How to Find a Life Insurance Agent

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Contributor, Benzinga
January 25, 2022

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Life Insurance brokers are not all the same. Because life insurance policies can be complicated, you should consult with a competent insurance agent to help you get the most appropriate policy for your circumstances. In addition, your agent should provide ongoing services. 

By finding the right agent, you can get the right policy at the most affordable price. Your life insurance agent must understand your specific financial situation and the stages necessary to help you achieve your goals. Also, your life insurance agent should be able to break down policy language into simple terms.

What Does a Life Insurance Agent Do?

Besides selling Life Insurance policies, life insurance agents apply their in-depth knowledge and advice to help you navigate coverage options. But a life insurance agent’s job does not stop there. Agents also write policies, assist with claims and provide ongoing customer service to policyholders.

Life Insurance policies typically contain confusing language and terms that many people are unfamiliar with. A life insurance agent can explain your policy details in simple words. The suitable agents serve as your long-term advocates in your financial journey and always have your best interests at heart.

Explains Your Life Insurance Options

Multiple coverage options are available for life insurance that satisfy a wide range of needs and preferences. The preliminary decision to get temporary or permanent life insurance is vital to consider, depending on the insured’s short- or long-term needs.

In addition to explaining universal, term and whole life insurance policy options, your agent will also provide specific details. For example, your agent can help you calculate the best coverage limit for your monthly budget. The precise amount of your premium, coverage limit and term length will vary across insurers, location and age of the policyholder. 

Compares Your Needs to Available Insurance

A life insurance agent listens when you explain your financial objectives and matches your circumstances with the right policy. If you have any high-risk medical conditions, your agent can check for eligibility. Many carriers increase rates for individuals with chronic health conditions. 

Policy availability may also depend on the type of coverage you want. Your agent will look for coverage that has all the elements you are searching for and will tell you if specific options are unavailable. Term life insurance is typically available for 10 to 30 years. You can convert some term policies to permanent life insurance policies later but not all.

Writes Policies

Insurance agents have the legal power to bind policies on behalf of an insurance carrier they have a partnership with. These agents may operate for a single insurance firm or sell policies for different insurers. Captive agents work for a single insurer, while independent agents work for multiple carriers.

Agents who write policies must have a thorough understanding of the services they are selling. This understanding is essential because agents must promote appropriate policies to the appropriate clients. Otherwise, the policyholder or the insurer could suffer undesirable repercussions in the form of financial losses. All parties, including the policyholder, insurance agent and insurer, can benefit from executing their jobs correctly.

Consults With Existing Policyholders

Life Insurance agents provide ongoing services to policyholders and answer any questions. For example, some life insurance carriers require medical exams to receive coverage. A life insurance agent can help guide you in scenarios such as this. 

In addition, your health may improve or deteriorate throughout your policy. In some situations — if you quit smoking or leave a hazardous occupation — you may be eligible to take another medical examination and underwriting process that can result in a lower premium.

Assists With Claims

Even though the insurance carrier manages the claim, agents are often an essential part of the claims process. First, your life insurance agent will ensure there are no coverage gaps and that you are protected against risks. 

If you need to file a claim, your agent can answer questions about filing or determine how long the process could take. Your agent can check your claims’ status and guide you through any difficulties that may arise. 

How to Find a Life Insurance Agent

When it comes to finding a Life Insurance agent, you have multiple options. You can search for an agent online, get a local agent, ask your preferred insurance carrier or look for an independent agent. Regardless of the path you select, it is essential to ensure your agent has the appropriate licensing for your state. 

Search for an Agent Online

Once you find life insurance agents in your area, it is time to investigate them on the internet. Referrals from friends could be an ideal starting point for your online search. You can also check social media pages for agent referrals.

You can search for the Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) for further information and then look for the state-specific website. The website will most likely offer answers to questions about the insurance policy and prospective providers.

Check for Local Agents 

A local insurance agent is one of the best ways to find the right life insurance. If you choose a local agent, you can set up your policy in person and get to know your agent over time, so they can provide personalized service.

It is convenient to have someone you can see in person. You will feel more secure if your needs change or you have a complex situation. If problems arise, going to an office to discuss the claim is helpful. 

Call Your Preferred Insurance Carriers

You may already have homeowners insurance, auto insurance or another policy with a carrier. If you had positive experiences with your current agent, consider adding life insurance. A multipolicy discount could save you money on your monthly payments. 

Look for an Independent Agent

The benefit of an independent agent over a captive agent is that you will have options from more than one carrier. You can receive quotes from several different insurers, and you can switch providers in the future without losing your agent. 

