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Should I do it myself or should I use a Life insurance agent?

Updated: Apr 27, 2020

Life insurance is a necessity if you are married or have children/dependents who rely on you for financial support. If you have never bought life insurance, or you need additional coverage, you may wonder about the best way to find and buy the right policy.

There are 2 ways to purchase life insurance.

  • Directly from a life insurance company

  • Through a licensed independent insurance agent

What are the types of Life Insurance

  • Term Life Insurance protects for a certain period, such as 10, 20, or 30 years. It is the most efficient form of life insurance and allows us all to provide for final expenses and income replacement for our surviving spouses and children.

  • Permanent Life Insurance is a sophisticated financial tool that provides a death benefit, long-term savings, or an investment component that builds up essential cash value.

  1. Whole Life

  2. Variable Life

  3. Universal Life

What is Direct Life Insurance?

It is a quick and easy online life quote that can be purchased online, directly from an insurance company. While it may be fast, easy, and convenient, is it the best option for you?

It may be the right way to go if you do not want any hassles. They can offer policies that are “guaranteed issue” with no medical tests.

The process is simple: fill out an online application - wait for quotes - choose your policy - and pay—quick coverage and usually from a trustworthy, financially sound insurance company.

But, not so fast. There are some disadvantages for you to consider when you are going the direct route.

  • You are limited to the products and underwriting guidelines of the online insurer.

  • If a different type of insurance product were more suitable for your needs, you would never know.

  • If your application gets rejected for health reasons, you have to start the application process all over again with a different direct life company, and perhaps face the same result.

What Are the Advantages of Buying from an Agent?

When buying life insurance, it is critical that you get it right. It is one of the essential commodities one could buy. If you are worried about speed, convenience, and price, your family might only get what you are willing to put in. This is not to knock direct life insurance. But it is your responsibility to educate yourself on what type of policy you need, how much coverage, and how much it should cost. A local agent is an educated professional. He can help you assess your family’s goals for the life insurance policy and evaluate all your options.

Buying direct surrenders your opportunity to talk to an expert and get valuable advice. So instead, you must be willing to educate yourself, or your family could suffer the consequences of a mistake during a claims process.

Indeed, working with an agent will take longer. But there are more advantages to it which includes the following:

  • An agent can shop several life insurance companies at the same time and can share various quotes and policy offerings with you. This allows you to make informed and complete assessments of your options and select the best choices for your needs.

  • An insurance agent can make sure you are not paying for something that is entirely unnecessary. Conversely, they can also make sure you have enough coverage to fit your needs.

  • Agents build relationships with numerous insurance companies and know which ones specialize in certain types of risks, or will insure individuals with a particular lifestyle or health factors. If you are considered to be high-risk by insurance companies, an agent can find life insurance that you cannot find online.

  • Agents make sure that applications are complete and that your answers will not jeopardize any future claims.

  • Agents give us that personal service. They can personally handle customer claims. If you have to file a complaint with an online insurer, most likely you will be talking to a call center that handles hundreds of calls every day. Local agents offer the personal service you need to help your family through tough times.

Agent vs. Direct: Still confused?

There is no right or wrong answer; It is merely all about your personal needs. But whatever you do, please be sure to choose a financially sound insurer that will be there for the long-term.

Who knows, perhaps both methods is the best way to get the coverage you need.


Steve Leach

CEO and Co-Founder of linqrs mobile app, The Most Clever Way to Shop for Insurance. Former Insurance Agency Owner, College and NFL football coach.

linqrs is downloadable in the Google Play and the App Store.

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