How to Choose a Life Insurance Company?

When it comes to choosing a life insurance company to underwrite your policy, one of the biggest obstacles you might face is simply selecting the right insurance company and agent to work with.

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After all, if you do not find a reliable agent and insurance company, you may find yourself paying more than necessary and your loved ones may be left without any actual benefits if the company is not reputable or is in financial trouble.

Therefore, it is a good idea to keep the following things in mind when looking for an agent and a company to do business with.

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Talk to Friends and Family

One of the best ways to find a reputable insurance company or agent to work with is to simply ask your friends and family for recommendations. After all, if they have had good experiences with a particular company, the chances are good that you will have a good experience with that company as well. While recommendations shouldn't be the sole piece of information you use to make your decision, getting recommendations can go a long way toward putting you on the right path.

Check the Agent's Licensing

Working with an agent or a broker is a great way to obtain quotes from a number of different insurance companies. When selecting an agent, however, you should make certain he or she is properly licensed by your state's insurance department. If the agent sells variable life insurance policies, he or she should also be registered with the Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority, or FINRA.

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Check on the Agent's Accreditations

In addition to making certain your agent or broker has the proper licensure, you should also check on and verify his or her professional accreditations. While these accreditations are not required, it can provide you with extra reassurance that your needs will be handled professionally and effectively. Some accreditations a life insurance agent might have include:

  • Membership with the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors
  • Membership with the Society of Financial Service Professionals
  • Membership with the Financial Planning Association
  • Professional designation as a Chartered Life Underwriter
  • Professional designation as a Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow
  • Chartered Financial Consultant credentials
  • Certified Financial Planner credentials
  • Personal Financial Specialist credentials

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Verify the Insurance Company's Financial Condition

Whether you are seeking out an insurance company on your own or you are using the services of an agent, you will want to verify the company's financial situation before you purchase a policy. After all, you don't want to purchase a policy from a company that is on the verge of bankruptcy. Some resources for checking out the financial stability of an insurance company include:

Each of these companies assess and rate the financial strengths of companies and serve as excellent resources for verifying the stability of an insurance company.