Asked by Anonymous
I am getting my very first insurance and so an IFA introduced an insurance plan which I am very inclined to sign (covers term life, tpd and early CI). But I discovered that this IFA may not be authorised as I cannot find his representative number on his e-namecard. I read online that "if you choose to deal with persons that are not regulated by MAS, you forgo the protection afforded under laws administered by MAS". I would like to check with all the gurus what is this "protection under law" that will be forgone? Is it a serious issue if the IFA does not have a representative number? Should I just pangseh this IFA and purchase the insurance plan directly from the insurance company which the IFA recommended? Thank you for all the responses in advance!
I am not sure what exactly do you mean but every agent, whether an IFA or a tied agent must have an RNF (representative notification framework) code from what I know.
This is especially important as this number is proof that he/she is certified by MAS to advise in financial products he/she is deemed qualified (as required under the Financial Advisers Act)
Additionally, the code can be tracked on the MAS website, either to flag fraudulent agents or to provide any history of fraudulent activity done by the agent for any outside potential prospects and employers' reference.
Back to the topic, if your IFA do not have an RNF code (also stipulated by MAS to be shown during prospecting with clients), that means that he/she is not qualified to advise on any financial products, as doing so would violate the Financial Advisers Act which is an offence. I do not advise signing any products with that agent.
Do not ever get any insurance from anyone you do not know well; let alone when you know he or she is not authorized (and thus will not be responsible if anything happens to you in future.)
My own experience to share; I once called up the insurance hotline for an agent despite having many friends who are agents because I did not want friendships to come between business. The agent came and brought along his wife and asked that his wife handles my policy and that she'd be here for a long time. 1yr plus plus later she left and I received a letter saying my policy is now under him and I tried calling so many times to know more about my policy and he wouldn't answer calls at all. Imagine if something had happened to me and I need any payout...!
In the end my friend took it upon herself to take over my policy and that very experience taught me to always get insurance from some you trust; contactable in times of need and with a sense of urgency.