Life Insurance Questions To Ask An Agent

life insurance questions to ask an agent
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    Are you feeling a little overwhelmed trying to figure out all of your life insurance options? You probably have a bunch of questions about price, coverage, beneficiaries…there’s just so much to figure out.

    Great news…there’s an easier way. We put together a list for you that will help you choose the best life insurance policy. Here are the most important questions to ask a life insurance agent.

    Top Life Insurance Questions To Ask An Agent


    1. What Type of Life Insurance Agent Are You?

    This is the first question for a big reason. It can potentially save you a bunch of money and a ton of aggravation.

    Ask your agent if they are an Independent Agent or a Captive Agent. Here’s why it’s a big deal: Captive agents work for an insurance company and only sell their products. An independent agent doesn’t work for a company – they use multiple companies in order to find the best one you can qualify with.

    2. How many companies does your agent have access to?

    Not all independent agents are the same. Some agents only use a few companies. While that’s better than only one (like the captive agent), it still can be an issue when getting the best deal. There are a lot of call centers that use about 10-12 companies. At Life Insurance Blog, we use over 60 companies!

    3. Can I get a lower rate using multiple agents?

    Not if you’re shopping for a particular company. In other words, your rate will be the same if you apply for a Prudential policy with us, another agent or going direct to the carrier. 

    Don’t waste time visiting a 100 websites trying to lower your rate with a specific company. The rates will be the same. The difference is service and how may companies your agent has (see #2). The key is having your agent find the company that will qualify you at the healthiest rate class. This is how you’ll get a lower rate.

    4. Are there life insurance discounts or sales?

    There are no “Blowout Sales” or discounts when it comes to life insurance. Here’s why: Rates must be submitted to each state’s department of insurance. This is highly regulated and companies can’t simply adjust prices whenever they want. So you won’t be getting any Cyber Monday or Black Friday life insurance sales. 

    5. Are you a licensed life insurance agent?

    You’ll want to work with an independent licensed life insurance agent. Be careful working with a call center employee. It’s best to work with an agent who is licensed and has gone through all the education requirements to become an actual agent. 

    6. What type of life insurance should I buy?

    A good life insurance agent will ask you why you’re looking for life insurance. What is it going to protect? Your agent will get an idea and provide suggestions based on your goals. Depending on your answers, a permanent policy or term life policy will be recommended.

    7. How much life insurance should I get?

    Your agent should help you figure out the right amount of coverage. You don’t want to be overinsured and overpay for coverage you don’t need. You definitely don’t want to be underinsured and have your family at risk. The whole purpose is to make sure they’re protected. 

    8. How much does life insurance cost?

    That question is a doozy. There are so many factors that will determine your rate. Buckle up for this quick rundown…Every single one of these factors can play a huge role in what your approved rate will be. Your policy’s price will be based on these major factors:

    • Your Age
    • The type of policy
    • The coverage amount
    • Your health
    • Your weight 
    • Tobacco use
    • Life Insurance Company
    • other risk factors (DUI, dangerous hobbies, etc.)

    9. Can I get as much life insurance that I can afford?

    No. That may seem odd, but it’s true. Life insurance companies will not let you buy too much life insurance. Financials are part of the underwriting process. Most people think underwriting is just for health. Depending on your age and life insurance company, you can get 10x to 20x your annual salary.

    10. How long does it take to get life insurance?

    When is you life insurance effective date? Can you get approved quickly? Life insurance approval times can vary significantly. It will depend mostly on the product and company you choose.

    If you apply for a fully underwritten policy that requires you to pass a medical exam: you’re looking at 4 to 6 weeks. What about no medical life insurance policies? They range anywhere from instant decision to a few days – to a couple weeks. Again, this is why an independent agent can really save the day. They’ll have more options for you.

    11. I have coverage through work. Do I need my own policy?

    Maybe. The dangers of group coverage are significant. What if you change jobs? What if you’re fired? Will you be able to keep your group coverage? If yes, will it even be affordable? There are a lot of risks with only having group coverage.

    12. Are there any taxes with a life insurance policy?

    For most people, the death benefit will be paid to the beneficiary tax free. There are some situations for high net worth individual where estate taxes come into play..

    13. What will happen if I miss my premium payment?

    When you miss a premium payment, you run the risk of lapsing your policy. The good new is that life insurance policies have something called a grace period. Each state is different, but grace periods are usually between 60 to 90 days. If you have a permanent policy, like whole life – your cash value may possibly pay for your premium.

    14. Will my premium change in the future?

    Ask your agent if your premium will be level. You’ll want to know if your premium will stay the same or change in the future. For example, most term life policies have level premiums for the entire term. There are some companies and policies that have age bands where your policy increases at certain time.

    15. Will my policy have exclusions?

    Most life insurance policies have a few exclusions built in. For example, suicide, war, and certain dangerous activities are often excluded from life insurance. Every company is different. For example, we have a company that provides coverage to overseas contractors in Iraq

    16. Does my policy have living benefits?

    Some life insurance policies include living benefits. These extra benefits are sometimes included at no extra cost. Some companies will charge extra for them. Living benefits are a way for you to get access to your death benefit before you die. Also called an Accelerated Death Benefit, you need to be diagnosed with a terminal illness before you can take advantage of this benefit.

    17. Can I convert my life insurance policy?

    It’s great to have a policy that can be converted. This will allow you to change from a term life policy to a permanent policy. Conversion rules will depend on the company. It’s a great option especially if you become uninsurable sometime during your term. 

    18. What is the financial rating of the company?

    What is the A.M. Best rating of the life insurance company? What are the ratings from Fitch, Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s? These are good questions to ask an insurance agent because you don’t want a policy from a bad company. These financial ratings will tell you how strong the carrier is and how likely they’ll be around in the future.

    19. What is the financial rating of the company?

    What is the A.M. Best rating of the life insurance company? What are the ratings from Fitch, Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s? These are good questions to ask an insurance agent because you don’t want a policy from a bad company. These financial ratings will tell you how strong the carrier is and how likely they’ll be around in the future.

    20. How do agents save money on life insurance?

    A good life insurance agent will ask you the questions that life insurance companies want to know. They will shop your case and research which company will approve you with the best deal.

    Example: The 10 top life insurance companies for every shopper will be different.  They change depending on the specifics of the case. Let’s say you have just one risk factor. You take 1 medication for high cholesterol. Your Top 10 list would be different if you didn’t take that medication. It would change again if you took more medications or had additional risk factors.

    good questions to ask an insurance agent

    What do I do now?

    Now you know which questions to ask before buying life insurance. We have a question for you, “Do you have a life insurance agent or broker?” If not, we’re here to help. We’ll gladly answer all these “questions to ask a life insurance agent” and more. That’s not all. At Life Insurance Blog, we do a lot for our clients.

    First, we provide you rates to compare, give suggestions and you pick the best policy for you. Secondly, we have the easiest application process. We use online applications to get your policy approved quicker and easier. Lastly, we make sure you’re getting the best deal even after your approval!

    You can get started now by getting an instant quote. Let’s see what we can do for you!

    Michael Quinn

    Michael Quinn

    Michael is a licensed life insurance agent, expert & owner of Life Insurance Blog. LIB has helped thousands of shoppers understand life insurance and secure affordable coverage.

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