Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Role of an agent

An agent play a useful role under the following circumstances:

* where you are the principal
* where you pay the agent an agreed commission to carry out a specified duty for you
* where you pay the agent out of your profit.

When you buy an insurance product from an agent who is paid by the insurance company, you are placed at a disadvantage as a customer:

* you are not familiar with the product
* you have to depend on the advise of the agent (who is pay by the insurance company)
* the agent may offer you a product with a high commission, which is added to your premium.

It is better for you to choose a product, such as term or accident insurance, where you can make a comparison between the prices charged by different insurance companies.

In this case, you want a broker who is able to shop on your behalf to get the best rate. It is better for you to pay an agreed fee to the broker, so that he can get the best "net rate" for you.

This advice applies to other products, where the price and structure is not transparent to the customer.

You should be especially careful when the agent is highly trained to sell you a hyped up product, such as those sold through multi-level marketing.

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