Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Tips to get the Most out of your Insurance Agent

When we take the term Insurance Agent or Insurance Adviser, many of our friends will come up with dreadful stories of poor service or being recommended products that did not suit them etc. In fact, finding good examples is extremely hard. Anyways, I personally feel that we are also a part of the reason for this situation. 

The purpose of this article is to cover a few ideas that can help us handle these guys in a way that would be "Best" for us.. 

Idea No. 1: Be Clear and Explicit

One of the biggest complaints about Insurance Agents is the fact that, they dont understand our needs properly. Actually, it is not fair to blame them here because in most cases this person wont know about our needs and requirements like we do. When you meet an Insurance Agent, be clear with respect to what you want. Explain them all your requirements or expectations explicitly. Dont assume that the other person will know because there is a big possibility that you may be wrong. 

Note: Even if you explain your requirements clearly, there is always a chance that the Agent will try to sell us something that doesnt suit us. This is why we have to follow the other ideas as well

Idea No. 2: Ask Questions

Always ask questions. Dont say Ok, as soon as the advisor/agent tells you something. The moment you start asking questions, they will realize that you are paying attention. Listen carefully to everything that he/she is saying and make sure to understand it properly. Think about whether this product suits the requirements you just explained as per Idea No. 1. 

If the Agent tries to promise some sort of returns, ask for proof for the same. They always come with a work-up that shows how quickly your investment can grow at 20% or more each year. It might sound mighty tempting when you see something like it but trust me, there is no Guarantee for any stock market investment and hence this could be a ploy to get you to buy the product

Idea No. 3: DO NOT Ask for Financial Favors

One of the biggest reasons why these agents sell us products that dont suit us is because, many folks end up asking this dreaded question to the person - "What can you do for me?". It is fairly common in India for people to ask the insurance agent to pay the first premium or at least a part of it. 

Yes, the agent is going to get some money for selling this particular product to you. Of course, how else is he/she supposed to make a living? This is his job, isnt it? The moment you ask them to pay for something, they start calculating how much money they will end up with (after the sale) and there is a very good chance that they will try to sell you the product that will help them retain the most amount of money. 

Think of it this way. Let us say you are contacting someone from a different department in your company to get something done. This person says, I know your salary is X Rupees and since I am doing this for you, can you give me a % of your monthly salary this month. How would you feel? If someone asks such a question and insists that they wont do the work unless you pay them, you will immediately start thinking about what you can do to make sure you pay them the least amount of money - right? After all, you have a family that is dependent on your monthly salary and you wouldnt want to compromise on that. We need to understand that the Insurance Agent too has a family and needs to make a living. The moment you expect him to give-up a part of his income, he is obviously going to think about ways to cut-down on his losses which effectively means, you end up buying a product that you dont need... 

Idea No. 4: Think and Decide

There is absolutely No Need for you to decide on the product right away. Yes, if the person selling is a friend or a family member, it might be hard to say No but the truth is, buying an insurance policy is a long-term commitment with regular premium payments. So, it is always a good idea to take some time and think it through. You dont have to Decide immediately. You can always tell the Insurance Agent that you will need some time to think about it and that you will get back to them after a few days. 

Yes, the agent will try to question your decision, bring up points in favor of the product he/she is selling and try to sway your decision. If you are absolutely sure about the product, then go ahead. But, if you are not sure, dont worry. Ask for some time to think and decide. 

Idea No. 5: Read the Policy Document - Thoroughly

Once you buy the policy, you will get the Insurance Policy document within the next few days. Spend a few minutes and read it thoroughly. Think about all the aspects of the policy (as explained by the agent) and make sure that the policy document matches. If you feel the policy does not suit you, dont worry too much. All Insurance polices come with a free-look period where, if you cancel the policy within the first 30 days you will get your money back (less a small fee) and your policy will be cancelled. 

No matter how cautious or careful we are, there is always a chance that we end up with something we dont need. This is why this idea is extremely important. 

Hope you found this article useful...

Happy Insuring yourself!!!

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