An Opportunity to make a quick buck…An Opportunity never to be missed... Money is to be made .....Carpe Diem 'Seize the Day' this is the motto of the insurance agents. Few careers match the job of an insurance agent. There is no upper limit in the pay checks. More the number of policies we sell greater is the amount we earn. An insurance agent who works for a good insurance company can earn a fixed salary and a hefty commission and incentive based pay which can translate into Lakhs of rupees. I would like to remind all of you that the team of Financial Planners at IndianMoney.com are always there for you to plan your Insurance needs in a most efficient manner and are always willing to lend you a helping hand. You can explore this unique Free Advisory Service just by giving a missed call on 022 6181 6111.
So what are insurance agents?
Here an insurance agent is one who sells different kinds of insurance policies such as Life insurance, Auto insurance, Marine insurance, Health insurance and so on. He gets a hefty commission based on the number of policies he can sell. Here Life insurance is a very lucrative business and agents focus on this as they get hefty premiums. They can be captive agents who sell insurance only from one insurance company or non captive where they represent a number of different insurance companies. For your insurance needs please look up the website IndianMoney.com.
What Are The Skills Required To Become Good Agents?
Listening Skills :
Be a good listener. Always keep the interests of the client first. An agent who sells the insurance policies just for the sake of commissions can last but only for a short time. The needs of the client matter first and the agent who puts the client needs first is bound to succeed.
After Service Skills :
Let us consider that we are on a holiday and our car has broken down in a deserted place. We place a call for a maintenance request and within a few minutes we see the mechanic and a tow van. Wouldn’t this be a joyous feeling for us? This car company may have a motto such as we service you anywhere. Wouldn’t we endorse it? Here a timely response to the customer when he asks for service after purchasing the policy and a ready response enhances the product as well as the agent.
Get up and Go :
Here what would be our response when we see a tired and bored agent trying to sell us a policy. Would it not be a put away? Here an agent must be presentable, bold and try not to keep a client waiting. He should be a patient, enthuasitic, and of a pleasing personality.
Never Back Down :
Here an agent requires to have a thick skin when dealing with customers. He should not be dejected when he hears phrases such as I am Not Interested. Many people perceive agents as thieves, conmen out to steal their hard earned money. Here an agent needs to be steely even in the face of rejection. Here we remember the phrase "All Good Things Come To Him Who Waits"
Honesty Is The Best Policy :
It is always good to follow an honest policy whenever we do anything in life. Remember 'Cheats Never Prosper'.Remember the story of the purple jackal who tried to trick all the animals in the jungle and become king?
Knowledge of the product
Here an agent who knows in and out of the insurance products is able to sell more of what he wants to sell. His knowledge portrays a high confidence level and he is able to attend to the customers need in a better way. Here we know that in good insurance companies a complete whole training program is conducted in an organized manner in order to provide complete holistic training to the agents. When this is achieved they become highly knowledgeable and the results are there for all to see.
Eligibility To Become Insurance Agents:
- In order to become an insurance agent the candidate should be at least 18 years of age.
- He should be a 12th Standard pass out or any equivalent examination conducted by a recognized Board or Institution where there is a population of 5000 or more,as per 1991 census otherwise 10th pass is enough.
- Here the IRDA requires that potential insurance agents attend a minimum of 100 hours practical training in life and general business insurance
- Here you must take the pre-recruitment examination in either life or general insurance at Mumbai or any other IRDA approved institutions.
- Applicants who want to become complete or composite insurance agents need over 150 hours of practical training spread over 6-8 weeks.
- Submit the application fee to the designated person at the insurance company where you are seeking your license. The designated person will then issue your license which is valid for 3 years unless it is terminated or you surrender it.
- Training to handle online complaints and queries.
Which People Generally Work In Insurance?
- Insurance agents may work full time for a particular insurance company where they have targets which might vary for different kinds of products.
- Financial advisors may also work as insurance agents.
- Retired bank managers, teachers and sometimes college students double up as part time insurance agents in order to make a quick buck.
- Here a lot of insurance agents who were working full time as agents have switched to operating part time in the insurance sector by taking another alternate professions.
Why Do Women Work In Insurance?
- Here the number of women in the life insurance sector is rising rapidly .Since the last 3 years the number has gone up by around 25-30%.
- Women take up this profession because of the flexibility and nature of work. Here women are more stable in a sense they do not switch loyalties as quickly as some of the male insurance agents do.
- They learn quickly and generally cater to the women customers thereby opening an untapped sector.
- Here a number of housewives work in this sector given its flexible nature which helps them enhance their career goals and brings them recognition particularly common in tier 2 and tier 3 cities.
- Here women generally run the family and are more receptive towards family problems, connect better with women ,have a better sales pitch which gives them a better connectivity to sell insurance.
- On a one to one basis women sometimes are better insurance agents because of these factors.
So Why Did Insurance Agents Acquire Such Bad A Reputation :
Public Perception Of Insurance Agents :
Here the general perception among the public is that all insurance agents are liars and conmen. A few Rotten Apples have spoiled the whole basket. There are a number of good insurance agents but a few bad ones have spoiled the reputation of the whole sector. Here many times insurance agents may be mis selling but the customers are also responsible as those who are fooled are mainly customers who lack financial knowledge of insurance products, customers who are in a hurry and listen to only half the conversation , do not check and read the policy terms and conditions ,greedy for small freebies and believers in empty promises such as a free car without using basic common sense .Never allow the agent to fill the application form or you never sign a blank proposal form. Here the customer keeps waiting for the freebies and the 15 day grace period passes away. The customer cannot exit and is trapped because of high exit charges and is in a loss.
Needs Must When The Devil Drives :
We have all read the IRDA rules and regulation which brought sweeping changes in the year 2010 in the ULIP industry .Insurance agents are like salesmen and when these sweeping changes affect their business they are left in a position where they either have to leave the industry or resort to unsavory selling practices. Having to adapt to such a challenging environment they may resort to cold calling which is actually a highly successful and a great process which involves approaching a prospective customer with an open minded approach with a decent preposition mainly without an appointment. The untrained insurance agent conducts this more like a canvassing, forced telesales or a door to door knocking which results in an intense irritation to the customer. Remember that call we get in the afternoon when we are at work. What is our response ?
A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand :
Here agents have targets to sell insurance products which bring lucrative premiums to the Insurance Companies .They may be forced to sell insurance products such as Whole life insurance and ULIP instead of term insurance. These products might not match the customers needs , but are to be sold to them anyway in order to meet targets. Insurance agents may missell and trick customers to purchase these policies. On achieving them they would be regarded as highly successful and be rewarded by the insurance company. Customers may complain about mis selling and insurance agents might be reprimanded in public but are patted on the back in private .....
As Thick As Thieves :
Sometimes the company represented by the agents might have a bad reputation and agents might be forced to sell insurance products of such companies. These companies might instruct the agents to missell or sell the insurance policies using any trick in the book. Here the agent might not have any support from the parent company as the company might have a slow response time, may not bother or respond to any customer complaints and my engage in some unethical practices. Here of course the agents have to take the blame…Of course if you won’t do it someone else will.....
Here I would like to end this article by saying that before passing a judgment we need to learn and assimilate all facts and figures necessary to make an informed decision. I would like to inform you that if you have been cheated in insurance you can post your complaints on IndianMoney.com.