Six Signs of a Dishonest Insurance Agent


“I detest life-insurance agents: they always argue that I shall someday die, which is not so.” –Stephen Leacock

Insurance in the Philippines has been something most individuals have been avoiding like the plague. Whether they do wish to accrue an extraneous expense or simply do not see the necessity for it is up to their reasoning, but what happens when you do decide to purchase insurance? How can you guarantee that your insurance agent is someone you can trust?

Well, it might not be easily evident, and there are no concrete signs that would warn you. However, there are definitive red flags you can watch out for that would likely tell you that you are dealing with a dishonest agent who might be doing some under the table dealings—or worse, downright illegal.

Have a keen eye out for these signs and avoid getting yourself into insurance scams:

1.) An agent that is incredibly aggressive

While agents are expected to be enthusiastic about their work, they are not supposed to be overly aggressive in pushing you to buy a policy right away. Whether they bully you to it, sweet-talk you with “only today” deals or the like, your insurance agent should never pressure you into buying a policy immediately. Instead, a proper agent would be more patient in explaining the various options available and would give you as much time as you need to evaluate each and every one of them.

Instead, a proper agent would be more patient in explaining the various options available and would give you as much time as you need to evaluate each and every one of them.

2.) An agent thirty quotes a seemingly low premium

Be wary of agents who would sell policies at incredibly low premium prices (or even ones that seem much lower than your previous premium). If it is too good to be true, it probably is so it would do you well to be meticulous and double check.

Take note, insurance premiums may vary from one insurer to another, but they usually fall within a close range of rates.

3.) An agent who is hard to reach

Your agent does not have to be at your beck and call at all times, but a legitimate one would respond to your phone calls or emails within a reasonable time (within a day or two). Furthermore, your agent should have a valid email address.

Avoid the ones that communicate to you exclusively on the phone or his or her personal email address.

4.) An agent who avoids being questioned about his experience or credentials

While your agent can be relatively new, he or she should be able to provide their license numbers which you can then verify by contacting your state’s insurance authority.

If an agent balks at being questioned about his experience in the field or his credentials, there is something potentially fishy going on. It might be wiser to find another agent.

5.) An agent that adds coverages to your policies that you did not approve

Agents would earn commissions from insurers on the premiums you purchase. For this reason, unscrupulous agents would try to get you to buy premiums that have a hefty price tag as this would mean more commission for them. Particularly notorious are those agents who would add coverages to your policy without your knowledge have not requested or did not approve.

Considering this, it is always best if you scrutinize your policies carefully and see if it contains anything you have no request, approved or wanted.

6.) An agent that asks you to pay for premiums payable to him or her

This is a definitive red flag. Whatever premium payments you make should always be payable to the insurer and should be directed to the same. Your checks should not be payable to the agent and if you leave any payments to your agent at all, demand for a receipt.

In the worst case scenario wherein an agent would run off would your premium payments, you would at least have the receipt to serve as evidence.

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Top Reasons Why Insurance Agents Fail

Have you ever encountered an agent who attempts to convince you to enroll in a particular policy but lacked enough charisma to draw your attention?

They are everywhere. In as much as how health insurance in the Philippines would like to keep their services on a very high level, the quality of people they get to help them out remains a significant determining factor whether or not they succeed in their mission.

Today, we’ll look into some of the reasons why an insurance agent fails to convince a client to enroll in a service.

Inability to keep up with the trend

Just like any business, there are also new trends that revolve around the insurance service. It includes the usage of technology in conducting business and automating transactions for more client convenience. Agents who fail to adapt with this practice end up lagging behind. Worse, they could make things even more difficult for their customers.

Failure to build one’s professional network

Networking might have a subtle relevance to insurance services, but the act of encouraging clients to enroll in any policy requires a certain degree of working around your contacts. Besides, customers trust better those professionals who have more connection in the industry. The more connected they are with other authorities, the more credible they appear.

This also makes it easier for agents to consult someone relevant to the business. A weak professional network can be a disadvantage especially if you’re competing with someone who has a rich arsenal of professionals to back them up.

Low level of marketing skills

Marketing is an essential skill agent must possess when they’re dealing with clients. One cannot convince another to believe a claim without enough skills to communicate efficiently backed with figures and other facts that support their claim. More often than not, the main reason why clients do not go with a certain policy is their lack of trust on the person who was doing the offer.

