What have you gotten yourself into?
It starts out oh so innocently – a text message to catch up over lunch or coffee.
You figure, no harm done, since I haven’t met him or her since our schooling days.
During the meet up, all goes well, and you catch up and reminisce over old times. Then you get handed the name card and a jolt of electricity shocks you wide awake as you hear the words “I represent this Insurance company now”.
Your heart races and your eyes frantically search for the exit. You pray someone calls/texts you in the next 10 seconds so that you can make a clean getaway. How about a diversion? Should you start a fire?
First things first: An objective assessment
Ok folks, take a deep breath and calm down. Nothing bad is happening to you, and this scenario replays itself in cafes and restaurants all over Singapore all the time. The only question is, how do you want to handle it?
Lets start by establishing some 5 facts here:
- Your friend or relative is an insurance agent
- Your friend or relative probably wants to sell you some insurance (despite what they usually say about no obligation)
- You may feel obliged to buy from them because you know them
- They know you may have a greater tendency to buy from them because of this relationship
- You may or may not need insurance
Of all these, only the last point should be the utmost important deciding factor for you to consider.
No thank you, I have all the insurance I need
If you already have all the insurance cover you need (which is quite rare, relatively speaking), then feel free to decline the kind offer made by your friend. After all, he or she should not be making your commit unnecessarily for a service that you already have enough of.
And no, its not your job to “support” their business.
Actually, I could use some extra cover
However if you truly need insurance but just have not gotten down to purchasing it, now you may feel tempted to buy some from your friend (or not). Here are some pros and cons of purchasing insurance from your friends.
- You already know them, and you at least have a notion about their character and trustworthiness. It is then easier to trust in their services.
- If anything goes wrong, you are able to exert direct pressure and see to it that it gets rectified.
- They may not actually be the best professional for the job – and you will then be buying from someone that may not be able to take care of your best interests.
- You may not feel comfortable revealing your exact financial situation to him or her, making it harder for them to do their job and provide good recommendations.
- Your relationship could be affected if you feel the advice given is not best suited for you, and that it was a financial error.
- Due to your existing relationship with him or her, you may not feel comfortable in taking him or her to task when you eventually find out their recommendations were not up to standard.
The final verdict
You should only buy insurance from a friend because you fully trust him or her, and that you are confident in his abilities and financial recommendations, and you are confident that you can remain professional when things go wrong.
Personally, I would not buy insurance from a friend (speaking from experience here) because there are two things at stake here: Your relationship and also your financial well being. I prefer to keep the two separate because I view it from these two things separately, one being a personal matter and the other being a professional matter. And you know what they say about mixing business with pleasure – it never turns out well.
Would you buy insurance from a friend? Do let us know in the comments below!
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.