This is a personal blog. The opinions expressed here represent my own, not those of my employer and is not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, or individual.
I was walking along a bus interchange and there was a road show by a prominent insurance company. There were many agents approaching anyone who dared to venture near them. Obviously, that created a kind of inconvenient bottom neck along the walking path as many avoided the area.
That got me wondering - Why are people so afraid of Insurance Agents?
Perhaps it is the confusion towards approaching an agent prepared. Hence, I thought of some things to ask beforehand for a meaningful session.
Qn 1 – What experience do you have?
Much like going to see any professional, i.e. a doctor, surgeon, dentist, lawyer, etc, one needs to have the confidence. So, it is a fundamental question as to the agent’s qualifications and licensing.
In addition, we would like to hear the agent’s history to handling past claims or investment track record.
Qn 2 – What are your fees?
This seems like such an obvious question that many neglect to ask. However, it is also a basic question. Would you look at the price tag of something before you purchase? Would you like to know the doctor’s fees before treatment?
So, take time to understand how much the agent is paid and that you are comfortable to proceed. It will also reveal their honesty. There is no such thing as a free lunch.
Qn 3 – What is your approach to planning, recommendation and servicing should we proceed?
I would think expectations need to be clear and the stage set right before proceeding. Hence, it is important to know at least an overview of the agent’s approach to every step of the process from checking, diagnosis, recommendation and finally servicing.
Who – Anyone else supporting if you are not available? What – The commitment required on my part? When – How often and how much time will you need? Where – A proper location to discuss? (Personally, I am not comfortable sharing personal financial details at McDonalds or Starbucks, are you?) Why – Why should I proceed with you and not someone else? How – If all is well, how do we proceed now?
So now, I tried these questions with one of the agents who approached me and summary of the response: Qn 1 – I am new and not much experience yet, but do still give me a chance; Qn 2 – Don’t worry, no obligation and if you sign up today, you can even get a Camera; Qn 3 – The approach is to start saving with this “fantastic” plan at $500 a month.