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Page added on January 22, 2010

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How to Choose the Right INSURANCE BROKER

Entrepreneurs, professionals and working individuals have little or no free time on their hands. Deeply involved with their day- to- day operations of their business and working long pressure-filled hours, they continually handle crisis situations of different magnitudes. They must solve problems as they arise, problems that may well affect their very survival in the marketplace.

This ability to successfully define and solve problems helps when it comes to selecting the right life insurance agent or broker, for the primary job of a professional insurance broker is to understand and solve his client’s problems. The right insurance broker is also a successful businessperson who understands the problems of small business and working professionals and can relate to them. He should be with you for the long run, grow with you and help you as your personal needs and your business needs change.

How to find the right broker and what to ask the prospective broker are important considerations. You need someone whom you can trust completely, an individual with whom you can build a lasting personal relationship.

How do you find the right insurance professional to meet your needs? You could wait for one to call on you, or you could go through the yellow pages and choose one at random. If you were lucky, you might find the right person, but a hit or miss approach is hardly the way to find a broker who should become one of your trusted financial advisors.

Nobody lives in a vacuum. Local business associations, clubs, professional groups and business acquaintances provide you with ample opportunities to ask about insurance professionals in your area. Ask someone you trust to refer you to a broker who may have helped him meet his financial needs or helped solve a particular problem. If a broker has proven worthy, you’ll find out.

Once you have a name, find out some initial facts about the individual and his affiliation before you make contact. First determine whether the prospective broker have professional designation after his or her name like  Certified Financial Planner(CFP), Chartered Life Underwriter(CLU), Chartered Financial Consultant(CHFC) or does the (MGA)Managing General Agency encourage it’s broker to attain such designation. The designation implies that the broker should have extensive expertise in the complex areas of insurance and financial planning. Watch out for self proclaim designation like General Manager, President, Vice President, and Marketing Director.

Check to see if the prospective broker keeps abreast of the most recent developments in insurance, estate and financial planning. The ever changing and complex nature of the insurance business requires constant training and professional vigilance on the part of any good broker. Find out if the broker is a member of Advocis or the Independent Financial Brokers (IFB). Advocis and IFB are organizations of insurance professionals whose primary purpose is to keep abreast of new developments in estate and insurance planning.

Finally, if you can, try to learn about the company that the broker represents. As a general rule, you should look for a company large enough to offer a wide variety of products and services, backed by home office professionals qualified in their respective fields. ”Large” does not necessarily mean “best” however. The key to providing for your needs is “service” and that what you should look for: Service at a competitive edge.

Your broker is there as a problem solver. He should be a counselor first and a salesman second. Everyone has different problems. In order to solve those problems the professional broker is going to want to know everything he possibly can about you and your situation… Most certainly it is not a one step process. The good broker will be back again and again, refining and updating the information you have provided until he can come up with the best solution possible to your particular circumstances.

When all is said and done, the most important indicator of what is right for you is what you deem it to be. Therefore the most critical factor in finding the right financial advisor or broker is the personal and professional affinity that you establish with the broker. If that affinity doesn’t exist, if the trust and mutual professional respect aren’t there it is best to look elsewhere.

Finding the right financial advisor/insurance counselor is one of the most important decisions you will ever make both professionally and personally.

Felix M. Guerrero, B.SC., CFP, CLU, CHFC

Managing General Agent

Felix Guerrero has been in the life insurance and financial planning business for 28 years,

Commencing in Toronto as an agent for National life. He is a Certified Financial Planner, a Chartered Life Underwriter and Chartered Financial Consultant. He is a Life Member of the Million Dollar Round Table.

In addition to managing and directing FSE Financial Group Inc., he maintains his high level of production, servicing of clients and advisor to associated brokers.

Please visit www.fsefinancial.com for list of Associate General Agent and Additional information.









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