Shallow understanding of the customer needs

In any business, the clients’ needs are always the priority. After all, they will be the ones who can benefit from enrolling themselves on any insurance policy. Unfortunately, many new agents, even a few veteran ones, tend to put more priority more on achieving their quota or gaining more satisfied enrollees rather than understanding the specific concerns and wants of each client.

This kind of attitude eventually breeds distrust. When this happens, agents will find themselves having some real trouble convincing people to consider their service offer.

Not enough training and inability to learn from past experiences

There’s no special course that makes you a certified insurance agent. However, companies conduct training for their agents to equip them with the knowledge and expertise necessary to answer questions from clients and explain the nature of the service they offer.

Unfortunately, there are new hires that are automatically sent out on the field even if they are not so well-versed with the job. This usually ends up in a mediocre performance. There are also some agents who have been in service longer but refuse to learn from their past mistakes. In this case, the most likely scenario is for them to repeat their error again and get the same unfavorable result.

Different insurance companies have their own standards and SOPs when it comes to operation. Some have extremely skilled agents while others bank on new recruits to fill in the need for more manpower.

Even if a company does offer high-quality insurance at the right price, if their agents or consultants don’t do well in addressing a client’s initial concerns, there is a huge chance that they would ultimately lose the trust given to them.

How was your experience with an insurance agent? Let’s hear them out in the comments!

Personal Behaviors that are ruining Your Financial Health – Slowly but Surely!

Beefing up one’s savings remains a significant challenge even for the thriftiest person. You can’t really tell when emergencies happen and more often than not, it requires you to spend money – including a portion of those on your savings.

It would be good if you’re covered by a reliable accidental medical insurance policy. But for individuals who are not, having enough money when accidents strike is necessary. Saving, however, becomes a problem with the following behaviors that are ruining your finances.

The ‘one-day millionaire’ tendency

Characterized by:

  • Immense urge to spend money at hand
  • Thoughts centered on buying anything he/she wants
  • Strong feeling of rewarding oneself by spending

Spending to reward yourself after days of hard work is beneficial. You deserve it. But this doesn’t mean that you must spend all your money at once just to feel justified on the amount of labor you do. Keeping this mindset is dangerous for your financial health since it leads you to believe that you need to get something for yourself.

Even if you don’t have to buy that new running shoes, given that you just bought one 2 months ago, you felt like it is okay. After all, you worked hard for it.

The ‘one-day-millionaire- mindset is the easiest to determine but is equally difficult to stop since your mind starts to justify the act of spending.

‘More-things-equals-more-happiness’ mindset

Characterized by:

  • Desire to hoard things
  • Feeling of distress when you can’t buy something you want to have
  • Feeling of euphoria when acquiring something new regardless if you need it or not

We commonly know this as materialism. It’s when we equate happiness to owning something more. While it is true that you get a sense of achievement by acquiring something, making it as your standard for feeling happy is a dangerous thing.

If you do, then that would mean you’ll feel sad when you can’t buy something. What if the limited edition DVD copy of your favorite movie is sold out? What if you don’t have enough money to purchase something?

Someone who has been used to hoarding things is likely to get upset when they lose the chance to buy something. In worst cases, this could lead to anxiety and even clinical depression. To make themselves feel good, they must buy that one thing they want most. Before they know it, they’ve already spent too much money, and the feeling of guilt afterwards often gets them even more anxious.

‘I-can’t-live-without-it’ behavior

Characterized by:

  • Impulse buying
  • Inability to think thoroughly whether or not an item is necessary
  • Desire for instant gratification

You might’ve heard someone a couple of times in the past saying something that goes like: ‘I can’t live without it.’ And perhaps you’ve question several times whether or not that’s true.

People who have this behavior say it out of habit but in reality, it’s the opposite. One does not die without buying that limited edition sweatshirt. Nor do they collapse out of nowhere when their favorite cosmetics brand run out of stock.

However, with their mind already set in getting something, it feels like they can’t really live well without that ‘item.’

This behavior is arguably the most difficult to control, and some experts even suggest that you see a psychological therapist to address the behavior. In most cases, the need to spend and acquire are manifestations of something psychological in nature. Primarily though, keeping up with this behavior means that you’re spending more than your income.

