In the United States, there are over 440,000 insurance sales agents. According to data from the U.S. Department of Labor, this number is expected to increase by 45,000 by 2022. When it’s time to choose an insurance agent, this process is often easier said than done. Many become confused by this seemingly endless buffet of agents and insurance company slogans. While the best insurance agent, and subsequent policy, vary by consumer needs, the following tips are universally effective.
To identify an effective insurance agent, consumers must narrow their focus to five primary qualities. Each element provides deep insight into the operation, functionality and the ability of a specific agent. Remember, an insurance agent is only as good as the company they’re conjoined with. Therefore, research must include the insurance provider as well as the agent.
1. Agent Credentials – A primary indicator of Insurance Services offered by an agent is found within their credentials. Generally, insurance agents feature a series of letters behind their name. These letters represent various insurance designations earned from insurance associations or groups. Upon an initial query, ask what these credentials mean.
2. Agent License – All insurance agents must be licensed in the state they work in. License information must be readily available for confirmation. If a license is in question, contact the State Licensing Board or by contacting the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) to review current license holders.
3. Insurance Company – Insurance agents often work under a parent insurance company, such as State Farm. The company an agent represents determines the quality of policies and the level of Insurance Services. For example, underneath the underwriting policies of State Farm.
4. Complaint Review – While it’s impossible to satisfy all customers, a prospective agent should feature limited complaints. Review all complaints against a specific agent or insurance company by visiting the NAIC website. From here, consumers may search by company or agent to view current or historical complaints.
The type of insurance one desires ultimately determines their insurance agent. However, agents, such as , provide a host of insurance policies. As a general rule, the best insurance agent is one who offers a myriad of policy types and coverage level. By bundling all insurance needs within a single company, consumers may save money on monthly premiums,
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