But, since choosing a life insurance provider isn’t like choosing the perfect restaurant for your anniversary, you’re probably still a bit unsure about how to choose who is going to provide the coverage that fits your specific needs and the needs of your family in the future.
There are quite a few life insurance providers out there, and they’re not all created equal. So how can you determine which one is right for you?
To help you through the vetting process, here are the top three questions to consider when choosing a life insurance provider.
- Are they financially stable?
Since life insurance benefits help your loved ones pay their bills, the most important thing is to make sure your life insurance provider has their own finances in order and can pay their bills. Find out about the financial health of the insurers you’re considering buying from.
One of the best ways to check this is to take a look at ratings agencies like Fitch, Moody’s, and S&P. A.M. Best is known for focusing on rating insurance firms in particular. These agencies give a letter grade based on a company’s ability to meet its financial obligations, from C (poor) to AAA (exceptional). Like your fifth-grader’s report card, you’re going to want to see all A’s.
With a good rating in mind, you’ll have the peace of mind knowing that, if the worst happens, the provider you choose will be able to fulfill their obligations.
Are they customer friendly?
In the same way it’s important to know that a life insurance provider is in excellent financial standing, you’ll also want to know that they prioritize excellent customer service.
There are many effective ways of determining what level of customer service a given insurer provides. A quick and easy first step is searching the company’s name online and taking a look at the user reviews
from various consumer review websites. A star rating associated with the firm’s online profile will give you a high-level sense of customer satisfaction. You can also take a look at the insurer’s social media profiles
to see how they engage with customers, and what customers are saying to them.
Insurance companies are also regulated by state insurance commissions or departments of insurance in the areas where they do business. You can visit these online and check out complaints made by consumers against them; the National Association of Insurance Commissioners has an online database you can search.
Aside from making any day-to-day interactions more pleasant, an insurer committed to customer satisfaction will also be easier to work with during more difficult times.
- Are they specialists?
Many insurance providers offer a wide-spectrum of insurance policies – from pet insurance to property and casualty policies and everything in between. Other insurers instead specialize in certain types of policies.
If you have a need for a specific or targeted type of coverage, you may want to consider a company that has a proven track record with that policy type. If your primary need is life insurance, for example, then you’ll likely want to consider a provider who makes life insurance coverage offerings a priority and has an expertise in that space specifically.
There is no question there’s a good amount to consider when choosing a life insurance provider, but the selection process doesn’t have to be difficult. Like in most things, you want to work with someone who is trustworthy; in insurance, that translates to a provider who is financially stable, customer-centric and highly experienced. It’s also worth looking into how long your list of prospective providers
have been in the game. If they’ve been around for a while, chances are, the provider will understand the ways the industry is changing to become much more consumer friendly.
Life insurance is not something you want to think about every day, but if something does occur, you want to know your loved ones will have an insurance provider who will truly support them.