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Choosing an insurance advisor to meet your needs

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Choosing an insurance advisor to meet your needs: professional qualifications and bedside manner key to finding the right fit.
OMA Insurance
6/2/2010
Finding an insurance advisor who is not only professionally qualified and experienced, but who also possesses a comfortable “bedside manner,” will benefit  both the advisor and client in finding the best possible insurance products to suit the client’s needs.

Many of the features that define an ideal physician-patient relationship — trust, confidence, knowledge, understanding, mutual respect, and shared values — are also desirable qualities in a relationship between an insurance advisor and client. So how does one go about securing the "best possible" advisor with whom to form an insurance relationship?

Professional qualifications

With the physician-patient relationship, it is vitally important that a patient disclose all pertinent information to the physician in order to receive an accurate diagnosis and prognosis. This can only occur when there is an environment of objectivity and trust.

Similarly, an insurance advisor cannot conduct a proper needs analysis, and make appropriate insurance recommendations, unless he or she is made aware of all relevant financial and personal information.

To nurture this atmosphere of trust, insurance advisors should inform clients that they too follow a rigid code of ethics that protects confidentiality and governs the use of all client information. In addition, advisors should disclose the manner in which they are compensated so that clients can gauge the objectivity of recommendations. Some advisors are paid a commission by the insurance companies they represent, some charge a fee for service, and others receive a combination of commission plus fees.

OMA Insurance Services advisors, for example, are non-commissioned and are available to provide advice as a benefit of OMA membership.

Bedside manner

While professional qualifications and experience — in health care as in insurance matters — are critically important in ensuring an excellent professional relationship and desirable outcomes, it is clear that outcomes can also be greatly affected by the comfort level and quality of the relationship between the parties involved.

Finding an insurance advisor who is not only professionally qualified and experienced, but who also possesses a comfortable "bedside manner," will benefit both the advisor and client in finding the best possible insurance products to suit the client's needs. 

The right insurance advisor can inspire a client to feel comfortable enough to be candid about his or her particular situation, disclose private financial details and long-term goals, ask for further explanations about recommended strategies and products, express any concerns, and ask for insurance advice whenever personal or professional circumstances change — for better or worse.

Challenges can arise when the most effective treatment a physician recommends for a patient is not the same as what the patient desires. In this case, the physician's bedside manner may impact the patient's willingness to listen to, and comply with, treatment recommendations and instructions. The same holds true with insurance advice — ergo the importance of a good rapport, mutual trust and respect, and shared values and perspectives to go along with solid experience and qualifications.

Research and ask questions

As with all professional relationships, it pays to do some "homework" before embarking on a plan of action.

Just as a patient would be well advised to research and ask questions prior to undergoing medical treatment or surgery, an insurance client should find out what types of policies and options are available so that he or she will be more prepared to ask relevant questions, and to have any concerns appropriately addressed prior to deciding how to proceed.

A little research can also go a long way in helping to determine whether an insurance advisor's professional qualifications are suitable to address a client's particular needs and long-term goals.

For assistance in finding the right insurance advisor, and the insurance products to suit your needs, contact OMA Insurance Services professionals at 1.800.268.7215, ext. 2971, or e-mail info@omainsurance.com, or visit the OMA Insurance Services website.

Your trusted OMA Insurance advisors are qualified to diagnose your insurance needs and present a suitable insurance solution.