Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Insurance agents of NTUC Income

There has been several attacks against insurance agents of NTUC Income. These attacks are unfair.

I know many of these agents personally. They are people who work hard to make a living. They are willing to earn lower commission rates (compared to the market) to bring good value products to the policyholders. They believe in the cooperative principles.

Some of these agents tell me that they continue to sell the good value products that were introduced in past years. They include life annuity, flexi-link, ideal (ID7), family insurance and term insurance products. These products offer good value, compared to similar, high cost products that are being sold in the market.

As the agents earn low commission on the sale of these products, the customer should make it easy for them to close the sale with minimal effort.

Some people criticised these agents to be "product pushers". It is all right to recommend specific products that give good value and are suitable for the ordinary families. These products do not need a complicated and time consuming "needs analysis".

I hope that the general public will continue to support these agents, so that it is possible for them to offer good value products for the benefit of policyholders.


Anonymous said...

Mr. Tan, selling those products cannot get them to mdrt or tot. They do help people with their needs but the product pushers don't see what you and I see. They see money.They see Ho Chi Ming.
People's needs are not their business.Die is their business.They want they buy. If they don't want try until they buy whatever it takes.
They get to go to Ho Chi Ming by selling revosave and vivolife or buy one get one free. Which ever way they get 2 commissions.The clients pay twice. These are high commission products.
How to qualify for Ho Chi Ming by selling family insurance?
That is why their integrity, ethics and scruples are questioned. It is very obvious what they did. NO WAY WILL REVOSAVE AND VIVOLIFE be recommended if you conduct a need analysis.They can only be sold by PRODUCT PUSHING, fast and lucrative.

Anonymous said...

I sympathise with Income agents who are caught in this situation. I am sure the management will resolve this issue soon and things will be back to normal.

In my opinion, "needs analysis" matters.

Let us prioritise the process: You buy because you needed the product, not because someone is selling some "cheap" product.

If you want to be a ethical and professional advisor, needs analysis is the foundation, regardless of the sale of any products.

After you have identified your needs, you look at the products in the market, to compare and contrast, to find the cheapest and most value for money product, before purchasing it.

Product pushers should not be the way to work in the 21st century - they will taint the profession by pushing products to consumers without doing a needs analysis. There will also be a compliance issue with MAS.

Therefore, it should not be that because the agent is earning a low commission and therefore I should pity him and buy from him.

On the contrary, I think we should sit down together, determine what I need through needs analysis, let me compare what was offered by calling a few other insurers to get a few quotes. I will probably need to consult my spouse to ensure that it is feasible before proceeding. Only then, can this be in the best interest of the consumer - after all, this is a long term commitment and I have to be careful.

The public should support the agents only if they do the right things, right?

Anonymous said...

Dear Zhummmeng:o)

Why don't you join the life insurance industry and find out for yourself? instead of just whacking the agents without truly understanding them

Seek first, to understand, then to be understood.

Selling life insurance is a noble business. The agents take care of unforseen events and ensure that the families are taken care of, at least financially, in the event of untimely death or disability of the main bread winner.

The real feeling of being an insurance agent comes they visit their policyholders in hospital, when they attend the wake of the deceased ... NOT when they receive their commission

This feeling can only be experienced by the insurance agent who faces these real situations ...


Anonymous said...

Dear sb
You are too worked up again. Cool off, child.
I know you have a hard time out there making a living as an agent.
You should not self-pitied yourself so much.
It is very commendable that you made visit to the hospitals and attended funeral wakes... I believe such gestures would cause others and myself to see a human side in those who are making a living by selling products.
As the saying goes,"The customer is always right...." Of course, not always, you still have to smile and give of your best service to him.

Anonymous said...

Sb, all those things you mentioned are part of a job. In almost every job, there are things that are not as glam and hard.

But what I want to know is that if you sell Renosave and Vivolife?

Don't talk about the rest of the things first. Do you sell Renosave and Vivolife? And how much of these have you sold?

If you say that you have never sold those, then I believe you are noble.

Anonymous said...

Hi SB,
What you penned down looks like what you had learned from those obsolete insurance textbooks, some motivational gurus who teach nothing but how to con and outwit your customers.You almost parrot verbatim from them.
Yes , insurance is a noble business but you guys have turned it into some kind of get rich quick scheme, for yourself. Day in and day out the agents are cooking up some strategies and lines to beguile the prospects.
I am not very sure that the check you brought to the bereaved spouse or family was enough to cover the funeral expenses. I don't think I will be happy to see some children milling round the bereaved spouse if the check in my hand is not going to take care this family.
The point here is a check is not enough. it is how much. Is it enough to see them through life?
I have seen many annual claim reports. The median claim amount is $30K. The highest I have seen is a very rare $250K which may not be enough if the dependents are many.
I will prove you wrong if you say the happiest moment is bringing a check and not commission. Just watch the antic of agents at roadshows. The happiest moment is when they closed a case. Is it becuase, wow, i am helping another person feeling ,to meet his or her needs? Bullshit. The feeling is ,It is another sucker i have just conned.
Let me tell you, those who sold the most whole life or endowment products never help their customers or have the interest of their customers at hearts becuase they are too expensive for the customers to address their needs fully and adequately. Product pushers love these kinds of product because they carry high commissions so that they can qualify for mdrt or cot and what not trips like Ho Chi Ming.
If you truly care for your customers, always conduct or use a need based approach to probe your clients' needs. Put them first before yours.Be qualified and competent to show your sincerity and honesty,. I have heard many agents claiming to be sincere when they are not even competent. How do you help your clients when you do not know how? Isn't this cheating?
Every year at January, agents will take an oath or recite the code of ethics, the moment they open their mouth to spew out they break the code.It should be called the oath of hippocrates.


Anonymous said...

I don't have respect for those agents who qualify for mdrt or tot. I know these agents how they did it.. The new management may call them super salesmen and women or some superlative names to delight the agents' ego. Yes they brought in the sales but at whose expense.. In my heart they are super cheats.I wonder how many lives they have ruined.
To be fair there are some who are sincerely wrong at the best.

Anonymous said...

You ask us to support ntuc agents but they don't deserve. look at one sb , he is almost pleading that he be allowed to wholelife with high commission so he can make a living by selling revosave and vivolife these 2 rotten products of the new management.I just wonder how many victims sb has by now. Just refreshed from Ho CHi MIng it is revo and vivo
and make them bodo.

Anonymous said...

I just experienced this incident when I was at one of the NTUC Fairprice outlets. Listen... A very sophisticated lady was paying her stuff at the cashier before me.
The lady took the receipt, looked at it and spoke angrily to the cashier..."You did not deduct my 10 cent back to me, see I brought a plastic bag." Then she stormed away. Actually, the cashier used a number of plastic bags to put her stuff so no deduction was given. Apparently, she realised she had offended the customer; pressed a bell to get her colleague to hand a ten cent coin back to that well-dressed lady.
To me, I don't think that cashier deserved such hostile treatment... she simply carried out instruction from the top management.
I hope you could understand what I am trying to imply.

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