That, in itself, is a dangerous thing.

Financial health begins with awareness of your spending in relevance to your income. Reevaluate your spending habits and see if you’re doing enough justice to your savings. Be mindful of the behaviors we mentioned on the list and strive to minimize and cut them off your habits!

Personal Preparation for Budgeting Health Costs in Retirement

Health is wealth. Sadly, despite everyone’s knowledge about it, a lot of people still don’t shy away from the unhealthy lifestyle and end up sacrificing their health in the end.

The need to stay healthy and prepared for any medical needs is the very reason why hospitalization insurance exists. Companies who offer the service provide different packages fit for the variety of needs by different people.

Of course, there are insurances that are geared to providing medical support once you retire, and it’s something that a number of adults right now are preparing for. With the rising cost of hospital expense, it’s no longer a surprise to see younger adults stashing away some cash for their future health maintenance.

But no matter how you save and invest in insurance, if you don’t plan it out well, there’s a huge chance that you’ll still be burdened by the huge hospitalization expenses. Below is a short list of preparations you could do from your end to help yourself be more financially prepared prior to retirement.

Budget for services that are not covered

Different insurance packages have varied content, and while there are premium options, this still does not guarantee that all types of medical issues would be addressed. While choosing your plan, be sure to inquire about the specific things that are covered and what not.

From here, you’ll get an idea what type of services will require you to pay separately, therefore allowing you time to save for it.

Consider looking for a reliable supplemental coverage

If one plan does not cover all the necessities, then acquiring another one that offers what you’re looking for could help. Just keep in mind that this might incur additional cost and different companies have their own price range.

Going for supplemental coverage is seen as a good option as this offers you the specifics on what to expect. Ask the current insurance company you’re enrolled at for the available packages that offer this item.

Understand the mode of payment exercised by the insurance company and avoid penalties

Depending on the plan you choose, the frequency of payment could also vary. Be very mindful of this detail and make sure you pay on time. This way, you’ll prevent yourself from incurring penalties brought about by late payments.

Needless to say, it’s important that you have a full understanding of the insurance company’s terms and conditions. What are the methods allowable when sending money? How much penalties would you incur if you fail to send the payment for a specific duration? Understanding these things will help you prevent any issues while you’re enrolled in their plans.

Strive to stay healthy

This is something that the insurance company has no control of – something that’s your personal responsibility.

While preparing for potential medical needs in the future helps, there remains no substitute for making some personal effort in keeping yourself fit. Exercising regularly, minimizing intake of alcoholic beverages and more could do great things to boost your body’s resistance against any types of diseases.

The healthier you are, the lesser the need to hospitalize yourself.

Enrolling oneself to an insurance service is not always an easy decision for many. Other financial responsibilities such as education and home mortgage could be major determining factors that dictate a person’s available budget.

You can’t just decide to get an insurance service without the ability to commit to regular payments which are the primary requirement of various insurance companies.

Weigh your financial capacities and see if you’re ready to get insured. The earlier you prepare the better. More importantly, refrain from bad lifestyle and keep yourself healthy!

Millenials: The Benefits of Investing in Life Insurance Today!


“Life Insurance offers a man the only way where he can make his will before he makes his money.” Unknown Author

In a person’s life, the early twenties is his prime. It is that pivotal period wherein you are starting to shape how your future would look and many of your life’s decisions would have an impact in molding how you would be as a person in your adulthood. This is that prime time wherein you would campaign for your perfect dream job just fresh out of college, embark on a new adventure on a new city perhaps, build relationships, have several love affairs and perhaps meet the love of your life. This is that period in your life wherein you feel like you could take on anything and do anything your heart desires that your bucket list is teeming with so many possibilities you would want to accomplish before your thirties.

Today, we call them the millennials. The new generation, who are so unafraid of trying new things, undertaking new challenges and whose lives still have so much potential ahead of them. The one generation that feels they are invincible that investing on a life and accident insurance would seem vaguely absurd. However, studies have shown and many financial pundits have proven that your twenties are the best decade to purchase a policy and here is why:

If you buy early, you save more

This may probably sound like a cheesy deal trying to entice buyers to purchase their product, but this is just not any ordinary merchandise. This is life insurance and you are eventually going to need so buying it at a cheaper rate would benefit you more. True, at this point in your life buying an insurance policy may seem ridiculous considering the by your twenties you still feel like you are freewheeling, but this is the most economically strategic time to invest in a policy. But before doing so, do a self-check and analyze your individual situation. Think if anyone would be directly and negatively affected should you have an untimely demise and see if this is a logical move.

