Los Angeles, CA, July 15, 2011 --(PR.com
)-- When it comes to making large purchases such as a car or large screen television, it is important to shop around, explains Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance. "Comparing prices for virtually identical products will often save you significant dollars and in today's price conscious world, saving money is a good thing," he adds.
Yet, when it comes to purchasing insurance protection, the majority of individuals do little if any comparison-shopping, Slome notes. "That can be a very costly mistake," Slome, who is recognized as one of the nation's long-term care insurance experts, explains.
Speaking to a group of consumers today, Slome reported that comparison-shopping today for insurance products such as term life and even health insurance can be accomplished easily online. "These are more mature industries and more competition between insurers and those who market their products give consumers greater access to online comparisons and information," according to his talk.
"Many of the newer insurance products such as long-term care insurance or critical illness insurance can only be purchased through an insurance and financial professional," Slome added.
According to research by the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, the national educational trade organization, the vast majority of individuals considering protection today only consult with one professional. Their 2011 study of prices from 12 leading insurers revealed that one could pay as much as 92 percent more for virtually identical coverage.
The wide spread makes comparison shopping increasingly important as some 500,000 individuals are expected to apply for coverage this year. Slome shares three recommended questions to ask prior to purchasing this coverage.
1. Are you an agent or broker?
"Ask 100 individuals the difference between an insurance agent and an insurance broker and few, if any, will be able to describe the difference," Slome explains. "However, the difference can be quite significant."
Insurance agents generally represent just one company. They only have access to that company's line of products and will only offer you the coverage they have available. It may cost less that competitors or it may cost significantly more. Since that is all they have to offer, if it costs more, they are not going to share that important piece of information with you.
2. When was the policy you are recommending first filed in my state?
"This sounds like a highly technical question to ask," the expert adds. "But. First, if the insurance agent or broker doesn't know the answer, it demonstrates they probably do not specialize in the field."
3. What discounts will I qualify for?
"With long-term care insurance, once a discount is approved by the state, it must be available if you meet the spelled out criteria," Slome notes.
Finally, read as much as you can prior to meeting with the professional. Slome recommended a visit to the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance website to read their free guide explaining available ways to reduce the cost at http://www.aaltci.org/free-guide/ and no sign-in information is required to read it.