According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics there’s over 200,000 life insurance salespeople working in the United States. Most life insurance agents work on commission, placing the customer in a one-sided relationship with an inherent moral hazard. That’s why we’ve interview the folks over at Big Lou Insurance for this article, so you can beware of the risks of dealing with salespeople motivated to sell you products with the highest available commission.
Beware the Huge Call Centre Insurance Brokerages
The first goal of that call center agent is to get you a low “quote”, get you to commit to taking an insurance exam, and get payment information from you.
Unless you are thirty years old or younger and have no health issues whatsoever, a five minute phone call is not near enough time to get you a legitimate quote. Plus, if they are walking your through a sales script that ends in you giving them your banking information is simply salesmanship. Of course, if you want to bind coverage today you need to pay the first premium, but not everyone needs to do this. They do this because they know if they let you off the phone without your commitment (money) they will never get you on the phone again.
You need to decide whether you want to deal with salespeople trained to walk you through a sales script like hundreds of other people; or do you want to work with experts who are willing to work on your timeline and with your specific health profile to make sure they get you the best possible policy?
Life Insurance Policies Take Time
It will take 30 to 60 days from the day you complete the insurance exam and complete the application before you will have a policy in place. If you are engaged in the process, responsive to your broker’s questions, and willing to call your doctor to make sure his or her office provides medical records quickly, the process will be done faster.
Your Medical Records are the key. If you are over 50 years old, or if you have any medical issues treated by a doctor, the insurance company is going to request the last 5 years of your medical history from your doctor. On average, this process takes about 2 weeks, but some doctors’ offices can take 30 or 60 days to respond to this request. Your broker usually pays the doctor’s office a fee to copy and provide the records, but usually has very little pull on how fast the doctor’s office responds.
Being the patient, you can have a great impact on this turnaround time. A simple call to your doctor requesting his or her help in getting your life insurance can be the difference in getting the records in days or months.
You Probably don’t Have Enough Life Insurance
Most Americans don’t and they know it. Only you can decide what is appropriate to protect your loved ones. Do they need 5 years of income? 10 Years? 20 years? Money for college? Money to pay off the mortgage? All of the above?
Many treat life insurance as an afterthought. After home Insurance. After car insurance. After everything else. What is more valuable than your life and the income your life produces for your family? The fact is, life insurance is the only insurance that someone is guaranteed to collect on, and it is relatively inexpensive. In the past, many life insurance agents have given the industry a bad reputation. The idea of agents going door to door and sitting at your kitchen table until you write a check are gone, or they should be.
You should spend some time finding a life insurance professional or financial adviser you can trust. Someone who represents many companies. Someone who spends more than five minutes getting to know you before providing an unobtainable “quote”.
Your Broker or Adviser Makes the Difference
Your choice of the broker or adviser to work with can mean hundreds if not thousands of dollars in savings each year. For all the reasons explained above, your broker or adviser needs to be a full time professional, not just trained in the art of salesmanship, but trained in underwriting and in finding solutions.
If your broker is brand new, look elsewhere. If your broker or adviser works with only one company, look elsewhere. If your broker or adviser tries to get your banking information on the first call, look elsewhere. If your broker or adviser doesn’t ask detailed questions about your health, look elsewhere. If your broker or adviser doesn’t provide specific solutions based on a knowledge of your health profile, look elsewhere.
In other words, you need to be engaged in every step of the process…And you need to have someone on your side who is equally engage and compelled to act in your best interest.
To learn more about Big Lou Insurance or to learn more about your unique life insurance needs visit the Big Lou Knowledge Center.