19 January 2006
I refer to the article entitled "Income agents quitting over insurer's direct sales strategy" (St Times, 17 Jan).
Your article mentioned that 50 agents have left so far, angered by introduction of salaried team. This is not correct.
Each year, about 100 full time advisers leave us for a variety of reasons. Most of them leave for a change of career. This is also the experience in other life insurance companies. The decline of 50 full time advisers in 2005 was due primarily to a drop in the recruitment of new advisers.
We now have 700 full time advisers. They are doing quite well, and earned more than in previous years. They have benefitted from the sales promotions that accompany our new strategy.
We expect about 170 advisers to qualify for the prestigious Million Dollar Round Table based on their sales in 2005. This is an increase compared to 130 for the previous year.
To quality for the MDRT, the adviser has to earn at least $51,000 in commission on new insurance sales in each year. The actual earnings, including renewal commission, is much higher.
Our strategy is to serve our policyholders in the best possible way. We offer suitable insurance products that provide good value and best meet the needs of our policyholder. We will keep our expenses low, so that our policyholders will be able to enjoy the best possible return on their savings.
Our direct channel offers the chance for customers to enjoy the savings through a modest discount. To qualify for this discount, they have to visit our business center, and save on the time taken by our insurance advisers from visiting them in their home.
Our business center is now manned by salaried consultants. In the future, our insurance advisers may be able to offer the same modest discount to the customers, provided that the customers visit them in the office.
We also encourage customers to visit our educational website to learn about insurance on their own. The website www.KnowYourInsurance.com.sg now attracts 1,500 visitors each day.
We will continue to offer to customers the choice of being served by insurance advisers who visit their homes or workplaces. The customers will find our insurance products to be attractive, as the commissions paid to our insurance advisers are at a modest level, compared to the market. This channel continues to be an important pillar of our sales strategy.
Contrary to the impression given in your article, our insurance advisers will continue to have a bright future, as they will benefit from the business growth that is generated by our strategy to look after the best interest of policyholders.
Tan Kin Lian
Chief Executive Officer
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