When you work with an insurance agent, you get expert knowledge and advice at no cost to you. Agents do all the legwork and number crunching, and recommend the insurance products they feel best suit your lifestyle goals and financial means. They have professional relationships with all the insurers they represent, and can quickly assess the right approach on your behalf.
Many insurance agents also offer financial planning so you can plan for your retirement, save for your childrenâ€™s education, or fund changes in your business. Your agent is able to supply their services to you at no charge because they receive compensation from the carriers they represent.
Of course, you could manage your financial planning yourself by surfing the internet, calling multiple insurance agencies, visiting several banks, reading the financial news and reviewing the rates of returns on countless investment options â€“ it can be your new second job! Or you can speak with a professional agent who already does this day in and day out as their job.
Agents know and understand the fine print of the old, new and upcoming insurance plans and investment options. Considering agents are on top of the rapidly changing insurance and investment options, they can quickly assess the opportunities available and present the best solutions for your circumstances.
Meanwhile your leisure time remains your leisure time â€“ no second job required.
People typically think about purchasing life insurance when something major in their life changes. For example, when someone plans on getting married or is starting a family.
Maybe youâ€™re interested in life insurance because youâ€™re buying a home, changing jobs or starting up a business. Or perhaps itâ€™s time to retire and you wish to look after your loved ones.
Remember, even if you have life insurance through your workplace, it may not be enough to keep your loved ones comfortable when your income is no longer present. Itâ€™s a good idea to review your familyâ€™s income needs on a yearly basis to determine what changes have occurred and how they will affect future needs.
Underwriting is the process an insurance company uses to assesses risk. All insurance is based on risk. With car insurance there is the risk of an accident and damage to your vehicle; with health insurance there is the risk of an illness or a medical event.
Insurance underwriters look over your application, decide how much risk is involved and determine whether or not to provide coverage. If they elect to offer coverage, they set the premiums and deductibles for your insurance policy.
But why should you care about underwriting? Because everything you put on your insurance application (even an innocent mistake) can affect the opinion of the underwriter who assesses your degree of risk. The information contained in the application also affects how much you will pay (the premiums) if coverage is offered.
Some people think that because there are so many insurance companies out there, if they are denied coverage at one company or the premiums are too high, they can simply apply somewhere else. Unfortunately, itâ€™s not that easy.
In todayâ€™s world, every application leaves a record. Other insurance companies are able to see if you have been denied coverage. If one company has stamped your application with â€śDENIEDâ€ť, this decision makes it easier for every other insurance company to deny your application as well. If you are approved after having been denied, itâ€™s very likely you will be offered a higher premium as a result.
The prospect of being denied life insurance is why itâ€™s so important to work with an independent insurance agent. An agent will usually work with a number of insurance companies and develop a good sense of what type of risk each company is willing to accept. This advance knowledge means your agent can guide you to the right company for you and your circumstances, increasing the likelihood that you will get approved at a preferred rate.
A paramedical exam is a short medical exam performed by a licensed health professional. Most insurance companies require you to undergo a paramedical exam before they make their decision regarding whether or not to offer you life insurance coverage.
Paramedical exams are usually quick (about 20 minutes in most cases), and can be performed at your home or even in your office. The health professional conducting the exam comes to you and brings the sampling supplies and equipment.
Insurance companies have varying requirements for the exam but most contain the basics:
- Medical history
- Weight and height measurement
- Collection of blood, urine and/or saliva for testing
If you are a smoker or have existing health issues, you may be required to undergo a more thorough medical exam with more extensive testing such as lung and heart function tests.