Unless you are buying an insurance policy online, you are bound to purchase one from an agent or broker and you could end up with a policy that does not suit your needs or budget. If you are planning to buy one anytime soon, here are three aspects to understand before you purchase one from an insurance agent.
An agent is only an agent
The insurance policy is a contract between you and the insurance company. Read the agreement carefully before you sign to make yourself aware of all the policy terms, conditions and rights that you have as a policyholder.
You may have bought the insurance policy from the agent but he/she is merely a broker or enabler and may not be able to help you will all aspects of the policy. You need to understand the different modes or means of contacting the company for direct support or service as an insurance policy is a long-term investment commitment. For example, if you change your place of residence in the future, how will the company accommodate the premium payment.
The ultimate responsibility of paying the premium and reaping its benefits lies in your hands.
How well does the agent do his/her job?
Many people sell insurance as a means of part time earnings. This may not undermine their seriousness towards the job but, you as a customer needs to ask the right questions to judge if they are giving you all the information you are required to know. Does the agent understand your insurance needs? Is the agent giving you the right policy as per your risk appetite? Has the agent considered your budget and interest as much as his/her commission?
The agent's past experience is also an added advantage as it shows their seriousness towards the profession. There is a chance that they would stop selling insurance policies in the future and which is where the first point discussed in this article comes into consideration. You need to be prepared to switch agent or handle the premium payment yourself online or through other direct means. If someone you know has bought an insurance policy from them, it is wise to ask about their experience.
Avoid being influenced and perform your due diligence
Insurance agents could offer various unrelated benefits to you like complimentary gifts or payment of the first premium, which can make you doubt his/her professionalism and their interest in the investments you make.
You are paying the premium for insurance benefits, which is why you need to seek information of the policy directly from the website or by calling their toll-free customer care number. These products are carefully designed by the insurance companies and are only sold after the regulatory body's (IRDAI) permission. The insurance company cannot deceive you.
If you feel the agent is not providing you with sufficient information, you can always consider ways to check it yourself and purchase an insurance policy online. Sometimes, the agent could push a certain insurance product to you to meet his/ her sale targets and it may not be a good deal for you. Make sure to not become a victim of mis-selling.