Blog / Car Insurance
Need car insurance? Avoid this money pit
If the movies have taught us anything it’s that agents can be expensive. Think James Bond, or Jason Bourne. They don’t always tell the truth and they spend a lot of time in super cars and casinos.
Back in the real world, agents are a way of life in Singapore. Not so much the movie kind, more, you know ‘uncle’ agent. The guy who wants to take you for a ‘quick kopi’ and sell you a pile of insurance policies.
So what’s the issue? One word. Commission. Commission is the amount an insurance agent is paid to get you to buy a product. And it follows that if an agent is working for commission payments, he or she is not necessarily working for you.
A real insurance agent explains
“There is absolutely zero incentive or point for agents to recommend products with lower commission rates. In fact, meeting a client to sell a term plan actually loses an agent money (unless it is a very big term plan) because the commission rate is simply not high enough to pay for the time + bus/MRT fare involved.” tankinlian.blogspot.sg
How else does this affect you?
Think of it this way. If you were being paid to sell Adidas, but paid nothing to sell Nike – which are you more likely to recommend? You see the problem. It’s the same when you are buying insurance. Agents can only sell you the products they represent, this can:
- Compromise the insurance advice you are being given.
- Increase the price you are being asked to pay.
How much do insurance agents make from your policies?
If, like us, you want to know how much money is a stake, here’s a simple answer. This is a rank of the insurance products sold in Singapore by type from the highest commissions earned in terms of percentage to the lowest.
What can I do about it?
When it comes to insurance, ignorance can be anything from frustrating to very expensive. Knowledge is always power. Before you buy, ask yourself these questions -
- Am I being told that insurance is too complicated for me to understand?
- Do I pay the same if I buy directly from the insurance company or through an agent?
- Does this company make it easy for me to buy or renew my policy online?
- How much will I pay if I want to cancel your policy, or want to buy insurance at a better price elsewhere?
A lot of insurance companies in Singapore claim you can save by buying direct. But we’ve done the research, and many of them still use middle-men. Budget Direct Insurance is one company that actually does deal directly with the customer in Singapore. No agents, not even under cover ones!