|Insurance Buying Tips #1: Shop smart|
|When looking for insurance, your No. 1 priority should be to find adequate coverage. Price is important, but you’ll want to determine what kind of coverage you need first. Then you can fit that coverage into your budget and determine which carrier can provide you with the most comprehensive policy for your situation. You may be tempted to choose insurance with the lowest price tag, but if you don’t have enough coverage (or the right kind of coverage), you will see less financial benefit when it comes time to file a claim.|
|Insurance Buying Tips #2: Look for discounts|
|Once you evaluate your coverage needs, factor in your budget and find ways to save. Ask your insurance agent if there are any discounts on your coverage. Often, carriers offer discounts for things like paying your policy in full, staying auto accident-free or, if you’re in school, getting good grades. You also can save money by “bundling” multiple policies, such as purchasing a home and auto policy from the same carrier.|
|Insurance Buying Tips #3: Fill in the gaps|
|An average policy will cover the basics, but you may need to add extra coverage to meet your unique needs. For instance, you may have items like electronics or a nice piece of jewelry that would be financially difficult to replace, even with the assistance of your average renters or homeowners policy. You may want to add additional coverage for these items.|
Do you think becoming an insurance agent is the only opportunity for you in the industry? If so, you're missing out on a ton of potential career paths. Here are some of the most lucrative and intriguing jobs in the industry, for those with the right skill sets.
1. Insurance Investigators
Insurance fraud is a huge problem. Some people believe that insurance companies have infinitely deep pockets, and that it doesn't hurt anyone to scam a little money. However, this practice drives up costs for everyone, and it's the insurance investigator's job to make sure claims are legitimate. Most investigators work by contract, and it's ideal for someone who wants to use their interest in insurance for a little private eye work.
2. Insurance Claim Adjusters
Adjusters assess the damage involved in an insurance claim, and extend an offer to the policyholder to cover their losses. There are numerous types of claim adjusters, including those who specialize in homeowner policy claims, automotive claims, watercraft claims, recreational vehicle claims, etc. A large part of their job is negotiation, so if you drive a hard bargain, claims adjustment might be the perfect career for you.
The cost of an insurance policy is carefully derived by calculating the statistical probabilities of certain payouts and developing premiums that will allow the company to meet those payouts while still covering overhead costs and earning a profit. Actuaries have excellent math skills, including the ability to work with complex statistics. The work of the actuary is extremely important, because doing their job well assures the company will make a profit.
Every insurance policy has to be underwritten, which means looking at the person or property to be insured and calculating the risk of having to pay a claim based on the current situation. A life insurance underwriter, for example, will take a close look at the health of the person applying for insurance. An automotive underwriter will examine the person's driving record, types of driving they do (such as long commutes or professional driving), and the type of vehicle they drive. Underwriters determine what coverage the company can offer and what the premiums should be based on tables developed by actuaries.
|Insurance Buying Tips #4: Purchase life insurance—you aren’t too young|
|Life insurance is essential, no matter how young or old you are. And for millennials, buying now may be a smart move because it’s cheaper to buy a life insurance policy when you’re young and healthy. This kind of insurance can help your family cover unexpected costs in your absence, including student loan debt or a mortgage, in addition to end-of-life costs. And if you have kids, a life insurance policy can also support their education or childcare expenses. Additionally, every millennial should consider long-term disability coverage, which helps you stay afloat financially if an accident happens and you become disabled and unable to work.|
|Insurance Buying Tips #5: Talk to an independent agent|
|An independent insurance agent is an essential resource when purchasing insurance—especially if this is your first time. An independent agent works with multiple different carriers, which is different from captive agents who can only sell insurance from the carrier they work for. Working with an independent agent can help make sure that you are getting the best coverage, for the best price. You’ll also benefit from independent agents’ insurance knowledge; they know how to talk you through your options and actually explain what each policy includes. An independent agent will make sure all of your assets are covered, help you find discounts or other ways to save, and be a valuable resource as your life changes and your insurance needs change, too.|
|Insurance Buying Tips #6: Only buy insurance to maintain your existing standard of living|
|You don’t need insurance for events that won’t severely strain your finances. Start with your basic needs (home, auto, business), then work your way to include other needs (cyber, liability). You can always obtain coverage later for something if you change your mind. You can minimize your risk and maximize your savings by buying insurance that won’t cause you to break the bank.|
5. Loss Control Agents
Loss control agents look for preventative measures so that claims payouts aren't necessary. For example, in an industrial environment, the loss control agent looks for ways to make the workplace safer in order to reduce employee injuries. In the medical field, loss control agents find ways to keep people healthier before a medical condition develops, including promoting flu shots, working to lower blood pressure, and encouraging healthy exercise. Loss control agents need a good balance of people skills and industry knowledge.
6. Insurance Agent or Broker
Insurance agents act as an intermediary between the insurance company and the customer. The agent explains what coverage is available and helps the customer select their coverage, complete the necessary paperwork, and handle any follow-up questions the company may have. Some agents work with only one insurance company, while others work with a variety of companies. Brokers offer a wider selection of services and products and are held to higher legal and professional standards than agents. Brokers also have to have a broker's license in addition to the licenses required to become an insurance agent.
Whether you love working with numbers, people, facts, or a combination of all three, there's a place for you in the insurance industry.
|Insurance Buying Tips #7: Ask your insurance provider what the policy doesn’t cover|
|Every insurance policy has perils that are not covered by your policy. These perils are referred to as “exclusions”, and every policy has them. Ask your insurance provider to explain the exclusions in your policy to avoid discovering what they are once you incur damages or a loss.|
|Insurance Buying Tips #8: Consider bundling several policies with one insurance carrier|
|here may be value in bundling several policies with one insurance carrier. If you’re looking to insure multiple vehicles or obtain multiple types of business coverage (e.g., liability, property, cyber), then you may want to consider obtaining coverages under one insurance provider who carries multiple products, and who may be able to offer you multi-policy discounts or loyalty programs.|
|Insurance Buying Tips #9: Review your insurance needs on a yearly basis|
|As your needs evolve, so will your insurance policy. Maybe you’ve acquired a new vehicle since obtaining auto insurance for your primary vehicle, or started operating your business out of your home, or experienced a cyber-attack during the year… Whatever the change(s), you’ll want to make sure you’re covered for any new risk exposures. Talk to your insurance provider to stay on top of your insurance needs.|