Asked on 29 May 2018
Meet him or her, chit chat and be upfront and honest. Let him review your financial health and see what he/she suggest.
Don't be pressured to buy anything immediately or sign anything. Instead, let him/her go back and do a proposal for you. In the meanwhile, if you come across another agent, do the same thing.
Buy only when you are comfortable. Buying insurance is a 2 way street. Be open and honest about your financial health but don't be afraid to ask whatever questions you have. Be open, honest AND ask. Just ask it.
I have a slightly different experience! For my first meeting, I would not expect that you will need to bring anything. In fact, what you do need to bring is an open mind. They should be starting to share with you your financial holes and gaps. It would also be good to have a rough idea of your cashflow (in and out) and overall asset and liabilities position :)
What I highly recommend is also instead is to figure our what you really need (which you already kind of understand the terminologies).
I would really think of reading this article first before hand: It's unbiased and written with the consumer in mind: https://blog.seedly.sg/working-adults-what-are-the-key-insurance-policies-you-should-get-in-singapore/
In reality insurance really is about sufficient coverage for the right reasons at the lowest cost.
After that, all should be fine and never commit to anything at the first meeting. They don't expect you to as well. Just go ahead and take the information home to understand it better. :) Before coming to a conclusion.
Most agents would typically provide you the following:
A full breakdown and analysis of your current financial plan and future plan, investment risk profiling
An analysis of how much coverage is required based on your financials and dependents
A recommendation of different insurance/investment policies from his company
If your agent is from an independent advisory then:
A recommendation of different insurance/investment policies from DIFFERENT insurers
A breakdown comparison between the different policies, pros and cons
Hrm, actually chose to bypass this question because it was mostly covered already.
I'm gonna add a little more for fun but still useful., since we're talking about 'information to get from an agent' and not specifically in relation to the package you're looking for.
1) You want to make sure they have an RNF number. That's because there are still clowns who might have the audacity to operate when they either don't have one, or theirs is suspended - like the guys who came out in the news. Besides, an agent who doesn't at least bring his namecard including your friends isn't worth his/her salt.
2) You want to see how long they've been working in this line and 3) You want to see how long they will work in this line.
Now, time is not necessarily a good guide line - I know agents who've operated for years who know less than me - but it can help you guide your future line of questioning. For agents who've been operating under a year, what have they learnt? How many clients do they have? For agents who have a lot of experience, same question. This is useful to you in varying degrees.
For fresh agents: How fresh are they? I consider myself extremely experienced in some areas and extremely inexperienced in some areas, so I always work on improving myself in those areas or being upfront about my lack of experience in those areas. And if they are fresher, how much are you willing to risk based on your needs? If the person is fresh but is asking all the right questions, its still worth consideration. If the agent misses out a lot, are you really wiling to have this person serve you with no guarantee they will improve?
Also ask whether they intend to make this a long term career, and if not, why? I don't intend to stay in my line longer than 12 years. I have contingency plans for my clients when this happens and personal plans for myself - and I'm upfront about it. Agents who don't plan for themselves are not good planners for you - and they should give you good answers that show solid thinking.
I personally wouldn't mind a fresh agent if 1) He let me just go with the pronoun he for this whole thing to save some time shows desire to commit to you a lot. This can be extremely useful. 2) If he is on standby a lot. His replies are prompt, energetic and informative. 3) He shows long term desire to improve, and shows consideration for you as a person. Quite frankly, these are the only points a fresh agent might have against a more experienced agent unless you account for having specialties - so for myself as an example, I currently only specialize in mortgage related matters, investments and Early Critical Illness Insurance. I cannot do a really good Shield Plan comparison for you, or Travel Insurance comparison for you. Fresh agents must show that they can improve to keep serving you effectively, and must show willingness and graciousness to reward you for being one of their first batch of clients.
For experienced agents, just watch out for product pushers, and for people who may be too bogged down to give you the time of the day due to their extensive clientele. The inverse of above, basically.
Hope that helps. Remember - the insurance is a product that is used to help you - but the value add of a financial advisor that you've chosen to see also has significant, long-term quantitative value. Otherwise you might as well just buy it from a nameless, faceless person whose product happens to meet your needs.
I would like to agree with Kenneth. Going with an open mind would be great and just thinking in all the information from the insurance agent. Ask questions along the way and clear your queries with the agent.
I am an agent myself and I always ask my clients "What do you know about insurance?" so that I can gauge what to cover in our appointment because different people have different perceptions of insurance.
Be as honest and open about your finances to your agent so that he has the correct amount to propose what is best for your situation.
Don't feel pressured to sign anything on the spot (it shouldn't be the case) but have the urgency to really think through and clear your queries with the knowledge you have.
If you feel the agent is honest, trustworthy and gives very great advice, then go ahead with the policies with him/her. He has done his work to serve your insurance policies.
If you need a second opinion, feel free to drop me an email [email protected]
Disclaimer - I'm on Seedly on a pro bono basis because I feel people should be more educated in their insurance planning and wanted to address some questions on a public forum so that other visitors can learn too.
Instead of getting info from the agent, you should be providing info to the agent.
What we'll need to know is your family financial situation, ideas on what you want to do in the event death or critical illness strikes you, and what are your personal financial commitments.
From there, the agent may propose one or two plans. Ask about the features, clarify and doubts and walk through scenarios with the agent. Then you should know if the plan fits you.