‘It’s all from your own pocket’: Insurance agents weigh in on giving out freebies at roadshows


SINGAPORE: Previous week, a disgruntled mother took to Facebook to complain about an AIA insurance agent who had offered her daughter a balloon at a roadshow, only to acquire it again after realising the mum was not a suitable prospect.

Netizens criticised the agent for being “cheapskate”, declaring the move to get back again the balloon was “lowly”.

But insurance plan brokers and money advisers CNA spoke to ended up divided on the problem, with some disapproving of the agent’s behaviour although some others explained it was understandable.

This is for the reason that expenditures for roadshows, these kinds of as lease, logistic expenditures and freebies, typically arrive out of the agents’ very own pockets.

“I’m not surprised to see agents behaving like that, since as a great deal as they want to gain a suitable dwelling, they must shield by themselves,” said Jack (not his real title), who has been an agent for two years.

“It’s all from their possess pocket. If they don’t take care of it nicely, it’s effortless for them to get into money issues.

“I do know there are consultants going through economical issues, which is the explanation why they got a very little determined and resorted to this to decrease expenditures … The Net says this person is low cost, but it actually relies upon on standpoint.”

Roadshow costs vary based mostly on aspects, such as spot and the sort of freebies, but collaborating in a single can established you again by S$100 a working day on typical, according to agents.

Yet another economical adviser, who only wanted to be acknowledged as Gary, extra that while companies might co-sponsor the occasion, agents continue to have to fork out some dollars on their very own. 

Lease is also greater these times, explained Gary, who has been in the field for 14 a long time.

He additional that brokers participating in roadshows tend to be junior types or fresh graduates attempting to make their networks.


Recommendations by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) state that money institutions ought to ensure any gifts provided to prospects do not “unduly affect” their selections to buy any economical products or assistance.

But further than that, there is no specific guidance on the supplying out, or retracting, of freebies.

Because it is a “grey space”, agents normally defer to their mentors, especially if roadshow prices are break up amongst a team of agents, explained insurance agent Han Yao Fong.  

But in this sort of a scenario, generosity is often the key, he stated.

“You give a bit, you get a little bit more again. This form of modest funds, really don’t consider so much, you should not be so calculative,” reported Mr Han, who has been an agent for 5 decades.

For occasion, offering the balloon in these types of an instance could enable him to create rapport with a prospect.

“If we vibe effectively, I can give you my name card. If you like me, we can fulfill for coffee … If I make new buddies, it means I have a new call in my listing.

“If the time will come (when the man or woman is) completely ready, he’ll get a little something from me, and if he finds my support is very good, he’ll refer individuals to me. It is a pretty friendly cycle.”

Amanda (not her genuine title), who has been an agent for significantly less than a year, experienced comparable sights.

“I strongly think that developing human relationships is significantly far more critical than providing a merchandise.

“I unquestionably wouldn’t entrust my revenue to somebody with very little social recognition and plainly only cares about their very own self-pursuits.”

The agent could have also finished much better by getting “more upfront” and detailing the circumstance extra plainly, explained Gary.

Making sure Brokers Adhere to Pointers

He also pointed out that the incident has unfairly produced backlash in direction of insurance coverage agents and money advisers as a total.

“Maybe 95 for each cent of us are executing operate by referrals and correct economical setting up, but the incident puts practitioners in a lousy light-weight,” Gary stated.

Coverage corporations and field associations that CNA contacted did not offer stats on complaints about agents’ marketing and advertising things to do.

But in response to queries, AIA Singapore stated it can take customers’ suggestions critically and will investigate the conduct of its representatives when expected.

It additional that its roadshow pointers are aligned with MAS’ benchmarks of perform for marketing and advertising and distribution routines.

“We recognise that it is an ongoing hard work to preserve and elevate the standards of professionalism from our reps, and we will continue to do frequent testimonials and updates of our internal processes accordingly.”

Prudential, another significant insurance company, said its economical consultants are aware of the expectations of carry out to comply with, and these are communicated via induction programmes and education.

Consultants must also go assessments on product sales advisory specifications right before they can participate in roadshows.

“We also perform checks to make certain that (consultants) comply with the roadshow tips and stick to up if there is any suggestions on non-compliance.”

Consultants could also encounter disciplinary motion, such as getting disallowed to take part in promoting functions for a time period of time, it explained.

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