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Indiana Department of Insurance

IDOI > Consumer Services > Information > Getting Started Getting Started

How do I choose a company?

Before purchasing a policy, check the company's financial condition. You can do this by asking the agent. A number of insurance rating services rate the financial strength of companies. The A.M. Best ratings guide is available through the link on the IDOI website.

How do I choose an agent?

Collect the names of several agents (also called producers) through recommendations from friends, family and other sources. The following are some questions you may want to ask a potential agent:

  • Are you licensed to sell life insurance in Indiana? 
  • Do you sell variable products also?
  • If so, are you registered with the National Association of Securities Dealers?
  • Check if an agent is licensed
  • What company or companies does the agent represent?
  • Does the agent have any professional designations such as:
    • Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU)
    • Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow (LUTCF)
  • Agents who are also financial planners may have designations such as:
    • Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFc)
    • Certified Financial Planner (CFP)
    • Member of The Registry of Financial Planning Practitioners.
  • Is he or she a member of a professional association?

The major association for agents is the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, Inc. (NAIFA). Through NAIFA's local associations, agents can attend educational seminars and can stay informed of trends in the business.

The agent you have selected will meet with you to discuss your life insurance needs. He or she will ask questions about family income and your net worth. Using the information you already have assembled about your financial situation, you should be prepared to discuss your insurance options.

In this initial meeting, be prepared to answer questions about your health (for example, age, medical condition, medical history, family history, personal habits). It is important that you answer these questions carefully and truthfully. You may also have to have some level of medical checkup as part of the application process.