Insurance plays a vital part in protecting people against accidents, catastrophes, and illnesses to make sure that they and their families do not suffer tremendous financial hardships should any of those circumstances occur. However, many are hesitant to obtain policies because they feel that they cannot trust an agent or insurer.
In the United States, the number of individual life policies that are purchased every year has fallen by 45 percent over the last quarter century, even though the number of households that include children has risen by more than 25 percent. Equally, the number of policies worth $2 million or more (which are generally purchased by wealthier households) has been increasing.
The trend seems to show that more affluent individuals, who are able to afford the best attorneys and advisers, are recognizing the need for life insurance, but this message is not making its way to everyone else with enough urgency to encourage action.
It is believed that the reason for this is that the current image of an insurance agent is one that is far more keen on making a sale than actually assisting their clients. That said, even in an economy where several insurance companies were reliant on a bailout from taxpayers in order to survive, and are now struggling to pay back those loans, many insurers are still resistant to the consumer’s wish for professionalism so that they will feel secure making a purchase.
A significant example of this issue was identified by the Wall Street Journal on April 25, 2011, which noted that much of Primarica is based on part-time agents who – according to the Wall Street Journal – will not become insurance agents “often because they flunk state licensing exams.” Among the 230,000 recruits to Primarica from last year, 80 percent did not become insurance agents after having failed the exam.
As the lack of faith in insurance agents has not reduced the importance of insurance. Experts in the industry are recommending that consumers find a well-trained insurance professional whose advice they can trust, and then proceed to decide whether or not to purchase insurance.