Life insurance is the foundation of your financial portfolio. While you may think that’s an exaggeration, life insurance protects against the most catastrophic loss imaginable, the death of a provider. With so many life insurance companies and products available, how do you know what to choose? You don’t want to gamble with your financial foundation, so how do you know the person selling your life insurance is the most qualified?
Why Do You Need a Life Insurance Specialist?
If you were building your dream house, would you hire your contractors at random? Would you choose an electrician who dabbles in carpentry or a plumber who does construction on the side? Of course not. You want the best of the best, a master builder. Because of the investment involved, you want someone with top qualifications who would get the job done right and deliver the highest value for your dollar. (For related reading, see: How Much Life Insurance Should You Carry?)
Your financial portfolio requires the same degree of proficiency and should be handled by someone who is a master of the craft. The legal and financial advice you are given should be rendered by experts in the field. If you take the risk and settle for less than the best, you could end up with inappropriate product choices, or worse, costly mistakes that could impact your financial future.
When it comes to life insurance, a specialist is someone who sells the product exclusively or makes the product their primary focus. A life insurance specialist has the knowledge, experience and contacts needed to provide the high-end, personal service you require for this significant purchase.
How do you know your life insurance professional is indeed a specialist? Here are the qualifications you should look for:
Life insurance is probably the most thoroughly underwritten financial product you will buy. Your current health, medical history, family medical history, vocation, hobbies, lifestyle, and financial, legal, and motor vehicle record are all considered. You will need expert guidance to negotiate the prequalification and underwriting processes to experience a successful result. A broker who specializes in life insurance will have this expertise. (For more from this author, see: How to Buy Life Insurance With an Alcohol History.)
A very large and diverse team of people will collaborate on your purchase. This team includes the broker’s own office staff, the general agent, and that person’s support staff, as well as the carrier’s underwriters, case managers and management. Attorneys, financial planners, accountants and other professionals may also get involved. The activities of all these people need to be coordinated and directed in such a way that your interests as the client are always front and center. A broker who specializes in life insurance will have the skills required for this amount of leadership and coordination.
Sure, the benefits and features of the product must be understood, but there is more to it than that. Life insurance is an incredibly unique financial tool in that it is the only form of insurance that guarantees that a claim will be paid. You may have medical insurance, but if you never get sick or hurt, you won’t use it. If you never get into a car accident, you won’t have the opportunity to benefit from your car insurance. But you know for sure you are going to die. If you keep your life insurance in place, your beneficiary will collect the benefit. It's as simple as that.
As much as we try to avoid thinking about our death, the reality is that that a claim could be filed at any time. We all like to think our death will be some far off event. But a good diet, regular exercise, positive thinking and playing it safe are no guarantees against drunk drivers, freak accidents and many other hazards beyond our control. We are not invincible and must not take our life for granted.
A broker who specializes in life insurance will encourage you to value your mortality. He will help you realize the importance of buying life insurance now and understand the risk in waiting. He will help you form a strategy for improving your insurability and qualifying for lower pricing in the future.
Does your life insurance broker bring all these qualifications to the table? If not, it’s time to reevaluate your relationship and find someone who can help you construct a life insurance foundation that will give you peace of mind. (For more from this author, see: Life Insurance Should Cover Emotional Needs Too.)