Quick word of warning for you: if you ever ask that question and get a direct answer (“THIS is the life insurance you need”) you’re going to want to politely excuse yourself as soon as possible. You’re about to be hit with a sales pitch. Is the salivating agent wrong? Who knows? They agent certainly doesn’t!
Without performing a proper assessment of your family and financial circumstances and goals, no responsible life insurance professional has any business making a recommendation, whether we’re talking type, carrier, or specific product. What’s best for you may be far from ideal for your neighbor, friend, or family member.
Beware the One-Trick Pony
As you do your research, I’m sure you’ve run across plenty of people advocating their favorite life insurance product and proclaiming everything else to be a “scam”, and “waste of money”, or a “bad investment”. A cursory glance, of course, will tell you that frequently these people only have one type of product to sell; of course they don’t want you considering the advantages of something else! Worse yet are the entertainers who don’t even hold an insurance license, much less demonstrate an actual understanding of the products they seem to scorn. It’s usually what they DON’T tell you that matters most!
This concept applies to the captive agent as well. You’ve seen them. Frequently they’re the agents who can do every type of insurance under the sun, but only with one company. While an independent agent might have a favorite carrier, they at least have options when they run into a client who needs something different.
Salespeople sell. It’s what they do, and frequently it’s all they care about. They just want you to buy the product they tell you to buy, from them, and be on your way. You can buy perfectly good products from salespeople, and probably have in your life at some point. Of course, you have no context, no way of knowing whether what you bought was good or not. I’ve had clients and even other agents reach out to me asking about an advertisement they saw or a mailer they received, wanting to know if it was “a good deal”. Sometimes it’s actually a terrible deal, while other times it’s great–but only for ONE specific thing. I’ve told prospective clients to take advantage of deals they were offered through someone else when I found that the product was appropriate for them, unusual though that circumstance may be.
Do your best to understand what’s going on. A true professional–someone you can trust–won’t have any problem spending a little extra time answering your questions and making sure that you understand what you’re doing and why. Most of us LOVE the clients who clearly want to make an INFORMED decision and are making use of our expertise to assist them in making it. Can I write a client who just wants me to tell them what to get and be done with it? Sure I can, and I have. Still, I love seeing the folks who work to be intentional in their lives. It’s not enough to make good decisions; it’s important to understand why your decision is the right one.
The old adage…is it true?
They say that the best life insurance is the life insurance that’s in force when you die.
The point those people are trying to make is this: there are nearly seven hundred life insurance companies in the United States. While you’re trying to compare every product so you can save three cents, the exercise is pointless if you die before you get something in place. Considering the time such an undertaking would require, the savings probably wouldn’t be worth it either.
That said, there’s a lot to be gained from making sure that you have the right type of life insurance in place. Going after the wrong policy can leave you underinsured, drastically overpaying, or worse yet unexpectedly without coverage at your moment of extreme need.
So what’s the best option?
Keeping in mind the above, sit down with a life specialist you trust and go over your options. Have them review what you have and have a discussion about whether your current coverage is appropriate for your life circumstances. Then breathe easy knowing that you’ve done your duty and protected those you love.