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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Insurance Agent as a Career

In this economic downturn, there are many jobs gone, many people jobless, yet there are many people in Singapore shun away from job offer as insurance agent. It is ironic as demand from insurance companies are still there, they are recruiting.
Common reasons for people not to choose this job amongst others are:
  1. Because an insurance agent earns mainly from commission without basic salary.

  2. Because many people do not feel comfortable with direct selling, face to face persuasion.

Below are some facts and information about an insurance agent (also referred as Financial Planner):

The Work
An FP develops and manages relationships with retail/mass market clients. FPs will determine the clients’ risk profiles, understanding each unique individuals' needs, and provide recommendation on the most suitable financial products.

For Financial Planners, extended hours are not uncommon, as they have to fit the potential clients' time for meetings. Some extra hours may also be needed to handle administrative matters, or conduct weekend sales road shows.

Requirements
Working as insurance agent is not as simple as selling insurance policies. Current array of insurance products are more and more complex as many of them also tied to investment instruments. A FP typically requires a Degree, Diploma or other relevant professional qualifications e.g. the Certified Financial Planner (CFP).

As an FP gains more experience, he can aspire to manage clients with larger sums to invest (e.g. by progressing to become a Unit Manager), specialize in a product (e.g. pension and retirement planning). Some may move laterally into a complementary area of work (e.g. product structuring, compliance) and yet others may consider launching their own businesses as independent financial advisers.

Other important skills:
• Possess strong communication and listening skills
• Have the ability to network and establish relationships with clients
• Possess persuasiveness, determination and tenacity
• Possess self-motivation and organisational skills
• Have high levels of numeracy
• Be attentive to details
• Have a target-driven mindset
• Have confidence and the resilience to cope with setbacks and to survive difficult circumstances

Earnings
A considerable portion of an FP’s pay will depend on the commissions or bonuses earned on meeting and exceeding sale targets, most of them even earn from commissions only. The levels of commissions and bonuses vary according to the employer.
There are some insurance companies who provide some allowance (for certain period like 3 months to 6 months) for new joiner who wish to start a career as an FP. The amount also varies and not all companies provide this allowance.

Please see our list of insurance-related jobs

--- Added on 3 June 2009 ---
Job-Q.com received some inquiries on contacts to start insurance agent career.
We are unable to provide the contacts at this moment.
We would like to invite insurance companies to provide the contacts here. Thank you.
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9 Comments:

Blogger Adrian said...

It's all about mindset. It's no secret that successful FPs earn big bucks. The best part is, their earnings are recurring for many years. But perhaps the typical mindset here is job security supercedes earning potential.

The recent economic downturn is an awakening call for Singaporeans. Who has better job security now? The corporate ladder climbers or financial planners? When everyone's panicking at the loss of jobs, exprienced FPs are taking holiday breaks with no worries about their income for the next few years.

Insurance sales are not too affected by the downturn, unlike other consumer goods. Insurance is a "need to have", not "good to have". I'd rather spend less on good food and luxuries than sacrifice my insurance. The last thing we all want now is to pay for hefty medical bills if we were to fall sick (what with the Swine flu spreading). In fact, those who does not have medical insurance should really go get one now. You won't know when you'll be out of job, and suddenly be faced with such medical expenses. Double whammy, isn't it?

So really, open up your mind...go find out more about a career in finanical planning. Regardless of your decision to join or not, what you will then have is another option you can take on when needed, a backup just in case things don't turn out well for you.

If you're looking for job security, look for one that you don't have to rely on someone else to give it to you. Or take it away from you. I think financial planning fits that perfectly.

May 28, 2009 at 11:32 AM  
Blogger Adrian said...

People always look for the safer option. Fixed salary means job security, or so it seems. That's very shallow, isn't it?

I hope this economic downturn has enlightened some of these people. The only job security in this world is when your job isn't given by someone and it cannot be taken away by another person. As long as you're at the mercy of someone (your superior), your so-called job security is a mirage.

Financial planners, on the other hand, seem to enjoy recession-proof job security. Those who have done well in the past 2 years are in a the safe haven of their hardwork then. And for the next few years, they will continue to see recurring income from their past efforts.

If you think insurance sales is affected by the economy, I tell you it's not. In fact, this is the best time to get people to review if they are sufficiently protected should the worst happen to them. Can you imagine if you lose your job and get involved in an accident at the same time? Who's going to pay your hospital bills?

Open up your mind and you will see an abundance of opportunities everywhere, including those you used to dismiss without even finding out more.

We always say "think out of the box". You must first get out of your own box. The frog must jump out of the well to know that there are better-tasting flies out there!

May 28, 2009 at 11:45 AM  
Blogger Benjamin said...

Hi,

We are from one of the company representing a huge insurance company here in Singapore. Whatever is written above is definitely true and is being experienced by our fellow associates. Currently we are exercising our recruitment activities for Financial planner. Anyone out there who might be interested of knowing about what kind of future you can have as a Financial Planner, you can communicate with us through our email (Hr@transformingbiz.com/benjamin.alps@gmail.com) or you can call us at 63735823 for enquiries.

Thank you very much!

Rona
hp#92726168

June 9, 2009 at 5:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quote : "Financial planners, on the other hand, seem to enjoy recession-proof job security."

My bf is a very senior adviser for 7 years already. During recession, he said that his business does get affected. Sales will drop. People hang on to their money on hand, instead of investing. But of course, it may not apply to all advisers. Some have their professional tactics to achieve and maintain sales every month. Just 2 cents :)

July 1, 2009 at 11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you would like to find out more about how to start a successful career in the insurance industry, pls contact Tan @93808018.

July 3, 2009 at 11:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Attention all Bankers and experienced Financial Planners / consultants

Hi,

We are from one of the company representing a huge insurance company here in Singapore. Whatever is written above is definitely true and is being experienced by our fellow associates. Currently we are exercising our recruitment activities for Financial planner.

All Experienced Financial Planners/ consultants or Bankers are encouraged to apply as our company is offering a fix monthly salary to a successful candidate. Anyone out there who might be interested of knowing about this one of a lifetime offer may communicate with us through our email:

(Hr@transformingbiz.com/benjamin.alps@gmail.com) or you can call us at 63735823 for enquiries.

Thank you very much!

Rona
hp#92726168

August 3, 2009 at 4:03 PM  
Anonymous Ryan Koh said...

Well said Adrian. It's important to hold on to insurance even in bad times like this. It will be very unfortunate if any misfortune befall on the breadwinner in diffcult times.

I've also talked about insurance agent commission structure in my blog.

September 8, 2009 at 5:28 PM  
Anonymous James Morgan - Puritan Financial Advisor said...

Working as insurance agent is not as simple as selling insurance policies. Current array of insurance products are more and more complex as many of them also tied to investment instruments.

August 29, 2010 at 9:59 AM  
Anonymous Daniel Tan said...

I have been in this line since early 1997 and agree that this is a great career if you are customer-focused and must be willing to work hard.
I'm now recruiting and welcome anyone who is keen to consider this career. Please visit www.daniel-tan.com or email mail@daniel-tan.com with your resume and a short reason why you would like an opportunity.

September 12, 2010 at 1:56 PM  

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