A life insurance agent is a person whose expertise is in fitting clients with life insurance to suit their needs. These needs can range vastly, from income protection for loved ones in the event of an untimely demise to transferring assets efficiently from an estate after death, and even to saving for retirement in a tax-efficient manner. Life insurance agents usually have some level of expertise in financial planning and determining income needs for families after the loss of a breadwinner. They may also be estate planners, trust advisers, and investment specialists.
The goal of every life insurance agent should be to provide the best advice possible to their clients about which life insurance they should buy. A life insurance agent should not try to “sell” someone on a policy. They should be more of a consultant, learning as much as they can about a client’s lifestyle and needs and fitting the appropriate policy to them.
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Quality Of Life Insurance Agents
Clients should always beware, however, because not all life insurance agents are equally educated. Some have years of education and experience and work extensively using life insurance to solve sophisticated needs from clients. Other life insurance agents are little more than salesmen pushing the same product on every client, regardless of cost or the needs of the client.
Some agents who sell life insurance are comprehensive financial planners and use life insurance as one solution to fit into the holistic financial planning strategy. These planners may have their CFP (Chartered Financial Planner) or CLU (Chartered Life Underwriter) designations. These designations demonstrate to clients of the agent that have achieved them a commitment to excellence. Other agents only sell life insurance and use life insurance as a solution even when better or less expensive options may be available.
If you are in the market for a new life insurance agent you should look for an agent with a CLU designation, because this usually is a signal that the agent is professional and also probably experienced in the industry.
Life Insurance Agents Only Sell Insurance From One Company
A life insurance agent often works for one specific life insurance provider. Normally they are experts in their companies’ products but know little about any product offerings from outside firms. When this is the case, there is a conflict between the agent and the client. The client is trusting the agent to provide the best advice and the best product to fit their needs, but the agent only wants to sell life insurance from their own firm.
There are usually less expensive or otherwise superior products available at a competing firm, but the agent is unable to earn a commission, or as large of a commission, from selling those products. For some clients, this feels like fitting a square peg in a round hole. No one wants to waste money by buying a comparable product at a higher price, but the higher the price, the higher the commission to the agents.
Not every agent works for one specific company, but to sell life insurance from a company an agent does need to get approved. Independent agents can go out to many life insurance companies in order to find the best match and price for their client’s needs. Independent agents or those not tied to one individual company are usually the best ones to work with. Career agents for one company can be some of the most knowledgeable in the industry though, and even they can usually draw on multiple companies for term life insurance. Term life insurance is not usually the least expensive from the traditional large companies who specialize in whole life.
Life Ant Can Compare Quotes From Multiple Providers
At Life Ant, we like to think that we have superior capabilities to most agents in the marketplace. We are able to compare life insurance quotes across providers, which lets you see prices for all comparable policies. This can save you thousands of dollars over the lifetime of the life insurance policy, or allow you to leave more protection to your loved ones and heirs for a similar cost.
You can think of Life Ant as your electronic insurance agent. Even if you already work with a financial adviser, comparing quotes on Life Ant will help you understand if you are being quoted fair prices from your adviser. We do not provide specific financial advice, but we believe the more informed our clients are, the happier they will be with their financial planning.
The Value Of An Agent
The value of a good financial planner is extremely high, and some life insurance agents are also knowledgeable planners. An agent can usually run a personal financial analysis, and help determine the correct amount of life insurance a person needs. Good planners and agents can work with clients on estate planning needs, key man business insurance needs, and investment and savings needs.
The Value Of Life Ant Even If You Have An Agent
Life Ant is still a valuable tool for people with agents. Even if your agent has your best interests at heart, he may not have compared quotes from all major insurance providers for you. Life Ant helps you become a highly informed consumer by giving you the power to compare quotes for yourself. Even if it is only for comparison’s sake, we recommend that people look at multiple options before they make a purchasing decision.