If you’re in the market for an insurance policy, do you know where to start, what questions to ask, and what kinds of products are best for your situation? If you answered in the negative, you are not alone. Most folks who are new to this product niche only know a few basic concepts about how things work. They usually understand that if you are young and healthy, it’s easier to get a good bargain. Additionally, most consumers know that there are two general kinds of coverage: whole and term. Other than those bare facts, when the majority of people head to their computers to buy a policy online, they truly have no idea about where to begin. Here are some of the essential points to understand before plunking down your hard-earned money on a life insurance policy.
Quality of the Issuing Company
Spend most of your time on this factor because the integrity and financial strength of the issuer is the primary component of any contract’s value. Would you purchase a new car from an online dealer you’ve never heard of and who has a low-quality website? Of course not. The same principle applies here. Do your due diligence by checking out the top carriers. The good news is that there are plenty of reliable, easy to find data out there on the world’s best insurance carriers. Be wise and stick to the top 10 or 20. That way, you’ll have a much better chance of getting not only excellent customer service but a fair price on the kind of contract you choose.
When you shop for vehicle, a bicycle, a dentist, or any other product or service, do you always select the one with the lowest prices? If you’re like most other consumers, you likely use price as a guideline but not as the sole deciding factor. In the insurance industry, there are some smaller carriers who offer cut-rate pricing in an attempt to lure consumers. However, if you want an excellent product from a provider who offers reliable customer service and has a solid financial history, you won’t always get the cut-rate price. It makes sense to pay a bit more to get more, in terms of peace of mind and the many other factors that come with every insurance product.
People often focus too much on price when they shop for insurance policies, ignoring the very essential element of customer service. For instance, what happens if you have a direct withdrawal from your bank each month to cover the policy premium? When the amount withdrawn is incorrect or is not taken out, who are you going to call? The bank won’t be able to answer your questions. It’s important to have a phone number that links to a live person at the insurer’s office. That way, whenever there’s a glitch or even a major problem, you’ll have someone to turn to.
All sorts of things can come up that might cause you to call a carrier. For example, if you have a variable contract that allows for changes to the death benefit and premium amounts, you’ll have to phone the issuer in order to make those changes and to be sure everything gets taken care of before the new version of the policy goes into effect. Likewise, you’ll want to do some research on what your policy is worth should you decide to sell it. Many consumers decide to sell and are often surprised to find out that they can indeed receive a direct cash payout when they do so. The key point is to find out what the highest amount is that you can receive because not every carrier will pay the same thing.
Remember to take online reviews with a grain of salt. In other words, don’t believe all the hype or all the negativity you read. But, it’s still a good idea to check out several different review websites just to get an idea about what people are saying, in general, about the different carriers and the different products. But when you venture into the world of written reviews, it’s imperative to remember that some companies pay handsomely to write positive reviews. There are also cases where companies pay people to post negative reviews about competitors. So, be wary of extremely good or bad comments. Look at the big picture and try to stick with reliable sources, like industry publications, trusted websites, and well-known writers in the financial field.
Try to come up with a short list of companies and products before making a commitment or a purchase online. Many people prefer to whittle their choices down to three issuers and then to call each one. This is an effective approach because it allows you to find out how responsive the individual carriers are and get any of your questions answered before deciding.