Independent agents often work with smaller insurance companies to find more personalized coverage. Because these agents represent many different insurers, they offer more unbiased opinions. Instead of working for one insurance company, independent agents work for you. 

What to Ask a Life Insurance Agent

Before you decide on a life insurance agent, ask enough questions to ensure you have an accurate impression. For example, have the insurer to clearly outline your monthly and annual premium costs. Also ask about what happens if you miss a payment or if your premiums can increase. Some questions to consider asking life insurance agents are listed below.

How Much Life Insurance Do I Need?

People often want to ensure that the death benefit is substantial enough to cover the requirements of loved ones who rely on them. Some people calculate it by combining their long-term financial liabilities and subtracting their assets. The amount left over will give you an approximate idea of how much you desire for the death benefit.

Your agent may assist you in the decision-making process by asking how much is due on the mortgage, what your living expenses are and how much you would like for your beneficiary receive. Depending on your unique circumstances, your life insurance agent can walk you through the process of calculating coverage needs.

Can I Afford the Payments?

Many people want to know how to get the coverage they want at an affordable price. The earlier you purchase life insurance, the lower your payments will be. 

In setting premium rates, age is a significant consideration. Many multiline insurers provide discounts on life, home and auto policies when you bundle all your coverage with them. Ask your insurer about other discounts they may offer and how you can save money on your premium.

Can I Pay More Into My Life Insurance Policy?

When you have a permanent life insurance policy with a cash value, you may have the option to pay more into your policy. This feature could be convenient if you plan to withdraw funds for a substantial investment like starting a new business or sending your children to college. 

The insurance company will pay the death benefit if you die. Regardless of the cash value you had in the insurance when you died, your beneficiaries can only claim the specified death benefit. Any unpaid debts (plus interest) will be deducted from your death benefit. In this case, your recipient may get less than the face value of the policy. Some whole life plans pay both the death benefit and the cash value.

How Do Beneficiaries File Claims?

Your beneficiaries can contact your life insurance agent directly if you die. The agent will explain all the details of filing a claim. They will need death certificate copies and request paperwork to begin the payout process. Alternatively, beneficiaries can often begin the claim-filing process online. Most claims are completed within 30 to 60 days. 

Can I Convert my Term Life Policy if Needed?

Convertible term life insurance lets you convert some or all the coverage to a permanent policy, like universal or whole life insurance, to make it last your entire life. You may be able to convert it without taking another medical test or answering health questions if you do it by a certain age, such as by 75. 

The life insurance company determines the deadline and the types of permanent plans available so it’s worth asking your agent for more details if a policy conversion is possible in the future. 

Can you Help me Open Policies for my Spouse or Children?

Some insurers offer various coverage options for dependents. Depending on the plan’s restrictions, dependent insurance can cover your spouse, children and other qualified dependents. This type of insurance commonly covers funeral expenses and other costs from losing a non-income-earning spouse.

If a covered dependent dies, you will receive the face amount of the life insurance policy as the death benefit. Every insurer has different offerings regarding policies for a spouse or dependent so ask your potential agent which options are available. 

Compare Life Insurance

Comparing insurance policies can ve time-consuming. Benzinga helps by providing you with valuable insights and reviews about life insurance. Benzinga rates insurers and their coverage options to help you make informed decisions for your family and future.

How to Shop for Life Insurance

Now that you know what a life insurance agent is, how to find one and what questions to ask when searching for a policy, the next step is to shop for life insurance by comparing quotes and setting up appointments with agents.

You will need your current and past medical history and family medical records. Additionally, you may need to take a life insurance health exam or answer questions about hazardous activities. Finally, you need to name beneficiaries and include their data, including traffic violations, DUIs and criminal convictions. 

Benzinga will keep you informed about all issues relating to your financial well-being and is committed to helping you find the best solutions for your family’s plans. Return to Benzinga for more financial tips and information to simplify your decision-making. 

Frequently Asked Questions


Do you need an agent to purchase life insurance?


No, you can apply for life insurance directly through insurance providers. However, a qualified agent can help you compare rates, explore possibilities and handle the back and forth while your application is under review.


Can I sell life insurance from home?


Generally, if you are licensed in your state, you can sell life insurance from home.


Benzinga crafted a specific methodology to rank life insurance. To see a comprehensive breakdown of our methodology, please visit our Life Insurance Methodology page.

About Maurice Draine

Maurice Draine is a former insurance agent, broker, underwriter tech, and agent sales support rep with over 15 years of professional writing experience. Maurice helps insurance, financial, and various online and ad agencies, create the words that drive customers to their websites and keeps them there.