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Insurance

Keeping life insurance scams at bay

Life insurance is founded, among other things, upon trust. There are rules and regulations, and the Law, just so that those countenancing criminal behaviour should be wary. they will b caught! Leastways, there are some fairly commonsensical approaches to keeping life insurance scams at bay. Bilkers shall be baulked of their prey!

Churning and pocketed premiums are fairly well-known practices of the shady kind. When an insurance agent is able to persuade a client to upgrade to a ‘better’ policy, we have ‘churning’. There are more costs in this case in terms of premiums. The scamster masquerading as a good insurance agent thus collects a nice additional premium. 

You also come across instances of agents pocketing premiums. This potentially can hurt clients since they delude themselves into thinking they are covered. There is, for example, p[erhaps no coverage in force if you have made out a check to a bad agent, instead of to the insurance company. Raise your eyebrows way up, in case the agent asks for premium payments in cash!

It can sometimes be a challenge differentiating between a good and bad agent, but consumers can take steps to shield themselves. Here are a few tips that will help you while you look for the right life insurance policy to protect your loved ones.

Consider an independent broker

Independent brokers have become more popular, particularly since the Internet has facilitating signing up and getting recommendations. An independent broker shops several insurance providers to provide the best price to meet a customer’s needs.

Research the agent

With the aid of the Internet, you can learn about an agent before well before you have signed any documents. One means to check is the Department of Insurance website specific to the state the agent practices in. Often this will help quickly identify any past misdemeanours. Make sure the agent has an active license with no reported sanctions, preferably over the course of many years.

Research the agency

The mere fact that an agent is with a well-known agency doesn’t mean anything. By reading reviews and investigating an agency, however, you can verify its reputability. 

Contact the agency

If you’re working directly with an agent, don’t hesitate to contact that agent’s insurance company for verification. If it’s a respected agency and they can attest to the agent’s reputability, you can proceed with more confidence.

Ask for referrals

Friends and family can be a great help in identifying a dependable agent. Having themselves had personal experience with an agent, they would attest that the client’s experience has so far been a good one. 

Shop around

Luckily, life insurance is a buyer’s market, and there’s no dearth of agents who are willing to give a quote. An excellent way to get a feel for the many options is to price multiple policies. You can then compare what you’re being offered and quickly pinpoint any scams. If someone promises something significantly more for the same price, if not lower than competing insurers, that may well be a sign that something is wrong. 

Read the fine print

Prior to signing with an insurer, peruse all documentation carefully, identifying any terms that might cause future problems. To ascertain your policy documents, describe the coverage you’re getting for the premiums you’re paying. 

Take advantage of cancellation periods

Many policies have a free look period. During this time, you can cancel the policy, given there is a reason you realise it isn’t what you thought. You should obtain a full refund of premiums if you cancel during this time. In this trial period, do more research to confirm you haven’t made a mistake. If you are uncomfortable with any detail, cancel.

Question changes

Once your insurance policy is in place, you’ll still be remaining vigilant, especially if your agent abruptly suggests making a significant amendment to your policy. If your agent is suggesting something that will increase what you’re paying each year, obtain a second opinion from a respected life insurance agent. 

Be careful with your information

If you receive a call, email, or other communications about your policy, contact your agent or your life insurance agency and discuss it. Do not divulge payment information, contact details, or your social security number. Do so only if you’re 100 per cent certain you’re speaking to a bona fide representative from a service you use.

Conclusion

Once you know what you are up against, it’s very easy to steer clear of life insurance scams. First, a bit of circumspection, being aware that there are many options available, keep you insured against insurance agent scams. Sometimes provisions like cancellation periods ensure you don’t have to search far and wide to look for succour. Now you have wisened up to their game – scammers know you cannot be suckered!

Should you need assistance, however, Fast Action Refund would gladly help.

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