Have you ever performed an insurance agent license lookup? Well, you should consider doing so. Otherwise, your lack of research could cost you in the future.
Why an Insurance Agent License Lookup Is Important
Imagine faithfully paying insurance premiums for years for a fake product that does not provide any coverage whatsoever when you need it. Alternatively, you could find out that someone has either applied for an insurance policy on your behalf or used your account without permission.
All these scenarios usually occur and affect people in reality. Studies show that around 30 percent of Americans have fallen victim to insurance fraud at some point. And what happened to them can happen to you too.
Not every insurance agent is legitimate. Some of them could steal your identity or sell your personal information for profit. Therefore, you need to verify that an insurance agent is legitimate.
Read More: How Does Insurance Work?
How to Verify an Insurance Agent Is Legitimate
There are several strategies you can implement to verify the legitimacy of an insurance agent selling you a product.
Verify the State License
Every state has its own set of insurance licensing requirements. For an agent to work in your state and sell insurance, they must have a state license. And it must be up to date.
If an insurance agent doesn’t have a license, the chances are high that he or she is selling you fake insurance products. And you won’t benefit from insurance protection when you need it. Think about it: the last thing you need is life insurance with zero payouts. Yet, you could avoid all that trouble by doing a life insurance license lookup for your agent.
Below are tips on how to do that.
- Always ask the insurance agent for their license number, which is referred to as the National Producer Number (NPN). If the person becomes uncomfortable and seems reluctant to produce it, it’s quite possible they are unlicensed. That means you shouldn’t buy an insurance policy from them.
- If someone gives you their license number, you should type it into the National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR) and see what information comes up.
- You could also perform an insurance agent license lookup using your state’s Department of Insurance (DOI) website. The labels vary by state, but it is easy to navigate through most sites. For example, in California, you can do a DOI agent search in the consumer section, under the License Status Inquiry tab. You can input the number you have been given or use the agent’s name. If there is information concerning that person or people with the same name, it will be shown on the page. And you will learn whether such an agent is active or not.
The more personal information you possess about an agent, the better off you will be. You can use it to narrow down your agent search and make the verification work easier on yourself.
Read More: What Is a Car Insurance Broker?
Pay Attention to the Reviews
Another way to get a feel for the agent once you have verified their license is to pay attention to the reviews online. You can use Facebook, Google Business, RateMyAgent, Yelp, Consumer Reports and other platforms that allow consumer reviews to gain insight into the kind of insurance agent you will be dealing with.
Also, don’t just pay attention to the ratings. Instead, check how many reviews people have given and what they are saying about the products they bought. And pay attention to whether the insurance payouts happen and how fast claims are processed.
No matter how confident an insurance agent sounds and how good the products appear, do not take things at face value. Do your research and verify the legitimacy of the insurance agent first. And then, you can consider the policies on sale.
I hold a BS in Computer Science and have been a freelance writer since 2011. When I am not writing, I enjoy reading, watching cooking and lifestyle shows, and fantasizing about world travels.