Recently, there have been a slew of radio ads touting why you should buy your life insurance over the internet. These ads lead you to believe that you save money by using their service; that even if you have a medical condition, it’s ok, you can get insurance. There’s even a TV ad that says that no agent will call on you, as if being an “agent” is akin to having ebola.
Well, there’s a lot of things you can buy more conveniently over the internet, things like concert tickets, books, electronics, over-the-counter medicines, household cleaners and pet supplies. But the big difference is that none of them are as important to the well-being of your family as is insurance and the protection it provides. You don’t get your legal documents done over the net. You won’t get diagnosed for what ails you over the net, and for good reason – it’s too important in the bigger picture. So why try to take care of your family’s future over the net.
Be advised that you don’t save any money by getting life insurance from some “dot com” provider. They market the same companies your local agent does, with the same mortality tables being used to determine pricing. And, medical conditions play a huge part, not only in the pricing, but whether or not you’ll even qualify. The ads would have you believe that having high cholesterol, controlled with medication, is a big deal. It’s not. Most people will qualify for preferred rates in that scenario. But what if you have a history of depression, or have diabetes, or have had skin cancer? In cases like these, it’s imperative that you work with a professional agent, one who has helped clients with similar conditions, and knows how to talk to an underwriter, and has a relationship with several companies.
And the relationship extends to you, as well. Have you ever done business with someone you just didn’t like? If you did, did you regret it? A little buyer’s remorse, perhaps? Experience shows that no matter the product, people do business with those they like, trust and respect, and a great deal of this comes from face-to-face meetings. It also helps if that person were referred from someone else who felt the same way.
But perhaps the biggest reason to do business with someone local, someone you feel comfortable with, is the peace of mind it gives your family if anything should happen to you. Imagine that you “suddenly died”, as the obituaries say. Who do your loved ones turn to, the agent who has been in your house, sent birthday and Christmas cards and had gallons of coffee with you, or the faceless servicing agent at the end of the 800 number? You know the drill; you call, and you get a litany of keypad options, or worse yet, a robot asking you to say yes or no to everything. Then, you’re put on hold with the message that “all of our representatives are busy at this time assisting other clients like yourself. Please remain on the line and the next available agent will assist you.” Emotionally, is this what you want your spouse to be subjected to?
Of course, some of you prefer shopping online. Ultimately, it’s up to you, and if online insurance shopping is your thing, go for it. But ask yourself who, besides yourself, would have your family’s best interests at heart? Where will you get the answers to all your questions? Not just buying insurance, but buying the right insurance is one of the most important purchases you’ll ever make.
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