Selecting a life insurance agent

Selecting a life insurance agent is not easy. Most of them are seen as pesky, stereotypical salesmen who nag you to death about policies. You should not look at them with the same jaundiced eyes.

Instead start thinking of the agent as a guide who can walk you through a maze and get you richer and safer. The agents have in-depth knowledge of what's there in the market; they will be able to help you narrow down the policies that you need, not just today but in the future too.

There are a lot of factors that need to be taken into account when you are considering an insurance policy. Very often people make the mistake of taking policies that appear attractive; but it is left to their beneficiaries to discover otherwise.

An insurance agent can help you find a policy you can afford, and one that will actually benefit your nominees after your death. They can also double up as financial advisers and tell you about policies which help you save and policies which protect you against retirement blues. However, to get these benefits you need to find the right agent first. It is best to deal with someone who comes recommended. Compile a list of three or four such agents. Alternatively you can get one near you using the agent locator on Life All you will need to do is enter your area code and get the list.

Talk to each agent on your list and find out about:

1. Their Designations. Agents can earn designations like Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU), Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) or Certified Financial Planner (CFP). These degrees take time and effort to earn and are an indication that the agent is serious about the job and is up to date on issues in insurance and financial planning

2. Their disciplinary history: Check with regulators to make sure the agent has the proper licenses and has not been disciplined. You can also do this yourself by simply accessing the department's web page

3. Their Clients: Clients are always a good indication of an agent's profile. You can also cross check with a few clients.

Finally, choose one you are comfortable with. This is very important because the person will be a confidant of sorts who will know your financial worries and other personal details.

Getting a good agent is like doing half the work. So get down to the task. Find the agent who will help you spot the right policy.

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