​In our previous articles, we have reviewed 8 Characteristics of an Excellent Insurance Professional  and Strategies for Choosing a Great Insurance Coverage Advisor, Now is the time to interview your potential advisors.

Once you have a complete list of potential insurance agents you can move on to interviewing each one. These interviews can be performed in person or over the phone, whichever is most convenient for you. Interviews will allow you to assess the agent’s personality and credentials, in order to ensure that they are the right person for the job. You will be working closely with the insurance agent you choose, so it is important that you like them and get along with them well. Most respectable insurance agents will be happy to meet with you for an interview. Be wary of those who are not willing to meet with you.

Start by having a general conversation with a prospective agent. Explain your specific situation and ask about what types of insurance they can provide. Ask about quotes as well. Inquiring about quotes does not mean that you have to work with that specific agent. These conversations will give you a basic feel for how the agent operates and will let you find out if you feel comfortable with them.

Here are some questions to ask a potential insurance advisor during the interview process:

​1. How much experience do you have and in what specific types of insurance?

2. What types of credentials do you have? Where did you earn these specific credentials?  What did you have to accomplish in order to achieve such credentials?

3. What types of licenses to you have? Are you up to date with NZ license requirements?

4. Can you provide me with references? (Don’t forget to check these references!)

5. What types of insurance can you offer me? Which types will fit my specific situation?

​6. Will you be handling my account on a daily basis or will someone else in the company? (This is a good indication of the level of customer service they will be offering to you.)

7. What processes do you use to help determine my level of risk and the amount of protection I will require?

8. What common problems or mistakes do customers in my situation typically run into?

9. Are there any gaps in my current coverage?

​10. How frequently do you review insurance plans?

What you are looking for in this interview process is honesty and an agreeable personality. You will want to feel comfortable with the insurance agent you will be working with, so personality is important. You want to make sure that they are going to do their best to represent your needs. You are also looking for honesty.

If the insurance agent is unable to answer some of your questions during the interview, they should at least be able to find out the answer for you. This commonly happens because of the individual nature of insurance coverage. If the agent recommends a specific insurance company, be sure to ask why these choose that company and why it would be a good fit for your situation.

Never choose an insurance agent who makes you feel pressured to decide on a company or a quote.

You are also looking for someone who is knowledgeable about the products they offer. These people will be recommending products that will serve as protection for you, your family, your home and your business, so you will want to make sure they know what they are talking about! It is also a good idea to let a prospective insurance agent know that you will continue to work with them if their services are to your liking. Insurance agents like to build lasting relationships and will typically work harder if they are able to create such a relationship.

​Finally, ask any specific questions that you may have during this interview process. Now is a great time to find the answers to your specific insurance questions and you can use these responses as part of your decision-making process.