There are lots of knowledgeable, experienced life and health agents in Georgia. However, there are many, many more unexperienced agents in the marketplace. I would venture to guess that the ratio is 1:10 at best. With our current recession and high unemployment rate, there has been a huge influx of people entering the insurance industry. There is an extremely low barrier of entry compared to other business start-ups. It’s almost too easy to get licensed to sell insurance. In a sense, this is good news — it provides opportunities to those who need a job and it also creates competition in the market. The downside is that there are so many agents with very little experience, that customers often receive an onslaught of responses when completing quote requests online. Some of these new, hungry agents will do whatever it takes to “make a sale”. More often, they will be honest, hardworking agents who don’t have the knowledge and experience to properly advise their clients.
It can take several years to really understand the best way to help clients and fully grasp the complexities of life and health insurance products. Also, with an extremely high attrition rate (over 70% don’t make it past 3 years as an agent), clients can often be “orphaned” by their agent who changed careers. So, it is crucial to work with an agent who has at least 5 years experience as an agent.
Look for real testimonials from satisfied clients, not just anonymous testimonials that say “Joe is a great agent and saved me hundreds — from Tom B.” Most satisfied clients will be glad to give their full names. Also, look for recommendations from other professionals. A financial planner or business consultant will send many referrals to an agent who has proven they will take the best care of their clients. Their own reputation is on the line, so these endorsements carry a lot of weight.
With the increasingly strict underwriting guidelines and competitive marketplace (among insurance companies), it is more important than ever to work with an experienced agent!
Peachtree Insurance Advisors 678-236-1600 Serving businesses and families in Georgia since 2000