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    Definition of 'Agent'An agent is a person who represents an insurance firm and sells insurance policies on its behalf.

    Definition:An agent is a person who represents an insurance firm and sells insurance policies on its behalf.

    Description: Generally, there are two types of such agents who reach the prospective parties that may be

    interested in buying insurance. These are independent agents and captive or exclusive agents.

    Independent agents may represent many insurance firms and receive commission for their services

    accordingly. On the other hand, there are captive agents who are exclusively employed by a particular

    insurance firm and sell policies of the same. Their services can be rewarded in the form of salary or

    commission

    How important is having an agent?

    Insurance agents may have a less-than-golden reputation as a group, but

    when you think about it, this stereotype is mostly based on sales practices.Nowadays, with Internet resources at your disposal, you can educate

    yourself to avoid shady sales practices and select an agent that offers real

    value. It comes down to personal preference.

    Term life insurance is cheap and simple enough that most people can

    make an educated purchase, start to finish, on the Web or by phone from a

    direct insurance provider. On the other hand, long-term care insurance is

    about as new, complicated, and expensive as it gets. Even after extensive

    Web research, many people will still benefit from the services of an

    independent financial planner, particularly one with experience in long-term

    care issues.

    Auto, home, renter's, and disability insurance fall in the middle. They aren't

    all that complicated, but they are much more likely to lead to a claim than

    life insurance. When it comes to making a property claim, an effective local

    agent can be worth her weight in gold. Also, with liability and medical

    claims, procedures can be very tricky and decisions are rarely clear-cut. Aproactive agent can be an invaluable guide. Of course, it always depends

    on the agent, the circumstances, and to some extent, the way the company

    handles claims.

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    Generally there are two types of insurance agents which are as follow:

    1. Independent agents also known as Captive Agents who transact insurance

    for more than one company and

    2. Contract agents who represent a single company.

    Insurance agents assist clients to choose insurance policies that befit their needs.

    Clients include individuals and families as well as businesses. Independent agents

    work for a single insurance company, and sell only that company's products.

    Independent insurance agents or brokers represent different companies.

    Insurance may be for property, casualty, life, health, particular venture and long

    term contract insurance. Some insurance agents also sell mutual funds, annuities,

    shares and other securities.

    In order to choose the right insurance agent, people usually presume that

    insurance agents would act in the best of their interest. But this is not so easy.

    You have to be very careful while selecting an insurance agent and consider what

    he is selling you and at what price.

    How to Select a Good Insurance Agent?

    It will take time for people to find a suitable insurance agent that caters to theirneeds. However, In order to select the right agent you must consider the

    following things:

    1. Ask from your family members, relatives and friends because they are the

    most reliable sources for finding the right insurance agent as well as the most

    appropriate company. You may counsel with your co-workers, financial advisers,

    accountants etc.

    2. Make inquiries regarding the type of insurance they sell. Usually, you knowthe type of insurance you want, but you must compare different insurance

    packages offered by various agents. You should ask the experience of the

    insurance agent, as well as the type of products they sell.

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    3. Prefer experienced agents over amateurs because experienced agents

    usually provide better customer service.

    4. You should research and compare insurance quotes. This will create a

    competition between insurance agents which ultimately brings more benefits foryou.

    In a nutshell, In order to find a good insurance agent, you must compare

    professionalism, prices, and company ratings.

    It is important to find a good insurance agent for many reasons. Some of the

    reasons are discussed below:

    Usually there are a lot of complicated terms and conditions attached to

    insurance policies. You may find it difficult to fully comprehend them. A good

    insurance agent will help you understand these terms and conditions.

    Some insurance policies involve a lot of paperwork. A good insurance agent

    will help you with all the necessary paperwork.

    Several policy options can be available for you. A good insurance agent will

    help you compare all the available options and assist you in choosing the best

    option.

    A good insurance agent will act in the best interest of his client.

    A good insurance agent will solve all the problems that you may face during

    the purchase process.

    A good insurance agent is mindful of your needs and concerns; and is able

    to provide quality recommendations for you.

    Agents Clients Are Consumers

    Agents depend on their clients, whether individual consumers or employer groups, for their livelihood. By

    providing ongoing service and benefit expertise, the value of the agent is always evident.

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    Agents Often Support Small Employer Human Resource Departments

    Quite often, small employers cannot afford human resource staffing, so agents assist them in many of

    those functions. Small employers rely on agents to assist them in a multitude of ways in the day-to-day

    handling of their health insurance and other personnel matters.

    Agents Help the Elderly Understand Their Benefits

    Elderly consumers often have problems understanding their Medicare or long-term care benefits, and

    agents have the ability to explain these in a manner that is easier to comprehend.

    Agents Make Complex Benefit Issues Understandable to TheirClients

    Often, state and federal governments pass laws that affect employee benefits; health insurance agents

    understand these laws and explain them to their clients in a clear and concise manner. There are

    countless plan options available to employers and consumers; good agents guide their clients throughmyriad options to the plan that best suits their particular needs.

    Agents Solve Clients Problems

    Typically, agents are the first to be called when a clients claim is not paid or when premiums are raised.

    Because of their expertise, experience and relationships with insurance carriers, agents can often get

    problems solved quickly and efficiently. Many agents have customer service representatives in their office

    for the specific purpose of assisting clients with their benefit problems.

    8 Qualities That Make A Good Insurance AgentByMark P. Cussen, CFP, CMFC, AFCon December 10, 2012AA AFiled Under:Career Advancement,Finance Careers,Life Insurance

    http://www.investopedia.com/contributors/186http://www.investopedia.com/contributors/186http://www.investopedia.com/contributors/186http://www.investopedia.com/financial-edge/1212/8-qualities-that-make-a-good-insurance-agent.aspxhttp://www.investopedia.com/tags/career_advancement/http://www.investopedia.com/tags/career_advancement/http://www.investopedia.com/tags/career_advancement/http://www.investopedia.com/tags/finance_careers/http://www.investopedia.com/tags/finance_careers/http://www.investopedia.com/tags/finance_careers/http://www.investopedia.com/tags/life_insurance/http://www.investopedia.com/tags/life_insurance/http://www.investopedia.com/tags/life_insurance/http://www.investopedia.com/tags/life_insurance/http://www.investopedia.com/tags/finance_careers/http://www.investopedia.com/tags/career_advancement/http://www.investopedia.com/financial-edge/1212/8-qualities-that-make-a-good-insurance-agent.aspxhttp://www.investopedia.com/contributors/186
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    If you have evercontemplated becoming an insurance agentor wondered whether

    this career pathcould be right for you, then there are several qualities that you will need to

    possess, at least to some degree. All good insurance agentsshare some of the following core

    qualities in one way or another.

    People Skills

    1. Puts the needs of the client first- An agent who is only out to earn a commission,

    regardless of the needs of the client, is not likely to last long in the business. Agents

    and brokerswho listen carefully to what their clients and prospects say will be able to earn

    their trust, which is the hardest part of their job. Those who are willing to put their clients

    into a product that pays a lower commission because it better fits their needs are much

    more likely to be successful.

    2. Good customer service- Customers who are able to get a hold of their agents when they

    need them are much more likely to stay happy and reassured. A timelyresponse to

    inquiries and p

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