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How does one find a good insurance agent?

If you have decided that you need insurance and are trying to find an insurance agent then we will appreciate your decision. This would be one of the best decisions that you have ever taken. In life we take many decisions, some for us and some for others. Whenever we take such decisions our only wish is that assumptions that we have made come true while we are experiencing the moments of truth (moments of truth is the instances where we are in reality receiving the service or the product). Services are accompanied with high intangibility and this intangibility factor is difficult to measure. Insurance has both tangible and intangible properties in which the service provided by the agent is intangible. Deciding on taking insurance is not at all a difficult thing when you compare it to selection of an insurance agent. As a customer you will be flooded with hundreds of options and out of this you have to make a correct choice. It’s important for the customer to keep in mind some points before choosing an agent.

  • Qualification
  • Knowledge about the product
  • Conditions apply
  • Word of mouth
  • Never go by what you see
  • Past accolades
  • Avoid Miss-selling
  • Different policies

Qualification

First rule laid down by the IRDA (Insurance Regulatory & Development Authority) of India is that any person, to become an insurance agent must and should pass the exams conducted by the same body. Has your insurance agent done that? If no, then there is always a possibility that he might have told you something extra or skipped conveying some points to you about the policy. This happens every now and then when we get calls from anonymous people saying that they are from some insurance company and offer you a policy. If you are personally meeting your agent then you can always ask about his qualification and the number of customers that he has handled till now. As a customer you have every right to know about your agent.

Knowledge about the product

It’s not enough if the agent just has mandatory qualification, he should have knowledge about the policy that he is trying to sell. The insurance industry has got so many players and each one is trying to overthrow the other to get to the top position. Hence they pressurize employees to achieve their targets. Hence to reach targets more and more number of agents are recruited and many leave the organization succumbing to work pressure. Some agents try to sell policies to customers without having complete knowledge about the policy. If the customer has knowledge of insurance he will be able to make out that agent is faking. One easy way of finding out about the agent is how confident is he while describing you the policy scheme. Is he under stress when you ask him questions? Does he call up his colleagues or senior to get information about the policy that he is selling you? If yes then you better approach another agent. It’s very simple logic that when agent himself doesn’t know about the policy there are very less chances that he will be able to give you complete information.

Conditions apply

We are damn sure that you must have seen these two words almost everywhere right from an ad to airline ticket. Trust me these words are the trickiest ones. In insurance too these words come very often and one must be very careful while filling up the insurance form, because some of the columns will be having this conditions apply tag. All it means is if you falter even in one of the conditions put, you will get nothing from the insurance company. Ask your agent to explain those conditions and also to read and explain to you the fine print. Any insurance agent who approaches customers should be thorough with all this if he is not then it only shows that he doesn’t know about the policy and its better if the customer scouts for another agent.

More emphasis is given on selection of agent because he is the one who can make your investment in the insurance come to your rescue as and when it is required and here it’s a long term relationship that we are making with the agent.

Word of mouth

Believe it or not today companies are more focusing on these words which I have told above. Word of mouth is such a powerful tool today which can make or break a reputation of a company or its product. Hence companies see that there is no negative word of mouth communicated on them. In selection of insurance agent too you can rely on word of mouth. But you must be careful and rely on only those people whom you trust. It’s just that your best friend had approached an insurance agent who is very good and professional and has been in this field for quite some time now. It’s not just the words of peer group but relatives, parents, neighbors (who are trustworthy) can influence on your decision.

Never go by what you see

Yes we get a good impression after watching an impressive ad about an insurance company and in the same mood end up approaching an agent whose focus is to make money. Remember here you are betting on your life and not on impressive ad or insurance company. Hence never get carried away by ads easily.

Past accolades

There are many insurance companies which award their agents for doing good work on their behalf. Companies also give them certificate of appreciation. Try to get some information about your prospective agent, has he been awarded with certificate of appreciation or are his customers happy with the services provided by him? Does he have a clean track record? These are some of the queries that you can get cleared. It’s always better to be informed about agent rather than ending up being on receiving end. One of the best ways to get such information is social networking sites.

Avoid Miss-selling

Almost all the companies are offering ULIPS and its fast gaining popularity amongst investors. Why not? Its good when investor is getting returns with insurance cover, hence investors are getting attracted towards it. With introduction of such plans there was one more problem that creeped in and it was mis-selling. Agents in order to sell more policies promised higher returns and investors fell for it. In many cases agents won’t highlight on the front upload charges which often come to 15% and sometimes more than this. Just listen to explanation of your agent and if he doesn’t mention about these charges ask him about it. He would give you apologetic smile and will tell you about it. By doing such a thing you are doing two things right first one is that you are sending a message to agent that you have a fair knowledge about policies and indirectly you are sending a signal implying him to be truthful to you. Even then he is not ready to disclose information on that or says he doesn’t have information right now then you switch over to another agent.

Different policies

There are hundreds of policies offered by each and every insurance company. Now it is never fixed that one policy would suit all the men below the age of 30 because each individual is unique and hence are his preferences. Try to get information of as many policies as possible (which are applicable to individuals) because you never know which policy is best for you. If your agent is telling about just two or three policies and pressurizing you to purchase one of them, then he is trying to take you for a ride. It’s just that he will be getting more money in the form of commission when he sells policies of higher cost. Hence you must be very intelligent to understand whether your agent is being faithful to you or he is taking advantage of your ignorance.

Can Moneymindz.com help you in Choosing the Best ULIP......?

Absolutely yes there are many tools in our website that you can use to get knowledge of the insurance plans and you can also get to know the latest trends and changes that will be forecasted and analyzed in our website.

As said in the beginning the difficulty comes when you want to put your money in insurance because you don’t know about various plans and minute details about those plans. To help our readers there’s a lot of stuff on our website. We provide you information on

  • Term plan
  • Endowment plan
  • Pension plan
  • Children plan
  • Health plan
  • Home insurance etc

There’s whole pool of information that you can get and decide about taking an insurance policy. We will be able to give you even the minutest details about insurance policies all at a click away. Some of the features that you can use are

Overview

In this you will get to know about the basics of the policy. For example if you want to know about term insurance plan then you will be getting information on what is term insurance, definition, types, other basics and benefits of term insurance plan.

Comparison tool

This is one of the best tools that are available to anybody who is in dilemma. For example your agent has given you a briefing on two or three plans that are as per your requirement, but as always you are in dilemma whether to go for this plan or that plan. Just put all the three plans in our comparison tool and you can get a clear cut picture of all the three policies. Our comparison tool gives a comparative account of those policies based on16-18 parameters. This would largely help a customer who is in dilemma.

Hot products

In this segment we give you latest products that have been launched by insurance companies and a brief account of its features. Hence this will be helpful for those who are thinking of getting a medical insurance for the first time and who are thinking of purchasing policies for their spouses or children etc.

FAQ’s

This segment consists of all the frequently asked questions.

Ask the expert

We see that we cover almost all the questions in our FAQ section but even then if you have any questions how trivial they may be, you can always put those questions to our expert. Experts will give you the answer to your questions and all this is just at arm’s length.

Money school

This is the place where you get a lot of knowledge about the whole financial system. You will get the articles on most of the happening topics of the financial world which you can use to your advantage. The most important thing is that all the articles are written keeping in mind a common man so that be it a student or an executive or a common man can read these and can understand them very easily.

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