Preparing Agents for De-tariffication

I read your blogs with written topics concerning the readiness of our agency force with interest. We can refresh with the following blog materials:

How agents are preparing for mandatory motor rebate

The growing pains of direct rebating

Having been around the industry for quite awhile I find it absolute true that our agency force is not prepared for the many imminent changes ahead. Many of the agents are merely relying on their principals to supply information to them or provide the necessary training for them to deal with the changes that PIAM has planned. PIAM has never wanted to recognise the existence of PERWAKIM, thus rendering  association of non-life insurance agency irrelevant and therefore will never be part of the industry mainstream planning.

It is sad indeed, if the Klang Valley agents are not at all well-versed with the latest development how then would those in east malaysia be kept within the mainstream development? Perhaps it is time PIAM should work out something with PERWAKIM so that their association members can be kept informed of impending changes in the industry.

In addition, PIAM has to work towards various options for the agency force, ie. to allow them to either operate “with two-principal” or as “independant agency” regime. This would give the agents more scope to operate; no difference from the independant agency force in US. Of course we do have the independant financial advisers but they are more of Life insurance and investment segments rather than for the non-life industry. Moreover a different set of licence is required.

Internet-based website marketing is also one area agency can explore further but this may work if agents are more tech-savvy and have  the willingness to blog information for their customers to read and understanding insurance better. Agents are already there, only thing they are not aware  or short of acknowledging it – just imagine the motor insurance transactions we have done for our customers with the PC before submission to the principal(s). These transactions are already internet-based. Do take a tour of our blogsite on “Tracking insurance-eCommerce” – we are trying to capture the growth of e-commerce in the dispensing of insurance by our Malaysian insurance agency force. Do give us feedback especially telling us of your ecommerce works for the industry and for those who wanted to make forray into this new channel of selling, do contact us through the comment form and providing your email address.

While the insurance industry may have been blamed for not doing enough for this very important fraternity, agency force should not view this as the end of all good things but instead relook at the industry from another perspective; perhaps also it is good to take to the cyberspace to add on to your already  street smartness ability……if that be the word!

lookLooking hard and far? You have to be!












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13 comments for “Preparing Agents for De-tariffication

  1. steaven
    October 13, 2012 at 15:51

    “having these two brands will give us quite a competitive advantage,” said Duncan Brain, chief executive officer of AmG Insurance and Kurnia Insurans (M) Bhd, at a media briefing….refer “

    Hope you can share with us..In this situation Agents, if allowed to sell both brands,PIAM will consider it as ONE or TWO Principal?

    • October 21, 2012 at 18:25

      Since this end up with only one licence, agents only entitled to two principals each. If an agent is agent of Kurnia then he or she is auto an AMG agent. Only thing the agent can still sell the product with Kurnia brand. Don’t ask me how….

  2. Kim
    October 8, 2012 at 09:32

    Sirs, are you able to provide me with some insights on how the detariff process is heading? So far we the agents have not come across any writeup or circulars from PIAM and LIAM in this regard. Can the internet be used as a media to sell insurance? What is the success rate?

    • October 9, 2012 at 09:37

      Will provide writeup on detariff if there are latest info available. Yes, you can sell insurance online but you would need to pick up some important skills before you can work something out effectively

  3. koh cc
    September 15, 2011 at 10:18

    Is the competition Act having any impact on the existing tariff classes?

    • September 16, 2011 at 19:20

      Motor tariff is expected to go away somewhere early 2016, but then fire, who knows, it may be just in the first quarter of 2012! See how the BNM convince the Competition Act Commissioners

  4. November 29, 2009 at 03:11

    Try this – everyone is only talking about detariff but what has been done so far, I supposed no one is clear as to which path to take!

    • November 30, 2009 at 09:03

      En Aidid, there are actually. PIAM management committee is working on those required frameworks.

      • Aidid
        December 14, 2009 at 16:21

        Concerning e-commerce utilisation in the insurance distribution channel, there is still nothing the industry authority has done to promote it. Distribution of insurance through the internet was written as part of the financial sectior master plan (FSMP) but except of the business-to-business channel (which is mainly Motor transaction done by agency on a compulsory basis) there was totally no progreess with the business-to-consumer channel. With the direct rebating made mandatory insurance companies should be more proactive in this area now, perhaps roping in their agency network to make it more effective in the years ahead! What say you??

        • December 15, 2009 at 23:12

          Yes, I agree with you that the industry has not been doing enough to provide the Business to Consumer channel option for our internet active community. This portion of the market has developed by leaps and bounce in countries like Australia, Korea, England, US and even country like Japan….. However, in most markets, the focus of purchase is mostly in regard to Motor Insurance. I supposed it is some good start if the Malaysian insurance industry can start focusing some effort into this segment. MyEG, Tune Talk, Tune Money. MAS and AirAsia are already doing it online…. What the industry authority can do for a start is to focus towards recording those B2C online transactions. Currently what ISM did was merely getting down to statistics with respect of end-consumers buying direct from the Insurer(s) through the latter’s website(s). The gross premium achieved or rather recorded by ISM in 2008 was noting more than RM600,000? This figure looks anti-orgasmic! But in reality B2C is supposed to measure purchasing online by the end-customers, not measuring “direct” transactions! The industry leaders all got it wrong – but at least I can see that the intermediaries like MyEG are getting there first…..

  5. KSC
    August 30, 2009 at 21:40

    i SUPPOSED THIS IS good thing. Once the motor and fire detariff, agents can actually merge into a more larger set-up and have a very powerful website that enables the public to seek quotations and compare them before deciding.

  6. Anonymous
    July 13, 2009 at 00:43

    Everybody has been talking about the similar kind of stuff but things remain intact all these while. Not only agency force but also broking fraternity. In a more holistic view, the standards and quality of the people also has been dropping…how do you expect the agency force to improve whom depend very much on their principal…it appears like the blind leading the blind……

    In terms of e-commerce, how many people in general possesses a computer/notebook ? A survey revealed a low %. In addition, out of the total agency force in Malaysia, how many of them having a computer/notebook ? What is the proportion of the total agency force are from baby boomer, generation X, Y, Z ? Then you may have all queries and doubts answered. Cheers

    • July 15, 2009 at 00:46

      You have rightly pointed out that today’s youngs are not up to the mark….they wanted the fast-track path, that is learning everything on “one go” and move up the ladder the next day. While we agreed that they may not be up to the mark but we cannot put all blames on them, the baby boomers must surely do more,….first and foremost the recruitment process must be right the first time otherwise the industry ends up with a lot of drop-outs….those who cannot find a job and give insurance a try; then unfortunately for the industry they are stuck…..the whole industry would certainly confirmed to be stuck down under. Those doing the marketing routine follows their bosses everywhere, drinks until drunk and unable to face tomorrow tasks…..those working at the backroom, ie. underwriting and claims are stucked backend by their bosses and developed NO CONFIDENCE….. Those not in mainstream operations only know how to create bureaucracy and read-tapes with the risk management, compliance and auditing rounds…. So what’s left? Got head but no tail, got tail, no head; go head and tail but no backbone…..

      As for the computer and notebook, I believe most principals would have given the agents…the young staff especially graduates would always have some form of computers….so this part is never an issue. Moreover, I am taking about B2C segment of the internet-based insurance e-Commerce, so most of the data entry would be done by the customers rather by the agents and the staff…. B2C simply is different from B2B.

      The agency force today is mainly made up of Gen X, ie those who are in their 30s and early 40s. The Baby boomer gen had most left the industry or they had earlier diversified into other segments, like unit-trust, wills, etc…while still maintaining their non-life portfolio….

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