Insurance is a technical concept which has to be understood completely to understand the benefits that it offers. Moreover, insurance, as a product, is not sold in stores or shops. This is where insurance advisors come into the picture. Insurance advisors not only explain the complex details of insurance policies, but they also help individuals in buying a suitable plan. Insurance advisors are, in fact, the most important and popular mode of distribution of insurance policies. Let’s understand who they are and what role do they play in the insurance sector –
Who are insurance advisors?
Insurance advisors are intermediaries who bridge the gap between insurance companies and policyholders. Insurance advisors represent insurance companies and sell the insurance products offered by such companies to their clients. As such, insurance advisors sell insurance policies and, as a compensation for their services they earn a commission on each policy that they sell.
Role of insurance advisors
Insurance advisors have to liaison between the insured and the insurer. They have a role in generating insurance business for the company that they represent. Moreover, since they also represent their clients, insurance advisors have a role to play towards them as well. So, the role of an insurance advisor can be divided into the following two categories –
Role of an insurance advisor towards the insurance company
Here are the roles of the advisor towards the insurance company that he/she represents –
- Generating maximum business
- Promoting the insurance company
The first role of the insurance advisor is to generate as much new business for the insurance company as possible. This can be achieved by selling the maximum number of policies to his/her clients. An insurance advisor, therefore, should approach as many individuals as possible and try to position the company’s insurance policies in the individual’s financial needs if possible.
Just selling insurance policies is not enough. The insurance advisor should also ensure that he/she can retain the customers of the company. Persistency is an important factor in the insurance company’s revenue. Persistency shows how many policyholders are continuing with the same plan with the same insurance company. Persistency is particularly important in case of life insurance policies which are long term plans. Under these policies, the continuity of the plan for the stipulated tenure is in the best interests of the insurance company as well as the policyholder. The insurance advisor should, therefore, ensure that his existing clients continue their insurance coverage without fail.
Another role of the insurance advisor is to promote the insurance company with which he/she is associated. Only when customers trust an insurance company would they buy the company’s policies. The advisor should, therefore, build a positive brand image of the insurance company in the eyes of his/her clients and improve the company’s goodwill.
Role of an insurance advisor towards his customers
Since insurance is a long term product and affects the financial well-being of the family, the role of an insurance advisor is of utmost importance. He needs to be diligent and trustworthy towards his work so that the client can depend on his expertise and advice.
The insurance advisor’s role towards his/her clients include the following –
- Goal identification
- Fulfilment of financial goals
The first thing which an insurance advisor is required to do before generating a sale is to find out the details of his/her clients. When the advisor knows the personal and financial details of the client, he/she can find out the client’s needs and requirements. These needs and requirements would then help the advisor to position the right insurance product. So, fact-finding is the first step of the insurance sales process where the advisor should find out the details of the client.
Once the advisor has the personal and financial details of the client, the next step is to find out the financial goals that the client has. Insurance policies are goal-oriented products. They can be used to fulfil the different financial goals that individuals have. For instance, if an individual wants financial security, term insurance and health insurance plans prove ideal. For child planning needs, child life insurance plans are the most suitable. So, until and unless the advisor finds out what the client exactly wants, the right insurance product cannot be sold.
This step is where the insurance advisor’s expertise and knowledge are sought by clients. Once the financial goals of the individual are identified, the advisor’s role is to suggest the right insurance products which would fulfil the identified goals. The clients benefit from insurance only when the right insurance policy is matched with their needs. As the clients benefit from insurance, their trust in insurance advisors also grows.
- Handling objections
- Helping the clients buy insurance
- Maintain contact
When the advisor suggests the suitable insurance product the client might not agree with the client’s suggestions. There are bound to be objections and queries from the customer’s end. It is, therefore, the advisor’s role to handle all the customer’s objections and answer them to the best of his/her knowledge.
To buy an insurance policy clients are required to fill up a proposal form stating all their relevant details. The details contained in the form then form the basis of the insurance contract. So, it is important that the clients provide all the information correctly. The advisor’s role is to oversee whether his clients are providing the correct information. He/she should also help the client fill up the proposal form and explain the relevance of the different parts of the form so that the client knows why the information should be authentic.
The insurance advisor’s role does not end with the sale of an insurance product. The advisor should keep in constant touch with the client even after the policy has been sold. Constant relationship with the client would help the advisor get referrals which would help in boosting the advisor’s business. Moreover, through contact, the advisor can help the customer renew his/her insurance policies and therefore maintain a high persistency ratio.
- Help in claim settlements
- They should keep themselves updated of all insurance-related news
- They should have complete knowledge of the insurance products that they are selling
- They should sell insurance plans which fit into the customers’ needs and not those which give them the maximum commission
- They should be truthful to their customers
- They should not mislead their customers for their personal gains
The final role that an advisor has towards his/her client is at the time of claims. Since the advisor is well-versed with the technicalities of insurance and knows the claim process, it is his/her duty to help his/her clients get the settlement of their claims. Insurance advisors can play a key role in the claim settlements of their customers by helping them with the correct process and the documents required. Assistance at the time of claims would increase the customers’ trust in advisors and would also help in generating more business. Insurance is not only about selling insurance policies, it also involves building a long term relationship. When the advisor helps the client at the time of claims, the client understands the importance of insurance and realises how the policy came to his aid. This makes the client more receptive to insurance and he/she also buys more insurance policies thereby increasing the business of the advisor.
An insurance advisor, therefore, plays different roles both for the insurance company and the customers. To be able to do complete justice to their multifaceted roles, insurance advisors should keep the following things in mind –
A career in insurance is rewarding as it promises unlimited income and other rewards and recognition. You can become an insurance advisor by enrolling with an insurance company. You would have to undergo training in insurance and clear an examination to get a license to act as an insurance advisor of that company. Alternatively, you can become a PoSP (Point of Sale Person) with Turtlemint and sell insurance policies. A PoSP certification is more rewarding because it gives you the following benefits -
- You are able to sell both life and general insurance policies with a single license
- Turtlemint is tied-up with leading insurance companies allowing you to represent some of the best insurance providers
- You get a bouquet of products at your disposal allowing you to have a wider product base for your clients
- MintPro allows you complete online assistance using which you can generate client leads, maintain a record of your clients, sell insurance online and also help your customers at the time of claim
Whether as an insurance agent or as a PoSP you would still be an insurance advisor. You would be the one who ‘advises’ individuals to buy the right and the most suitable insurance policy for their needs. So, if you want to be an insurance advisor, remember the different roles which you need to play, both for the insurance company and your client. When you play the above-mentioned roles perfectly, you can earn attractive commissions and grow your insurance business manifold.