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5. Resist emotional appeals

The insurance agent has the advantage

A knowledgeable, helpful agent can be a true ally. However, Rae Jones, the author of "How to Buy Insurance," says some agents are not above making a direct appeal to your emotions to gain an advantage. They may try to make you feel guilty by asking how your children will survive if you suddenly die and leave them without life insurance.

"I have seen it all," says Jones. "I have seen 'I am selling you life insurance and you need to buy it because you do not want to die and leave your family with nothing. Do you want to see your wife and kids out on the street? Your house will go into foreclosure.'"

Agents who say such things do not have your best interests at heart, she says. "They are not looking out for you and your family. They want the commission. ... As soon as people get wrapped up in their emotions, the salesperson has the advantage."

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