Finding a good insurance agent is as important as finding the right insurance. So, how do you find a good agent? Begin by asking your friends, co-workers and/or family. Their testimonials will be honest and based on personal experience with a certain agent. A high-quality agent recognizes that word-of-mouth advertisement is the best advertisement and, therefore, will put forth an utmost effort into every lead and transaction to ensure superior customer satisfaction.
Tips When Selecting an Insurance Agent
Use an insurance agent that represents multiple insurance carriers
An insurance broker is an agent or agency that offers and uses multiple insurance carriers and health plans. Working with a broker ensures that you will be able to review all of your options. If you work with an agent that is employed by one insurance company they will not be able to accurately shop around for you. Insurance agents employed by an insurance carrier are only allowed to offer that carrier’s plans and cannot discuss the other options in your area.
Use an insurance agent that is paid a salary
Insurance agents and brokers are usually paid in one of two ways. They either work on commission or salary. Agents that work on a commission don’t get paid unless you buy something. Salaried agents get paid if you buy something or not. Working with a salaried insurance agent allows you to get an unbiased opinion on your insurance options.
“Here at Medicare Pathways, Inc. we pride ourselves on being an insurance broker working with dozens of carriers. Our agents are also employees and are paid a salary not a commission. This allows us to review our client’s needs and offer an impartial recommendation.” Laura Kimble, Executive Director at Medicare Pathways, Inc. For More helpful tips check out our Medicare News Blog.
Searching For Medicare Insurance On-line
The internet is also a great place to start looking for insurance but- be alert. A word of caution, when you visit a website; make be sure they actually sell insurance. There are many websites that will offer you a quote but they are really selling your information and you will end up getting endless calls from multiple companies.
Do I Need a Local Insurance Agent?
Your insurance agent does not have to be a local agent in today’s time. You can find an agent that is knowledgeable and has a level of expertise in the type of insurance you are searching for anywhere in the country. A good agent will make your insurance needs a priority regardless of where you live.
Communication is Key
A professional insurance agent will take into consideration your insurance needs and personal and financial situation and not just be out to make a sale. A good insurance agent should be a genuine listener and a problem solver. This allows the agent to recommend the most appropriate and most affordable insurance plan that fits your needs. Do not settle with an agent that cannot effectively communicate with you. The agent must be able to recognize that each person’s communication needs are different and adjust their style of communication so that they can be understood by the customer.
The Character of Your Insurance Agent is Important
A good insurance agent must be honest. An honest agent will realize that there are certain situations that he or she does not offer, or carry, the type of insurance plan that is in the best interests of the customer. A good agent will not coerce or mislead you into buying an insurance plan that does not fit your insurance needs. A good agent will not misrepresent a policy or the coverage it provides. This goes hand in hand with the trait of a good agent not being focused on “selling” you a product. Instead, an ethical agent will focus on your insurance needs and help you find the appropriate plan that meets your insurance needs and with a rate or premium that is affordable. An insurance agent should consider all aspects of the plan and your personal and/or financial situation. For example, the agent should not only take the premium of the insurance plan into consideration, but also consider, and relay to you, any and all out-of-pocket expenses you may incur, such as deductibles, co-pays, and coinsurances (also known as “cost-sharing”.)
“Each Medicare Pathways’ agent has been through extensive background checks and screenings prior to hire. Our agents are then put through in-depth training that includes Ethics, Medicare and Privacy. Each agent has signed and must adhere to Medicare Pathways Code of Ethics. It is important to us that all of our agents are above the bar when it comes to ethical matters.”– Laura Kimble, Executive Director at Medicare Pathways, Inc.
Your Insurance Agent Needs to Be an Expert
A qualified agent is knowledgeable in the area of insurance he or she is selling. If a question or issue arises that the agent does not know the answer or have information available for immediate reference, then the agent will not hesitate to admit that he or she does not know the answer or have the information available to them at that time. However, a good agent will research the issue and promptly follow up with the customer with an answer or the information requested. Promptness in responding to a customer or potential customer’s inquiries is a necessity to customer satisfaction.
Other Steps You Can Take
Do your research! When you find an agent that you think you are ready to work with, check their insurance history. Every agent is required to register with the State Insurance Commission in the State he or she is transacting insurance. Visit your State’s Insurance Commission website to ensure that the agent is actually licensed in your State to transact the type of insurance you need and are looking to purchase. Additionally, if the agent claims to be affiliated with a large insurance company, make sure he or she is appointed, or authorized, to sell insurance for the company. The State Insurance Commission’s website also has information regarding any complaints filed against an agent, as well as any disciplinary action that the Insurance Commissioner may have taken towards the agent’s license (i.e., fines, suspensions or revocations). If you do not have access to the internet you can also inquire about an agent’s status for transacting insurance in your State by calling your State’s Insurance Commission.