Motor Insurance Direct Discount – time for agents to reinvent

BUYING DIRECT? OPT FOR A DISCOUNT BUT WHO IS PROVIDING YOU WITH AN INDEPENDANT ADVICE?

In 2009, the Malaysian non-life insurance industry had resolved to provide MANDATORY discount on all motor insurance purchased directly from the insurers – the scheme of discounting was such that it would be 5% for the first year of implementation and thereafter at 10%.  Thus, come 1st July 2010 and onwards all Malaysian non-life insurance companies would have to allow 10% discount to all INDIVIDUAL customers BUYING MOTOR INSURANCE DIRECT with them. This means the discount on gross premium after No-Claim-Discount (NCD) would be increased to 10% from the current 5%. You can click below to read the full explanation on the discounting mechanism.

Direct Motor Rebating – How does this works?

GOOD NEWS AMIDST ESCALATING PRICES OF ESSENTIAL GOODS…….. This is good news for the insuring public but the customers must fulfill certain conditions in order to enjoy the 10% full discount.

What is deemed DIRECT PURCHASE and category of CUSTOMER falling within its ambit?
  1. He or She must be an individual (..and that’s a fact) and the Insured, and
  2. He or She would need to deal directly with the insurer himself  or herself (in person) and not relying on some other party unless the purchase is in respect of the following where presence in person is not required:
    • telemarketing,
    • internet-based transactions, or
    • direct mail transactions

    provided always that these channels are owned by the insurance company without any involvement of any registered intermediary.

RE-EXAMINING THE PAST SERVICES RENDERED BY THE AGENT……. While customers would be able to enjoy a higher discounting, they should not be overly fast in terminating the services of their usual agent. What should be done is for them to reexamine their agent’s past service records, if their agent has been rendering the much needed services and was professional in their dealings, then there is really no reason why the customer should opt for the discount, unless the discounted amount is so sizeable that it outweighed the benefits of having an agent. “Before opting for a direct purchase, it is appropriate to check out your agent’s past servicing records…..”

The customer must also need to know, by opting for the full discount, he or she would have to depend on the direct services of the insurer, which in most cases are much inferior than that provided by the agency force. Nothing to blame the insurer, it is very much about the industry traditional setup and the service structure as well culture developed since the British days. The industry has always rely on intermediary channels in distributing insurance products and services, which are more efficient and cost-effective. Thus, do expect the worst if option to purchase direct is taken up.

YOUR AGENT GIVING YOU A DISCOUNT…..? On the other hand, agents are known to provide discount to their client if the premium payable is substantial albeit, this is usually done discreetly. Can’t blame them though, they are forbid from discounting under Clause 5.3 of the Industry’s inter-company agreement concerning agency and remuneration….

BUYING DIRECT IS ALSO ABOUT CONVENIENCE! 😆 But sometimes buying directly is just more than getting a discount, it is also about CONVENIENCE…. such that the customer need not drive all the way to insurance company’s customer services counter or to the agent’s office to make that purchase. He or she could have the transaction done within the comfort of their home – usually this can be efficiently done through internet purchase or combining it with telemarketing to complete the full transaction. Why NOT try the following….

 

special thanks to http://www.facebook.com/miiagroup

TRY THIS INSURANCE PORTAL... SEE IF THIS PROVIDES CONVENIENCE TO YOU.

With such insurance or iPortal that provides you with a platform to trade at your CONVENIENCE, there is truly no reason why consumers should not consider trying the buying DIRECT option and at the same time getting a 10% discount for the effort.

You SAVE ON FUEL because you do not need to drive your car to get this done, you save because you GET A DISCOUNT, and if you do not wish to get your roadtax renewed via the post office, then HOP ONTO MyEG Services site to have the roadtax renewed! “It is just so easy…. buy direct via internet, get a discount and then hop onto myeg site and get roadtax renewed!”

While we have recommended this particular site for convenient online-in-the-house insurance buying, don’t try it similarly with other sites like einsuran, tunemoney and so on… because these are AGENCY SITES and they are there, no doubt catering for CONVENIENCE but they need to earn in order to support the site and their business operations. However, for MyEG site, you don’t have to buy insurance direct BUT you can still utilise it for ROADTAX RENEWAL – they are still considered an agency site.

So much for buying online in comfort of your home, save on fuel, get discount and renew your roadtax also online…. with just some keying in and then hit the buttons! NOW YOU KNOW BUYING INSURANCE IS SUCH A BREEZE.

HOW CAN THE AGENTS REINVENT THEMSELVES…. AND HOW THE CONSUMERS CONTINUE TO BENEFIT FROM BUYING DIRECT , DOING IT CONVENIENTLY AND YET CONTINUE TO SECURE THE SERVICES OF THE AGENTS?

Agents, we believe can take a more proactive approach in fulfilling the NEEDS of the consumers. This means AGENTS must reinvent and arm themselves with new networking tools in providing services to their customers, and one aspect is for them to create an internet gateway for the consumers to connect to them when making the purchases. However this is easy said than done. Why? Truly this involves costs… but in reality, this may not be all true – there are already FREE or CLOUD softwares OR platforms where agents can leverage on to make head or tail in the world of internet insurance transactions. You can get them through the use of WORDPRESS, BLOGGER, FACEBOOKGMAIL and TWITTER to name a few.

As for the TRANSACTIONAL PORTAL, the actual platform for END-TO-END transactional-interaction with the consumers, building it can be very costly and involves a lot of uncertainties –  it is best the AGENTS look for a principal that is committed to drive business via the internet and having a BUSINESS MODEL that can fit into the realm and operations of THE AGENCY FORCE. But then, if you are unsure of what we are talking about here….TRY CLICKING INTO THIS FACEBOOK SITE to check out the offerings!

Truly if the AGENTS can blend themselves well with the new and rising consumers’ demand, we are sure competition in cyber-world would be taken to a much higher level – this simply means MORE OPTIONS AND ALTERNATIVES FOR THE CONSUMERS.

No! You disagree…. Just take a look at the US and Europe’s internet eCommerce insurance markets – THERE IS TRULY A PLACE FOR CUSTOMERS AND AGENTS coming together….


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6 comments for “Motor Insurance Direct Discount – time for agents to reinvent

  1. Ramesh
    April 8, 2011 at 09:02

    Need some clarification. If thirdparty renews motor insurance on behalf of insured directly with the insurer, the insured would not be entitled to the discount. However, can this business booked under agent’s account (since the agent brought the business) and the commission paid to the agent?

    • April 10, 2011 at 19:53

      If a third party renewed on behalf of the Insured directly with the insurer, no discount is given (as per the guidelines adopted)…. but practices differ between insurers – some may be lenient to those who are actually close family members, like brothers or sisters…. etc. I supposed that’s the practical sides of things… Anyway, if the insurer did not allow the discount (direct rebate) to the Insured then it is up to the Insured to redirect this back to his usual agent but again, this would differs between insurers – some may allow it with the authorisation given by the Insured but some may not allow such a request at all. You should check this with your insurer…

    • Ramesh
      April 11, 2011 at 13:56

      BNM Circular JPI:8/2004 Prohibition of Commission Payments to Agents for Insurance policies Sold thru Direct Distribution Channels (dated 26.3.2004) states that in cases where policy owners deal directly with insurer, no commission should be paid to agents as they have not rendered any service in the transaction. So if thirdparty renews on behalf of the insured and agent gets the commission, would that not be in breach of the BNM Guidelines?Thanks.

  2. June 19, 2010 at 20:45

    [New Post] Motor Insurance Direct Discount – time for agents to reinvent – via #twitoaster http://www.malaysiainsurance.info/?p=361

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