Thursday, December 20, 2007

Insurance agents who look after your interest

Dear Mr Tan,

After reading your blog for the past few months and comments posted by insurance agents, and based on my personal encounters with agents over the past years, I have come to the following conclusions (please correct me if I am wrong):

1. Insurance agents made a good fortune by earning high commissions on insurance policies
2. Many drive expensive cars and travel in style for overseas trips and holidays.
3. They oversell on critical illness and other insurance policies and push customers to buy big policies.
4. They push customers to buy the most expensive medical insurance (is it to earn a higher commission?)
5. The insurance policies give a poor return and locks up the customer for many years.
6. The scare us with horror stories of how people are devasted by prolonged sickness or death.

Are they behaving ethically?

REPLY:

You have described one category of insurance agents. They look after themselves at the expense of their customers.

There is another category of insurance agents who serve their customers well and look after the interest of their customers. They sell insurance products that give good value to the customers (compared to similar products sold in the market). They work very hard to earn a modest income.

You should select an ethical agents who can look after your interest.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Mr Tan,
How do you identify the ethical agents?

Even the agents of NTUC now want to sell only Revosave and Living policy.

They are not interested to sell Term insurance or the Flexi-Link that you have recommended.

A NTUC agent recommend me to buy insurance for $100,000 for Living policy, but I cannot afford to pay the premium. It is too high.

Anonymous said...

In practice where got ethical agents? If they are ethical, they will earn much less and can work less hard in another job. Why be an agent?

Anonymous said...

That was an agent who tried to sell me a single premium endowment GRowth policy when I wanted to invest in the Combined Funds.She was so eager to promote growth.I was so puzzled why she was so insistent and telling me all the bad things about the funds; being risky, not a good time, i will lose money and others. For the growth she told me about being gauranted and have insurance and can get over 4% after 10 years.While listening to her I already made my mind not to deal with her. I told her to give me time to consider. I decided to visit the business centre to buy the funds. I asked the agent why nTuc agents are keen to sell the growth policy He laughed and told secretly because they get more commission and more than they get from selling the combined funds because thers was a promotion. I was disgusted when I heard that. I realised what they say about ntuc agents is true, of course not all. Is this ethical?. I was convinced by Mr. Tan that the NTUC funds are good after reading his blog but here you have female agent trying to saabo you.

Anonymous said...

That category of ethical agents are agents who are not caught up by promotion and contest. They are consistent in their production and continue to service the clients to their best.They are not greedy and don't resort to unethical means when around them, their colleagues are cooking up strategies how to sell and win this and that to get to the top without regards for clients' interest. The top agents, about 10% , are the worst and unethical. They would do anything , anything, so long they get what they want, the commission. I find this sad. This is not ethical salesmanship but legal cheating. So what, you get TOT< COT OR MDRT when you know you achieved them at the expense of the poor customers'hard earned saving.This is most despicable.

Anonymous said...

NTUC agents used to be ethical and were careful not to promote bad products to their clients. But not now. What has happened? They seem to have lost the old values and have thrown ethics out of the windows. They are getting more money crazy. They would do anything at the urging of their boss.They are caught up with the frenzy of commission and incentive trips carrots.They have forgotten the clients who trusted them all these
years . Now they are stuffing down their throats with with garbage and suffocating them financially.The clients may not know now. The side effect will only be felt later.It is going to be damaging when hell breaks out.

Khiat Han Hwee Adrian said...

* A good agent will keep upgrading to ensure professionalism and standard of advice.

* A good agent will try to educate you and summarise what they learnt into simple concepts so that you can understand.

* A good agent will do a proper analysis on your overall portfolio including retirement, risk management, investment, tax, estate, etc.

* A good agent will listen actively to understand your needs.

* A good agent, with due diligence, will give you options and help you decide in the implementation process.

* A good agent will do a review for you regularly to ensure you are on track to your financial goals.

* A good agent will not forsake you when you are in dire need especially on claims.

* There are good agents around. They have the adequate knowledge and passion to be good agents. They need respect and need to be paid.

Anonymous said...

If only agents have some or all of that, Adrain has listed. But none has all except the last one.
So how to respect them? How to pay them exorbitant commission?

Anonymous said...

Why isn't the relevant authority taking these agents to task. They should be sacked from the industry.
What is MAS doing? What is CASE doing? Are they paying lip service only? All the rules that regulate the activities of insurance are a sham,dead letters?. Before more people get hurt something must be done.
We always read and hear of our citizens not having enough money in the CPF or cash for retirement it is not due to the misdeeds of insurance agents? Isn't the insurance agents' malpractices one of the causes of the this problem?
If they refuse to see it I don't think they ever solve the citizens retirement.The CPF record shows what happened to the members' money
in the hands of insurance agents.If
this is not evidence of incompetence and malpractices of agents I wonder what are the real causes.

Loh Hon Chun said...

I know of someone from the P company. He was so so defensive that he went to the extent of approaching his fellow friends who now work as a IFA and demands them to stop "disturbing" his clients.

My opinion is it's always better for clients to listen to more opinions. Agents should never even need to be worried of anything if they have done a good job. Fear unless job is not well-done.

What do you think?

Cheers
hongjun

Anonymous said...

Why many insurance agents fear this because review by another adviser can uncover the dirty and unethical things of the agents. It is good. Customers are encouraged to seek second opinions.If there are mis-selling and unethical practice the mistakes can be nipped in the bud.
It would be a good idea if there is an independent body or company that can provide objective review for people for a fee.If customers are not sure if they have been sold appropriate products can seek these independent qualified reviewers for help to check if there has been mis-selling, unethical, mis representation and so forth. If there are malpractices advise how to seek redress from the insurance companies or to take legal action s against the agents and companies.
This is a safety measure for customers and same time to weed out the rogue and incompetent insurance agents.

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