Thursday, May 02, 2013

Bashing bad products and unethical agents


A former colleague in NTUC Income was unhappy to read several postings which he consider to be "bashing insurance agents". This is an unfair comment. 

1.  I "bash" bad insurance products that are unfair to consumers, such as taking away a large part of their savings for most duration. This is like "highway robbery".

2. I "bash" insurance agents who know the products to be bad, but hide these bad features from their clients. These agents only want to make the sale and earn the commission, but do not care about the interest of the client.

3. I know that some insurance agents, especially those who recently joined the industry, are not aware about the bad features as the training is defective. I do not wish to "bash" these agents, but ask them to learn more about the products and make a balanced recommendation to their clients.

4. I encourage consumers to buy a good insurance product, even if the premium rate is slightly higher than the lowest offer in the market. The insurance agent need to earn a living and the insurer need to cover their expenses and make a profit. Be willing to pay a fair price, even if it is slightly higher.

5. Life insurance, if properly designed, is good for consumers to save for the future and to provide protection for their family. I urge the insurers to offer the products that are fair to consumers.


6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Mr.Tan

Your comments on those bad insurance product is crucial and important to help a consumer who has little knowledge of different products in the market, most of the sales agents are trying to brainwash and push the clients to buy those high premium products.
thus, your inputs is important,
thanks.

Kimi

yujuan said...

A Chinese saying, "If I dun go to hell, who would?"
This is what TKL is doing. Ordinary people would say "Bravo", Insurance Companies and Agents would cry foul.

Anonymous said...

When insurance policies are bad, shouldn't we go after the real perpetrators instead of the victims? Nowadays we go after debtors instead of the loansharks kingpins, we arrest the man who lost 100K instead of the football betting syndicates who continue to advertise their scams in various forums. There are agents who do not know what they are selling. The real rogues are those who design such packages and recruit the agents to do their dirty work.

zhummmeng said...

I agree with MR. Tan's bashing the agents and the products.
The training department trains their agents to lie, ie hide bad features and sell on the few features. They even teach the agents this,.."if the customers don't ask don't tell"...what disclosure is this?. The FAA is disclosure based. MAS should check this company's training.
"Sell or peddle only high commission products" is another directive by the senior management, to generate high APIs for the company. Forget about financial planning...don't waste time...close as fast as you can to close more cases. Write your KYC or fact find form AFTER the sale since you know the 'recommended product' already. There is no need to identify the product.
How would they ever help the customers when they put their commission, the high APIs, volume sale, incentives first?
Is MAS pretending? It is time MAS come down hard on them to protect the consumers from these rogue agents and the companies.

Kin Lian Tan said...

I do not wish to "bash" any person in a personal way. I only want to speak about what is right, and what is wrong. I do not want to pinpoint any person as being wrong, i.e. to judge any person.

Anonymous said...

Insurance agents should be treated like salesmen, not financial advisers, they are responsible to sell their companies’products to customers. Their main objective is to make the sale and earn the commission.

To make the sale, most salesmen will chose not to disclose any bad features of the products and will only highlight the benefits (sometimes exaggerated) to their clients.

Even big companies such as banks also try to show that the rates they offer to their clients are attractive and will not reveal the effective rates of the loans to their clients unless MAS required them to do so.

So, the crux of the matter is the bad insurance products, not the insurance agents.

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