What To Expect From Your Life Insurance Agent?
When it comes to buying life insurance policies, you can buy them through intermediaries or from the company directly. Insurance intermediaries include life insurance agents, brokers, etc. Insurance agents are individuals appointed by life insurance companies to solicit or sell life insurance policies1.
Insurance agents may approach or be approached by potential customers for dealing with the life insurance policies of the insurer that they represent. They are licensed individuals who know about the details and terms and conditions of life insurance policies and who can help individuals find suitable policies for their needs.
You might be approached by an insurance agent or you might look for one to buy the suitable life insurance policy. But do you know what you should expect from them?
Here are the roles and duties that insurance agents are expected to perform when selling life insurance plans –
Role - When Selling a Life Insurance Policy
1. To provide the right advice
The primary job of an insurance agent is to provide you with the right insurance advice. This includes a fact-finding analysis to assess your life insurance needs. The agent is expected to find out about your income, expenses, assets and liabilities so that they can assess your financial goals and then suggest suitable plans that would help you fulfil the identified goals.
2. To help you find the suitable insurance policy2
After assessing your financial goals and insurance requirements, the agent may help you find the suitable insurance policy. There are different types of life insurance plans and each plan suits different individual needs. By assessing your needs, the life insurance agent can help you find a suitable insurance Plan.
For instance, if you want to create a corpus for your child’s future, a child insurance plan can be a suitable choice. On the other hand, if you want to plan for retirement, the agent might suggest pension plans to do the needful.
3. Explaining the policy details2
Once a suitable policy is identified, the life insurance agent is expected to explain the features and benefits of the policy. The agent will explain why and how the selected policy would help you fulfil your financial goals. Moreover, the agent would also explain the terms and conditions of the policy so that you know what you are buying.
4. To help you in choosing the optimum sum assured3
The next thing that the agent would help you with is choosing the optimum coverage amount. Choosing the optimum coverage might require calculations which a life insurance agent can help you with.
The insured person needs to identify the need for insurance coverage basis the risk associated with the same as against the premium payable. The agent can assist in taking the appropriate decision.
Role - During the Proposal Stage
1. Helping you understand and fill out the proposal form
After you finalise the plan and its details, you have to fill out and submit a proposal form requesting coverage from the insurance company. Whatever you furnish in the proposal form becomes binding on you and the insurance company4. Moreover, based on the details entered in the form, the insurer underwrites your policy and offers coverage. Any incorrect, dishonest or false detail might get your policy cancelled and your claim rejected.
That is why the agent helps you understand the different aspects of the proposal form. He can help you fill out the form correctly once you are aware of the information required.
2. Informing you of the coverage details
The agent is also expected to inform you of the policy’s terms and conditions, the plan benefits, coverage amount and tenure, among other things, so that you can make an informed decision when buying the plan.
3. Intimation of the acceptance/rejection of the proposal
The agent is also required to inform to the customer regarding acceptance and rejection of the proposal by the insurer.
Role - Post-Sale Services
A life insurance agent’s role does not end with a successful sale of the policy. The agent is also expected to deliver post-sale services like the following -
1. Help with premium payments:
You will have to pay premiums up to a specified/chosen tenure to keep your life insurance policy active. A life insurance agent is expected to help you by collecting the premium payments. The agent is expected to remind you of the premium due date and help you pay the premium to the insurance company on time.
2. Help with endorsements:
If you want to make changes to your policy, the agent is supposed to help you do the same. You might not understand the details of making changes to an existing plan and the formalities involved. The agent can help you in such cases and get the changes done.
3. Help with your queries or complaints:
If you have any questions or complaints with the insurance company, the agent can help you seek a solution for the same. In fact, in the case of grievance redressal, an agent’s guidance can prove useful.
Role - During a Claim
In the case of a claim, the agent can help you smoothen the whole process to get a quick settlement. Here’s what’s expected of the life insurance agent if the customer faces a claim -
1. Explaining the claim process
The life insurance claim process requires you to follow specified steps. The agent is expected to explain the claim process and also help you at the time of the claim so that you know how to deal with it.
2. Helping you with documentation
The agent is also expected to guide you with claim-related documentation so that your claim is processed smoothly. A life insurance agent can fulfil these roles and help you find the suitable life insurance policy.
1. https://www.insuranceinstituteofindia.com/downloads/IC38/ALEnglish.pdf (page 71)
2. https://www.insuranceinstituteofindia.com/downloads/IC38/ALEnglish.pdf ( page 224)
3. https://www.insuranceinstituteofindia.com/downloads/IC38/ALEnglish.pdf ( page 31)
4. https://www.insuranceinstituteofindia.com/downloads/IC38/ALEnglish.pdf (Page 206)
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