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4 Questions Insurance Brokers Should Be Cautious About With Clients

Photo by Gabrielle Henderson from Unsplash

As you know, insurance can be an intimidating field. A lot of people need a professional to help them understand insurance. Thankfully, insurance brokers exist to guide people in choosing the best plan for their needs. 

The role of an insurance broker is to represent their clients during their insurance hunt and application process. In other words, they work for their clients. If you’re someone who knows nothing about insurance, hiring an insurance broker would help a lot. 

There’s a lot of advantages that come with having a broker who’ll explain every detail that you need for you. But, here’s the thing. Insurance brokers have a lot on their plate, too. Sometimes, they handle more than three clients at a time, which can be confounding.

During an insurance plan hunt and application process, your brokers will ask you a lot of questions. You know, when they say, communication is the key? That certainly is the case in helping your broker understand your needs and plans. But, not all clients are the same. Some might be sensitive to some questions, while others don’t bother at all. 

To start, here are some questions that insurance brokers should be cautious about with their clients. 


1. What is your source of income?

Here’s the thing. Money will be the constant subject of an insurance application hunt. But, not everyone is open to answering questions about their income. Insurance brokers are experts in what they do. They can tell if the client is only inquiring or is truly interested in a plan. 

But sometimes, it can be hard for them to gauge what questions clients find offensive. You might think that this assumption is a bit of a stretch. But, it’s important to note that not all people who are interested in insurance have work. Some are dependent on their partners or family members. Not everyone is in the same boat.

Sooner or later, this question will be asked by the insurance broker. But, this is a question that should be gauged first before it should be blurted out. If the broker thinks that the client they’re dealing with is only shopping around, there’s no need to ask this question.

The best way to avoid offending someone sensitive to questions like this is to ask an ice breaker first. Or ask their permission if it’s okay to ask questions related to income. The thing is, it’s hard to avoid asking this question during an insurance application process. Income is a big factor that will help an insurance broker to offer you a plan that could work well with your goals. 


2. How much do you earn?

This second question is almost the same as the first one. Of course, it is expected that as you apply for a plan, your broker could ask this question. But, this question could be a deal-breaker when not asked cautiously. Or when asked in the wrong timing and manner. 

A person’s salary is a private matter. It is confidential and usually shouldn’t be discussed verbally. Some brokers might need this information to compute your possible premiums so they can provide you with better plan options. During a plan application, the answer to this question might be needed. But, there are other ways on how this question can be asked.

For example, some insurance applications would require you to fill-out forms. These forms won’t ask you for an exact figure. But instead, provide a range of monthly incomes that you can choose from. If you’re an insurance broker and you can tell based on your client’s character that they’re not comfortable sharing their income, you can try this instead. 


3. Do you think you can manage this premium rate monthly?

By now, you can tell that we’re trying to be mindful of questions about money. Because when people say that money is a sensitive topic, they’re not lying. There are words, phrases, and sentences that are simply what they are. But, it’s how you say and structure them that makes their meaning completely different. 

One example is this 3rd question. To a non-sensitive person who’s open to discussing money, this question is just what it is. But, this could mean something completely different to one who is not well-off. This could turn out as an offensive take on someone who has a tight budget.

Just like with all things, there’s something that can be done to avoid offending someone with this question. Insurance brokers could refine and change the wording of this question. They could instead start with “what do you think about this premium?” or “would this plan’s premium work well with your funds and goals?”

Also, it’s important to gauge the timing and flow of conversation. If both the broker and client haven’t built solid ground yet, it’s better and safer to ask questions subtly. That way, the broker wouldn’t drive off the client when offended and keep things professional as much as possible. 


4. Are you single? Or do you have a family?

First, it’s none of anyone’s business whether the client is single or not. Second, using the exact wording of this question is simply unprofessional. Instead of using that, you could ask “do you have any dependents?” or “do you plan to have anyone as your beneficiary?” 

Asking “are you single” could come off as merely being interested in a client’s personal life. The purpose of insurance is to protect people’s loved ones. And, brokers know that the main benefit of a plan is to ensure that a client’s beneficiaries or dependents are protected. 

It’s important to avoid using words and phrases that come off as casual questions. Brokers could, of course, if they are already close with their clients. But, as much as possible, it’s better if there is still a solid boundary between professionalism and casual questions.


Listen to understand the client and their needs better

To provide clients with the best plan that would work well with their needs, an insurance broker should be a good listener. It’s important to ask questions that are professionally delivered and are well-structured. Avoid asking questions that would only lead the client to explain another matter without clarifying the previous one. 

Whether a client is inquiring about life or business insurance, brokers should understand their client’s needs by asking questions that are prominent to the insurance application process. But, just like what I’ve discussed, it’s best if it could be done in a professional and non-offending way. 


About the author:

Bianca Banda is a writer for Lewis Insurance, an insurance company located in Australia, offering wide financial services and management for both business and family matters through proven quality service, trusted support, and expert advice.

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