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Just for minute let’s pretend this wild scenario could happen. You talk to two life insurance agents and tell them both the same health information. One gives you a quote that your life insurance policy will cost $1000 a year and the other says it will cost $2000 a year.  Who would you go with?

It’s a no brainer right? Obviously the one that quoted $2000 is just trying to gouge you and make more money than he should by making you pay more money than you should. Probably he quoted $2000 not thinking that you would get another quote. Probably he knew you could get it for $1000 and he just hoped you wouldn’t find out. Right? Mr $2000 is a slimeball crook, right?

Or maybe, just maybe, Mr $1000 is the slimeball and he is playing what’s known in the industry as bait and switch.  In the competitive world of life insurance sales there has long been a sick mindset that “he who gets the application first wins”. So Mr $1000 knows that even though his quote isn’t accurate and doesn’t truly reflect your health and what you will ultimately be approved at, if he can tie you up and keep you away from the competition long enough, you will actually go ahead and take the higher priced approval when it hits the fan.

I actually got to see this in action when I worked for a short period at a large on line agency. One agent, known for being able to write a lot of business, bet another agent one day that he could write 50 applications in that shift. I was new there and didn’t catch on to the fact that this guy, no matter what he was told about a person’s health, was quoting everyone preferred plus rates.  He finished his 50 applications in just over 8 hours. All of those people, whether they had diabetes, were overweight, had heart disease, or whatever, were delighted to hear that they were going to get the best rate.  In the end, only 6 of those 50 qualified for the best rate class after an exam and a review of their medical records. The other 44 were lied to for the sake of the application. He was fired shortly after that.

And if those 50 people had also been talking to Mr $2000, the honest agent, no one would have given him the time of day. Unfortunately clients want low rates and don’t want to hear why they won’t get it.

So, how do you get the best rate available and avoid bait and switch slimeballs? If there are any health issues involved, even as simple as high blood pressure or high cholesterol, it’s very easy to get everyone playing on a level field. Tell the agents you are getting quotes from that you want to see a “trial offer” from the underwriters of the company they are quoting stating what rate class you qualify for. Don’t let them off with a verbal trial offer. Tell them you want to see the email from you to the underwriter explaining your health and the response from the underwriter telling you what to quote.

If an agent isn’t willing to go the extra mile to prove that they are quoting fairly,  to prove that their quote is based on facts and not greed, don’t do business with them. The life insurance industry has more than its’ fair share of unscrupulous agents and it’s sad. But if an informed public doesn’t let them run out their dishonest bait and switch tactics, they don’t last long.

Bottom line. We’ve all heard that if it sounds to good to be true then it probably is. If you get two or more life insurance quotes and you’re about ready to throw out the high quote, step back and give that agent a chance to explain why their quote is higher. Tell them that you have a quote that is half as much and ask them why they can’t offer you that. Maybe, just maybe, they aren’t the slimeball in the mix.