|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.|
Ever since the financial crisis in 2008, Americans have been struggling to find good paying work. Many people suddenly found themselves laid off or working fewer hours and struggling to make the bills, and even those who managed to keep their jobs found the cost of living rising even as wages stayed stagnant.
Things have gotten better since then, but it's still not an easy environment to find work in. Many industries have not rehired their downsized workers or started spending the same money on more employees. There is one industry, however, that has stayed high paying and consistent, even when the economy was at its lowest point: insurance sales.
If you're looking for a stable, well paid position that is easy to become qualified for, it's time to consider becoming an insurance agent.
Even during the economically depressed year of 2012, the average salary for an insurance agent was over $63,000. That's higher than the average salary for salespeople, customer service representatives, receptionists, and retail workers during the same time period. Those insurance agents who made above the mean average took home even more, with the top 10% of insurance salesmen making an average of over $116,000 that year.
|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.|
That alone would be a promising sign for the industry, but it gets even better. Even after the Great Recession in 2008, an insurance agent's average pay continued to rise: while the average pay was $63,000 in 2012, it was only around $60,000 in 2008.
Not only is insurance a stable, growing industry now, it's likely to stay that way well into the future. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the industry will grow by 10% between 2012 and 2022 , adding millions more insurance agent jobs to the market. If anything, that projection might be too conservative/ With the addition of legislation like the Affordable Care Act and an aging Baby Boomer population, the demand for insurance (and thus the demand for insurance agents) is only going to increase.
Selling insurance is a steady, well paying job that has been largely buffered against the ups and downs of the economy. So what's the catch? There isn't one. All that's required to become an insurance agent is to take an exam and obtain an insurance license from the state where you'll be working. Beyond that, many insurance companies require no more than a high school diploma. Entering the insurance industry is a relatively easy way for men and women to obtain a stable, high salaried career without even having to get a bachelor's degree.
|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.|