Guest Post by: Juliet Esther from www.Rootfin.com
This piece of content is exclusively for Singaporeans who are interested to know something about local insurance agents and how to take advantage of insurance coverage. People from other parts of the world might not prefer this, but we believe every Singaporean will benefit from the information given below.
The insurance market is often misunderstood by people. We all know that insurance is important to meet financial demands during unexpected events like a major injury, surgery, or death but ignore it because we’ve heard horrible stories from our neighbors and friends.
The truth is, most of the insurance buyers go bankrupt because they purchase insurance plans with exceedingly high premiums, well beyond their capacity – primarily, due to lack of knowledge or because some insurance agent had tricked them into taking it. Comparing the best life insurance companies might give you an idea of what to expect from them.
Here are some things you should know before purchasing insurance in Singapore:
Three types of insurance agents:
- Agents working in insurance companies – They’re called Insurance agents or Financial planners
- Agents in the bank – Better known as Personal bankers
- Independent Financial Advisors
Eligibility criteria to become an insurance agent:
A professional insurance agent is one who has obtained a license after clearing these exams:
The qualifying tests:
M5 – Concepts revolve around The Regulatory Bodies and Associations and Financial Advisers Act, Financial Advisers Regulations, and Central Provident Fund (CPF)
M9 – Covers a range of topics related to Life Insurance and investment-related policies
M8 – In-depth information on Collective Investment Schemes (Note: this exam is optional for the regular agents but mandatory for those who wish to sell unit trusts in the country).
In addition to these exams, there are other qualifications like Basic Insurance Concepts and Principles (BCP), Personal General Insurance (PGI), and ComGI (Commercial General Insurance).
An agent who plans to sell general insurance in the country should have cleared the above three exams i.e. PGI, BCP, and ComGI.
Those who are looking to sell any insurance product to Singapore residents must have cleared the six exams mentioned above.
Please keep in mind that even if the agent has cleared the above exams, he or she is not allowed to offer advice on mutual funds, stocks, and other investments. Separate exams are conducted for non-insurance related investments.
Things you should do when consulting an insurance agent
- Ask the agent to show a copy of his/her license.
- Get the agent’s name and verify the same with the company that he/she is representing. Also, ask them how long he/she has been working with the firm.
- Depending on what insurance you wish to take, ask your agent to give a detailed presentation of the benefits and limitations of the policy.
Things you should be careful about
If you feel the agent is not giving the right answer to your question or if he/she is suspicious, do not hesitate to walk away. There are hundreds of genuine insurance agents out there in Singapore. All you need to do is talk to more people and find out who’s really genuine and go with them.
At the end of the day, it pays to spend your time and money on a finding a reliable insurance broker and availing insurance coverage that can make a positive difference in your life, doesn’t it?
The Final phase
Don’t be in a hurry. A smart salesperson would pressurize you to sign the papers in the first meet itself.
A common thing: He/she might buy you a drink or snack and make you feel obliged to purchase something that will cost you thousands of dollars for the next 10-20 years. Never let the pressure or obligation affect your purchasing decision.
Take away the information from the presentation, go home, and read through multiple forums and online reviews and find out what are the best ways to save money and leverage the benefits of your preferred insurance coverage. The more you research, the more information you get. And that’s what helps you invest in the best insurance policy.
Keep these suggestions in mind, follow the instructions, and you are on your way to get peace of mind with the best insurance coverage.
Juliet is the writer and social media strategist at Rootfin, a reputable insurance agent that focuses on helping people compare and choose the right insurance coverage plan for their needs.
www.ClearlySurely.com aims to eradicate the knowledge gap between consumers and Life Insurance. Our Vision is that one day, every Man, Woman, and Child will be properly insured.