make sure the agent understands your situation and finances. He or she should work with you to find the best solution.
- Request a quote.
Before committing to an agent, ask for a quote for the price of your specific coverage. Remember that simply requesting a quote doesn’t mean you are required to work with that agent.
If you have questions about your quote, about the financial stability of the insurance provider, or the specifics of your plan, don’t hesitate to ask. A good agent will provide you with answers and not pressure you into purchasing insurance you may not need.
If you’re concerned about finding a reliable life insurance agent or a life insurance policy you can afford, feel free to talk with a representative of Lincoln Heritage Life Insurance Company®. Our agents specialize in final expense insurance and can help you find a policy that’s right for you.