Insurance agent - does the word ring any bells? May be a figure of a relative or a person who pesters you to meet his monthly sales target comes to your mind. Or you remember a person who you rush to do last minute investment to save on income tax.
A good insurance agent is like a good doctor or a lawyer with whom you should have good relationship with. You never know when you will face an emergency needing the help of an insurance agent. Selling you an insurance product is just a very small role that an agent has to perform. As a professional dealing with insurance product, he can perform a very key role in securing your and your family's future, to plan for important events in your life such as your child's marriage or planning your retirement. Following are some of the important attributes you should look for in an insurance agent:
1. He should be a good educator
The world of personal finance is evolving by the day. Companies are wooing customers with newer investment products and sales gimmicks. A good insurance advisor is someone who should help you cut through the clutter and determine what your exact financial goals are and recommend products which should help you achieve those. He should be well informed about the new products available in the market, what are their key features, how safe or riskier are they and what kind of instruments do they invest in, so that he can provide you with insightful advice.
2. He should be the seller of products from multiple insurance companies
This way he will be able to provide you options and help you select the best product suited for your needs. If he sells products from one insurance company, then he would be more interested in getting you to buy that rather than determining which is the best one for you
3. Level of customer service
You insurance agent should facilitate your interaction with the insurer. He should be facilitating your premium payments, send you reminders when your installments are due and keep you updated about the status of your policy. In short, he should act as a single point of contact between you and the insurance company.
4. Help you in the claim process
Insurance claim is a very important process. Generally you go for a claim when you are in a distressed state such as death of the breadwinner of the family or a health insurance claim when someone in your family is hospitalized. Similarly you would need prompt settlement of your claim if you want to finance a planned event such as your child's education. A good insurance agent should assist you with this process, help you with the paper work and promote your case among the insurance company's officials. He should be your advocate to the insurer facilitating fast and apt claims for you.
Selection of an insurance agent is more important than selecting an insurance product itself, as a good agent will automatically assist you to plan your insurance portfolio. In addition to this, you should spend quality time and effort to plan your insurance portfolio with your advisor.