Best Place to Purchase Life Insurance
Best Place to Purchase Life Insurance
Captive Agent vs. Call Center vs. Independent Agent
When the time comes to purchase life insurance there are basically three places someone can go to take out a life insurance policy.
A captive agent is a person who sells life insurance products for only one company, usually they advertise during big sporting events on tv which is a little ironic since most of them are mutual companies and the policyholders are paying for that expensive advertising. In the early 1900’s almost everyone who sold life insurance were captive agents, these agents would walk the streets with pride believing their company was the “best” for the public. Term rates, interest rates, dividend rates did not matter, the manager would command his agents to believe in XYZ Insurance Company and go “SELL”! “SELL”! “SELL”. Fast forward to today and unfortunately the same brain-washing occurs for new agents working at captive companies to sell products that are rarely the most competitive, taking an approach of what is best for them as the agent and the insurance company they work for, not the client or should I say person buying life insurance. As time goes on more and more captive type of insurance companies are being forced to change their products and business model because it is not realistic for the long run. Some captive companies will allow their agents access to sell other companies after a certain time period such as five years. Meaning, they are forced to push the captive company’s products for the beginning of their carrier to make sure they have the “fortitude” to be in “the business”, and then once they have proven their loyalty, these captive agents can offer more competitive products from insurance companies in the independent life insurance marketplace. The early years these captive agents have to get creative with slogans like “it’s the company you keep”, or “look how many death claims my company has paid out”? Nowadays insurance companies are so regulated and have so much in reserves that these tacky sales techniques are irrelevant.
In theory call centers bring balance to the life insurance marketplace because they have access to independent products and are not captive to any one carrier. Call centers allow people to make one call and be able to get quotes from multiple companies. Most call centers do a pretty good job of product training with their representatives who answer the phone, people can get a “good deal” from working with a life insurance call center. However, recently insurance companies have started purchasing top performing call centers in order to push their products to the top of the list. Here is how it works, an insurance company notices a large amount of production coming from a call center, lets use 20% as an example. Then the insurance company has a board meeting and says, lets buy them out and incentivize the representatives at the call center to boost production and get the number closer to 50%. While this might be great for insurance company profits we are back to square one, not looking out for the client’s best interest. Furthermore, the “deals” they close are transactions, they are not motivated or incentivized when the unexpected death occurs and it is unlikely they will assist you in the death benefit claim process.
An independent agent is a person who is more interested in having a wide variety of completive life insurance products to offer their clients and be there to assist with the death benefit claiming process. Typically, an independent agent will be contracted with at least seven insurance companies, because based on a person’s age, health, amount of insurance, and type of insurance, certain companies have better products. The primary reason people start out or switch to being independent is to offer their clients the most comprehensive life insurance policies at the lowest cost possible. A lot of independent agents started their career as a captive agent and at some point, realize they don’t like the taste of the Kool-Aid anymore. Generally, it is only a matter of time before captive agents realize they do not have the best products and they are faced with the choice of leaving and becoming independent or getting a larger cup of company Kool-Aid.
A good independent life insurance agent will be there for your beneficiaries if an unexpected death occurs and will assist in filing the death benefit cliam. It typically takes about a week after the insurance company receives the death certificate and appropriate forms before the death benefit check is mailed to your beneficiaries. Take a minute to review the agent’s online reviews before deciding who you put your trust in, I can tell you from personal experience in hearing from my client’s beneficiaries having an agent in your corner is a huge deal if the unexpected death occurs in speeding up the claim process. At Pacific Insurance Group we have an amazing team of qualified independent agents who would be delighted to work with you. At the end of the day it is the same price weather you work with an agency you trust versus a call center who only see you as a transaction. Please reach out to our office at 425-246-4222 to get some advice or go to www.pacificinsurancegroup.comfor a free instant life insurance quote or to get additional information. We look forward to hearing from you.