Hi Mr. Tan
If more insurance companies offer their products through the internet, is there a need for insurance agents?
Insurance agents will continue to play a useful role. They have to advice the customer on making the final decision, after the customer has obtained most of the information from the internet. As the insurance agent takes less time to make the sale, the commission rate can be reduced.
This is similar to the situation with buying shares from a stockbroker. The brokerage is now 0.3% (as compared to 1% previously). The stockbroker continue to do well through a larger volume of business.
I use a stockbroker to obtain relevant information and handle the transactions. This is more convenient than searching for the information by myself. I do not mind paying a slightly higher brokerage (compared to transacting through the internet), as the service is valuable.
There is a role for insurance agents in the new environment. The new system will be more efficient and will reduce cost for the benefit of everybody. The agent can earn a fair rate of remuneration, but should not be placed in a conflict of interest.
The challenge is making the change to move forward.
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