One thing this pandemic has done is flush out poor advisors, as there is no hiding during Covid-19. CPAs, Attorneys, Insurance Advisors, Stockbrokers and Financial Planners should be well-aware of the latest Covid-19 updates, income tax and estate tax rule changes to properly advise their clientele.
I have been on many Zoom Panels, Seminars, Workshops, and Podcasts over the last 14 months, and it is disturbing how clueless many advisors are! I feel bad for those that are taking their advice.
Insurance brokers and agents are trusted with matching their clients with the most suitable life, health, homeowners, auto and business insurance policies.
Every insurance company has a specialty niche product and pricing sweet points, they are not all the same! It is important that your broker of choice is well-versed in policy differences from one company to another, and is informed of the latest news, trends, and new advanced products coming to market. Your broker should understand your needs and concerns and be capable of explaining your options in a simple and understandable fashion.
Follow these tips on what to look for in finding the right insurance broker or agent:
TIP 1: Knowledge and Experience: There is no substitute for experience. Look for brokers that have been in their field for a minimum of 5 years. The better ones will also have advanced planning designations (higher education) next to their names. Look for at least one of the following 3 designations: CLU (Chartered Life Underwriter) CFP (Certified Financial Planner) or CSA (Certified Senior Advisor). The more designations, the more educated and well-rounded your broker will be.
TIP 2: Independent Agents: The following may be counter intuitive. Brokers are in a better position to help you than “captive agents” thatIndependent only represent one company. Independent brokers represent you client, and offer numerous insurance policy options. They must be well-versed on all policies to find the best fit for you. Captive agents (i.e. Allstate, New York Life etc.) are employees of their respective companies. They usually offer proprietary products first to qualify for their company-sponsored trips and subsidized health insurance. Make sure your agent places your needs before their own!
TIP 3 Fee Structure: Most of the established independent brokers do not charge a fee for time or services. They receive compensation from whichever insurance company you decide to do business with. Beware of agents, planners and advisors that charge steep upfront consultation fees!
TIP 4 Get a Second Opinion: Most people are already working with an agent or broker. Do yourself a favor and get a second opinion using the tips given in this article. You will be surprised at what you can learn from a free consultation with an independent broker.
TIP 5 Due Diligence: Invest the time to call several brokers. Start a list and seek advice from friends, family, or colleagues that are satisfied with their broker. Check reviews on google business, the internet and gather as much information as possible.
TIP 6 Quality Service: Part of quality service is timely service. When you call around, make a note of how long the advisor takes to get back to you. Usually, like a first date, that first communication sets the tone for the relationship.
President Biden has outlined his proposals for sweeping income and estate tax changes. These proposals, if passed, can and will affect multiple generations of Americans going forward. Not knowing about these rules while advising clients is a form of advisor malpractice.
If these 6 tips fail, reach out to me at Rob@InsuranceDoctor.us!