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Finding the Right Life Insurance Agent

By Compuquotes Team on March 26th, 2008

Getting life insurance is a big decision. Depending on the type of policy you choose, it's an expense that you could be paying for many years to come. And that means that all the decisions you make regarding your policy are important-even when it comes to choosing an insurance agent. Unless you change insurance companies you may be interacting with your agent for a long time so it's wise to choose someone who you can trust and feel comfortable with.

Start out by getting referrals from family and friends, business associates or advisors such as your lawyer or accountant. For a complete list of agents contact your state insurance department.

When you have a list of potential agents to work with, find out more about each agent's insurance company. Find out what types of insurance they specialize in and the range of policies they offer. Check them out with the Better Business Bureau and find out if they've had any complaints lodged against them recently, too.

Once you narrow your list down to reputable companies who specialize in the type of insurance you want, then it's time to start contacting agents. Arrange face-to-face interviews with three or four agents, or more if you wish. Find out about their qualifications and their specialties, and make sure you ask for customer references. Ask them if they're a member of a professional association such as the National Association of Life Underwriters or the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors-agents who are members of these types of associations are required to maintain high ethical standards in their work.

In your initial interview, be on the lookout for an agent who is willing to take time to answer all your questions, and who asks you questions, too. The agent who doesn't ask questions about your current financial situation and your goals may be an agent who isn't necessarily interested in helping you get insurance that best meets your needs. A good agent will want to know all the details about your finances and your plans before talking with you about the types of policies that will suit you. And because it can be difficult to comprehend "insurance-speak" it's always good to find an agent who can break it down into language that you can easily understand.

When you're making your final selection, don't forget to call your state insurance commission or find them online at http://www.naic.org to investigate the qualifications and reputation of potential agents.

And finally, go with your gut instincts just as much as with tangible things like qualifications-if you feel uncomfortable with any agent, or feel that they may not be working in your best interests, just walk away and keep looking. Life insurance helps to safeguard your family's future, so it's definitely worth the extra time it might take to find a good agent.

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