Friday night. 8pm.
You had made your appointment with your insurance agent.
Wiping the cobwebs off the old insurance policy that was purchased in your teenage years, you slipped the document into your briefcase.
That should do it.
Or is it really so?
Are you mentally ready for the review?
More importantly, are you ready to ask some all-so-embarrassing questions that are too important to skip?
If not, here are a few questions that can get you going.
Who are you?
We understand it is an abrupt question that may be construed as rude.
But unless your agent is your friend, it is likely that you do not understand him or her well.
That is why you need to know who exactly you are dealing with.
This is a rather broad question whereby you can glean some vital information from.
Which insurance company is he representing?
Or is he working for an independent financial advisory?
How long has he been working in the industry?
Even his personal life can paint you a better picture of him.
Is he a father like you?
Can he understand the difficulties of supporting his family on a single income?
Should he share some familiar traits, chances are that he will be able to emphasise with your situation and plan your insurance portfolio better.
If he does not have his representative number on his name card, ask for it.
It is the most basic yet often missed out step.
That way, you know you are dealing with a bonafide insurance consultant.
Can you start from the basics?
It is not ideal to go into your financial review totally clueless.
After all, we do have a neat and quick guide to life insurance here.
Nevertheless, it is perfectly alright to concede that you do not know anything about life insurance.
And have your insurance advisor go through it with you.
It is his job to make sure that you know what you are buying anyway.
You should never skip this question.
Because by not asking this, you will end up looking like an idiot throughout the financial review.
You will have no idea what your financial advisor is talking about.
Frankly, it is a waste of time if both of you are not on the same page.
Buying ill-fitting policies.
Not knowing what you are entitled to claim.
These mishaps often happen when you do not ask this question.
Don’t be paiseh to ask just because you want to appear like you have done your homework.
Just learn on the spot.
And learning is never bad.
Can I still get coverage if I have had this inconvenient illness?
We are not talking about major diseases such as cancer or stroke.
Those will make you pretty much uninsurable.
What we refer to are the diseases that you may not be comfortable in revealing.
Venereal diseases that are sexually transmitted.
Or just plain old incontinence.
The answer is a definite maybe.
Your advisor cannot decide whether your proposal will be accepted.
But you have to declare them due to this tricky clause – utmost good faith.
Otherwise, your policy may be voided at a later stage even if you have been paying your premium diligently.
It is distressing to reveal these ailments.
Sometimes, you feel shameful for having them.
But do not worry about it.
Your agent does not give a hoot about what you have done in your private life.
His role is to get you covered (and earn some commission on the way)
And your information is strictly protected by PDPA.
Can I leave my insurance proceedings to my illegitimate child?
Due to your infidelity, you may have a mistress.
And a kid.
Or three of them.
Once again, insurance does not judge.
What you do in your own personal life is your own business.
Insurance helps you to protect those you care about.
And it does not discriminate whether the ones you love are your legal relations.
You can purchase a life insurance on yourself and name anyone as your beneficiary.
That is why you should ask this question.
Usually, they can help you get your intended recipients by way of nomination.
You may also have your will done to distribute it accordingly to your wishes but you need to consult a lawyer for that.
Do you have an alternative plan?
The advisor has formulated quite a comprehensive plan for you.
Within your budget. Tick.
Meet your protection needs. Check.
But something is bothering you.
It may be the insurer that you do not really like.
Or one of the policies seems to be redundant.
Just voice it out.
Ask for another plan. Change the insurance company.
With such a competitive market out there, there is always another product out there that fits you perfectly.
Don’t even worry if the advisor is a tied agent.
An advisor who has your best interest at heart is open to you buying products from another insurer.
In fact, he may just have contacts to help you on the way.
Never stop asking.
These are but some uneasy questions that we can think of.
You may have more weird queries of your own.
But the moral of the lesson is to never stop asking.
Think of your insurance advisor as your tutor.
You should ask anything that you are unsure of.
And it will be beneficial to the both of you.
Don’t let your self-consciousness stop you from asking the right questions.
Fire away and make your financial review a fruitful one.
Need an insurance advisor to ask more questions?
Drop us your contact and we will have your back!
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.