Personally, buying life insurance wasn’t on my to-do list this year. I’ve never been very good at handling financial decisions but it was about time I thought about changing. After having a conversation with my family, I figured having life insurance right now was better than scrambling for it later.
The catch, though, is there are so many options online! I didn’t know where to begin or even what I should know to inquire about. The more I searched, the more insurance providers I found. As my list grew with insurance companies, I realized they each have multiple life insurance policies. What I didn’t account for was whether I needed an insurance agent’s help.
What I Learned Before Making a Buying Decision
What did I know about life insurance or life insurance agents before my search? Nothing.
In my search and study, I learned about life insurance as an investment. Buying life insurance needs careful consideration and thorough research. What stood out to me was many sources recommending I have clear questions and not hold back when clearing my doubts before paying my insurance premiums.
Only problem? I didn’t have any “clear” questions! So, I started with the basics—finding an insurance agent.
When I found the agent I liked, I wanted to learn more about who I would be working with.
Here’s what I asked the agent before moving ahead:
- What are your qualifications?
This included their insurance licenses, certifications, and product expertise. A qualified and experienced agent would have no problem providing proof of qualification upon request.
- How long have you worked as an insurance agent?
Since there was more, I didn’t know, their experience as an insurance agent was vital. If they had similar clients before, they could better understand my needs and clarify the types of policies available.
- Have you had many clients in the past?
I trust customer reviews more than most. Client testimonials and references add more weight to a life insurance agent’s past success. So, I requested references and testimonials to determine whether I’d be working with a reliable professional.
If you haven’t yet found an agent that suits your unique needs, don’t worry! I recommend you go through the agent matching process, here.
After confirming the life insurance agent, I would be working with, the second roadblock was me not having questions prepared! But while having a conversation with my agent, the questions started coming up on their own. Because it helped me understand what I needed to know about life insurance and buying a policy, here’s a list of questions that I consider the best to ask your life insurance agent if you’re considering buying life insurance.
11 Important Questions to Ask Your Life Insurance Agent
1.Do I absolutely need life insurance?
While discussing why I wanted to purchase a life insurance policy, we started considering whether I absolutely need it. I recommend you consult your agent or even a financial advisor to establish if you actually need insurance, in what amount, and for how long. It will help you determine how important life insurance is depending on your unique situation too.
It’s an excellent starter question, especially if you have a spouse and/or children and want to have a failsafe in case they ever be put at financial risk in your absence.
2.What type of life insurance should I get?
As it happens, there are three major types of life insurance: whole life, term life, and universal life. Term life policies give you affordable temporary protection, while the other two are more long-term. Learn as much as you can about the different policy types.
You can access our blogs to learn more about life insurance and investing in whole life insurance.
3.How much life insurance do I need?
Apparently, this is one of the most common questions to address. The answer itself depends on several factors. Consider how much you and your family need financially to maintain your lifestyles, how much debt you’re in and, if you have a mortgage, how long until it’s all paid off.
Like I mentioned earlier, everyone has unique situations. Life insurance can be crucial to families that have high medical bills and outstanding debts. Your agent can help you assess your debts and analyze your finances goals to help you determine how much insurance you’ll need. It will also help you pinpoint what type of policy to purchase.
4.How much will the life insurance policy cost?
The amount you’ll spend on your life insurance policy will also depend on numerous factors. I needed to have a medical examination to provide the correct information to my agent. Once I handed in my details, the agent let me know what insurance companies use the information to assess my risk level. Ask your agent how much each policy will cost you and what documents you need to prepare. But in general, permanent insurance policies cost more than term life policies.
5.Can you show me the benefits?
Ask your agent to take you through the benefits of the plan. A life insurance policy might include some benefits but some require you pay extra. Make sure you review all available options.
6.Are the benefits guaranteed?
The life insurance agent I was speaking with emphasized that not all returns are ideal. So, don’t fall for promises of unrealistic returns. Go over the company website or brochure and pinpoint the guaranteed benefits. The guarantees and bonuses on your policy all have conditions. Ask your agent about such factors and how much guaranteed amount you can receive.
7.Does it have any risks?
Evaluate your options. Enquire if the product has any investment risks. If it does, make sure you clarify the nature and type of risk before making decisions.
8.Does my life insurance policy exclude anything?
Ask this question to understand policy exclusions. There may be situations that render you ineligible to claim the benefit amount. So, it’s best if you go over all possible situations with your agent.
9.Will my policy change if my health changes?
Of course, being in perfect health isn’t always guaranteed. Or, if you’ve been sick for a while or are prone to weaknesses, it’s best to understand what it may mean for your life insurance policy. There are many variables within different policies, so ask your agent to explain in detail. This will also help you identify the additional riders you can consider purchasing.
10.What if I need more coverage in the future?
I wasn’t surprised hearing that the terms and conditions of my life insurance policy may change with time. Our needs will change over time too. This may be a question that you can ask at later stages too but having a brief understanding of it will surely help.
11.What happens if I can’t pay my premium?
It’s good to know beforehand about the options I had if I couldn’t pay my premium. Ask your agent for all possible premium payment options and choose the one that fits you best. Learn as much about the grace period as you can. God forbid, you ever have to surrender your policy!
What if I Have More Questions?
Different people have different needs and circumstances. If you have any questions when talking to a life insurance agent, I advise you to ask away. You might know more about life insurance before talking to an agent. So, you might have more specific questions too. But make sure you get all the answers you need and have clear options before making a buying decision.
If you’re not sure how you can connect with an agent, I can help with that too!
Agency Height itself is a platform that can help you connect with an insurance agent who can understand your unique needs. Take a look at multiple agents and connect with one that you prefer. You can easily start the process here.
Even if you think you don’t need life insurance right now, I suggest you consider it. I learned that I can save money just by getting the right life insurance policy while I’m still young. So, as you grow older, the premiums go up too! It’s always a good idea to have some form of financial protection for the future. Why not start now?