You, the insurance agent, can help with comparing similar-sounding coverage from different carriers.
4. Did I buy the right one to meet my needs?
Your client always wanted Louis Vuitton luggage. Your client finally took the plunge and bought a hard-sided suitcase.
It is beautiful and could do double duty as a cocktail table in the client’s living room.
However, your client always does carry-on luggage on a flight.
The hard-sided bag won’t fit into the overhead bin.
Insurance: Policies are difficult to compare side-by-side because there are different features, coverages and deductibles.
It’s a problem if your client buys a legitimate policy, pays premiums for years and discovers, when it’s time to file a claim, that the policy covers the wrong things.
You, the agent, can help the client pick the coverage best suited to the client’s needs.
5. Is the product safe?
Your client bought a genuine Louis Vuitton purse. That’s what the guy at the flea market told the client.
Sometimes there are defects in manufacturing triggering product recalls.
Unfortunately, the genuine Louis Vuitton bag had a terrible flaw. The client would be much better off with a different Louis Vuitton bag without the flaw.
Something similar could happen with an insurance product. But the client is unlikely to hear about any “recall announcements” if the product, or the insurance company that issued it, has a flaw.
Insurance: Your client needs your help with separating the good products from the lemons.
6. Will it increase in value?
Let’s assume everything your client buys either appreciates or depreciates.
If your client buys designer luxury goods from brands like Hermes, Cartier, Tiffany or Louis Vuitton, the iconic designs tend to hold their value or even appreciate. Fakes do not.
Insurance: Your client bought life insurance because of friends who talked about life insurance building cash value.
Unfortunately, your client bought term instead of whole life, because term life was cheaper.
Your client might be surprised to discover that the term life policy doesn’t build cash value.
A good insurance agent like you can help explain the differences between different types of products.
7. You get what you pay for.
Your client wanted a designer purse.
Your client considered the Louis Vuitton Speedy bag but opted for a mass-market brand, because it was cheaper.
The mass-market bag wasn’t as well-made and soon falls apart.
Insurance: Many insurance products and policies may sound similar, but some issuers are stronger than others.
Your client should have a product with an insurance company with a high safety rating awarded by an outside ratings agency, such as AM Best, Moody’s or S&P Global Ratings.
The coverage from a low-rated issuer is, really, a different product from coverage issued by a high-rated issuer.
Good Advice Pays for Itself
So, certainly, there are many opportunities for your clients to eliminate the middleman, even in the world of insurance.
When your clients know exactly what they want and can confirm the authenticity and value of what they’re buying, handling a transaction on their own can make sense.
But, when clients are dealing with a complex product, it will pay for them to get professional advice, even if they have to pay for the advice.
(Image: Alexander Raths/Shutterstock)