Is Your Insurance Agent A Scammer? 8 Red Flags To Watch Out For
Is Your Insurance Agent A Scammer? 8 Red Flags To Watch Out For:How sure are you that your insurance agent or insurance broker is not scamming you? While most insurance brokers and agents are trustworthy, knowledgeable, and hardworking, a few are just corrupt and dishonest.
Luckily,Is Your Insurance Agent A Scammer you won’t have to guess whether your broker is lying to your face or not – you can tell if your broker or agent is dishonest, or even doing something illegal, by watching out for these 7 red flags.
1.The agent or broker can’t give you credentials or physical address
First things first: make sure you’re transacting with legitimate insurance brokers or agents. Ask for their license number and verify if it’s active. Make sure they have a valid physical address – not just a post office box. They should also have a business phone number and email address.
If the agent doesn’t have at least one of these contact details, there’s a huge chance you’re being scammed.
2.They’re being pushy and aggressive
Insurance, whether it’s a form of business insurance or a personal one, is something you should think over and over. It’s expensive. You need to take the time to consider your options and learn the jargon before you can decide which one best meets your needs. A good, credible agent will be patient in explaining various options and will encourage you to evaluate them fully.
So when an insurance agent or broker tries to rush you through the decision-making process, claiming that it’s a “today only” deal or there’ll be a price hike soon, it’s time to look elsewhere. In most cases, agents are energetic and talkative, but you need to draw the line between being enthusiastic and being downright aggressive.
3.The agent contacted you via an unsolicited telephone call or email
I had a first-hand experience with these unscrupulous “agents” before. Someone called and said he represents a leading insurance company. He confirmed by name, address, and other details. He went on with his aggressive sales pitch about this “limited time offer.” The next thing I know is that he’s asking for my account number and other bank details for the payment. That’s when I knew it was a scam.
While all agents do some sort of marketing tactic to attract potential clients, they’re unlikely to recruit and ask for payment via an unsolicited call or mail. Legitimate agents would schedule a meeting to discuss the product they’re selling.
4.They quote a premium that’s extremely low
If it’s too good to be true, then it probably is. Beware of agents who’ll try to sell policies at overly low premium prices (or even ones that are much lower than your previous premiums).
Do your research. While insurance costs vary, the premiums often fall within a fairly close range.
5.The agent or broker adds coverages you did not approve of
Brokers and agents earn commissions from insurers and these are based on the percentage of the premium. If you buy more insurance coverages or if you have a more expensive type of insurance, your broker or agent earns more commission.
So if you’re dealing with a dishonest agent who just wants to earn more, they may try to add more coverage to your policy to increase your premiums – even if you did not request or approve of that policy.
Review your policies and make sure they consist only of the ones you requested.
6.Agent asks you to pay premiums under his/her name
So, your agent offers to settle your insurance premium payments on your behalf. Just give them the money and they’ll do the task for you. Such a kind gesture, right? No. Don’t do it – that’s a trap!
Under no circumstances should you make checks payable to the agent. Instead, send your payments directly to the insurer.
7.You haven’t received your policy documents even after paying them
If you leave the insurance premium payment with the agent, make sure to get a receipt. Some dishonest agents collect payments from clients but then keep the money instead of forwarding it to the insurer. When this happens, contact your insurer and let them know you paid your premium but have not yet received the policy within a reasonable time period. Present your receipt.
8.They encourage you to overstate when making a claim
When an agent encourages you to lie on claim forms, start doubting their honesty and credibility. While it’s tempting to get more money by inflating the value of damaged property or asking reimbursement for costs that didn’t incur, lying on such claims can lead to insurance fraud. Combat fraud by reporting the agent to your area’s insurance department.
Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is one of the daytime writers for Insurance Advisernet NZ, one of the largest and most reliable general insurance businesses in New Zealand, providing high-quality risk management advice for business owners. She enjoys writing practical tips and tricks, making complex finance and business topics easier to digest.