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!