As I write about selling insurance online, I get dozens of emails asking me how to find the best agent for your needs. Selling insurance is a very lucrative proposition, with a high level of independence and high-paying contracts. But it’s not an easy task. You could easily expect a very high incidence of client rejection, stress, and high attrition rate. I’ve outlined some steps you can take to ensure that you’re getting the best insurance coverage for your needs.
Before you even begin looking at insurance policies, decide on what your commission rate will be and how much that will factor into your decision making. Once you’ve determined that you can afford to pay a certain commission, you’ll need to start contacting potential agents to get their thoughts on your potential insurance policies. Ask each agent if they’re willing to do a free policy presentation.
You will want to do this within a few days of your initial contact, so you have ample time to make initial contact as well as answer questions. Get at least three life insurance policies that you like. Go to each agent’s office to speak with him or her personally. Have each agent make you a written offer. Your goal is to quickly determine which of the policies is the most cost-effective and profitable.
This initial round of contacting agents will be critical. You are seeking commission opportunities and you want to know who will ultimately be paying those commissions. While you might be interested in knowing the names of all the potential insurers, this personal financial planner has no idea what they’re doing. And no insurer wants you to know their secret, so keep it private between you. They don’t need to know.
Once you’ve made preliminary contact, the next step is to evaluate the offers from the different agents. You need to look at premiums, longevity, claim statistics, customer service, how much the agent charges for his or her services and whether the agent targets you or other potential customers. All of these things can have an impact on the commission that you pay the agent. While you’re evaluating the proposals from potential insurers, ask each agent if they have a written policy.
If you’re purchasing your own life insurance policy, ask each agent what percentage of the premium they charge is based on the number of agents they employ. Each state insurance department requires agents to get a certain percentage of their business from each underwriter that they represent. So for instance, in the state of Maryland the premium that all agents will be paid by the state insurance department is 10%. You might also consider asking each agent which companies they get their commissions from. If they tell you one company and you find out another, don’t hire that agent.
Don’t be afraid to ask your agent tough questions regarding their commissions. You should feel comfortable enough to ask any question concerning the underwriting process or other important information regarding the insurance companies. If you feel uneasy or uncomfortable, feel free to walk away. If you’re happy with the answers you receive, you’ve struck gold.
Finding good insurance agents doesn’t have to be a difficult task. Simply put in the time to do the research necessary to make sure the prospective agent fits the needs of your potential buyer. Look at the products and services they provide. Ask questions about their experience level and how many insurance agents they currently work for. If an agent seems completely qualified for the job and has no complaints against them, you may want to consider hiring that person to represent you in the future.