But, do not simply go on picking the first agent you come across with

Millenials are notorious for delaying any form of commitment and cohabitation of the legally binding variety so the chances of them having someone who financially depend on them are relatively low. An exception to this rule is if a particular millennial is a single young adult with children. Because of this, millennials have a wider scope of choosing their insurance agents and they may be rather spoiled when it comes to their options. They tend to prize flexibility over security and the status quo but while this is the case, it is ill-advised to go with the first insurance agent who shows up on Google because they are within close proximity. Shop around, one excellent way of finding an insurance agent who suits your needs is through a friend’s or family member’s referral. But do not simply stop there, choose to work with the one you feel most comfortable with and can represent a variety of clients to assure they are trustworthy.

However, should you wish to buy, do not wait too long

You may be toying with the idea of purchasing life insurance and are just waiting around for the perfect time to buy it. Perhaps, you would be waiting around until you get married or have kids. Though this may seem logical, it is not necessarily financially sound. When it comes to life insurance premiums, prices are significantly hiked up the later you buy compared to when you have purchased earlier. So, why wait when it would only cost you more?

In conclusion…

At this point in your life, you may not see the necessary benefits of investing in a life insurance but if you do buy today, you would realize just how advantageous it is for you to have bought it earlier instead of waiting out. Find a good agent that would have a good understanding of what your particular needs are, so that whatever decision you would arrive to will not only be economically sound for today but also for your future.


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Are You Thinking of the Perfect Gift to Give Your Mom This Mother’s Day?

True they say that motherhood is the toughest, most thankless job in the world! Make this Mother’s Day extra special.

The perfect Mother's Day gift - a health insurance plan!
The perfect Mother’s Day gift – a health insurance plan!

What better way to do just that than gifting your mom with a policy from one of the best providers of health insurance in the Philippines?

Why a health insurance, you might ask. Now, I will ask you, WHY NOT?

Your mom may not even think about receiving an insurance policy as a gift this Mothers’ Day or in any occasion. Deep inside her, however, she yearns to live longer so she can be there for you. The same goes with the fact that you are secretly praying that she will be with you for as long as she possibly can. That’s how we Filipinos are! That’s how much we value and love our mother.

Benefits of health insurance plans

A coverage is a proactive protective measure. It shows how much you care for the future of your family and, specifically, the quality of life of your mother and the rest of the family. This doesn’t mean that you are anticipating something awful to happen, but rather it means preparing for something inevitable and unexpected.

The cash benefits

We all know that age will eventually take its toll on our health, your mom’s health included. With a health care coverage, however, an insured person (again, your mom) will be reimbursed for all the expenses incurred during her hospitalization. Daily cash benefit amounts to Php3,000 for a maximum of 365 days. Cash benefits are also provided in case of a diagnosis of a dreaded disease or surgical operation. Surgical cash benefits can be up to Php60,000.

A steady cash flow is hard to come by when your mom suddenly required a mastectomy, for instance. A policy assists in covering the medical expenses incurred while she is recovering in the hospital. As such, the coverage relieves you of the financial burden as your mom focuses on getting better. Aside from the flexibility, the policy also puts you in control of the medical expenses.

The guarantees

Cash benefits are just some of the guarantees. Apart from these, these cash benefits will never decrease no matter what the age of your mom is at the time she needs these benefits. The benefits will remain the same for the entire term of the policy and until your mom reaches the age 80.

Further, the rates will not increase as your mom ages. The rate that you paid for in the first month is the same rate that you need to pay for for the entire term of your mom’s policy. Thus, if you are paying Php212 at the first month, this is the amount that you have to pay during the life of the policy unless, of course, you change your plan.

Thereby, a health care policy covers an individual until age 80 or 20 years, whichever applies. The best part is, if your mom is between the age of 50 and 75, her application will be accepted. Medical examinations are not necessary.

Health plans ensure not just life and assets protection, but also stability and security. Take care of what matters most. Take care of your loved ones. Take care of your mom. Insure her!

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