The IRDA has come out with a new law which says the life insurance sales guys should ask a lot of questions BEFORE a customer fills up or BUYS a life insurance policy.

For some of us in the life insurance business it was quite obvious that these questions should be asked. I must say to the credit of Hdfc Standard Life Insurance, they had a training program in place which incorporated all these questions – and more in their sales process.

However the examples that IRDA has given are so so simple – that it is possible to pitch any product and justify the sale!

Actually trying to reduce the sales process of a product like life insurance into a pure ‘yes’ and ‘no’ kind of a questionnaire seems to be a difficult exercise. Given the squeezing of margins (oh no I have no sympathies, but just saying) the question is ‘How will life insurance companies train their 30 million strong sales force to fill up the form’.

More importantly will the clients give all these details to a sales guy BEFORE a client buys the product?

Will the client not be afraid that all this data could get misused? (I will not, repeat never, ever, surely not) give away so much of details to a half baked life insurance agent. Why even my bank RM does not get any details from me.

I have to be convinced that the guy will be able to use the data scientifically and smartly to come up with a product that suits me. Data leakage, data misuse, data stolen by the more enterprising employee are all worries that plagues most of my friends who deal with such ‘agents’.

Creating a set of well sounding, smart agents who can get these details from the client, feed it into a system and RECOMMEND a suitable product with the APPROPRIATE problem is not a science that can be put into a software. It is a combination of art and science.

God bless IRDA, the life insurance companies and of course the people who ‘certify’ that the training has been completed.

What I would love to do?

Be on the IRDA audit panel to see if the training has been really implemented. Sadism, I guess!!!

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  1. Ha,

    I was always suspicious you had a sadistic trait in you Subra… you have come out of closet…LOL

    But still, you on audit panel will work wonders for the hapless clients being sold lemons (although I am NOT at all sympathetic to such “clients”, I always maintain its the clients obligation to do proper homework BEFORE signing anywhere.. maybe I am getting sadistic too..).

    I guess Life Insurance is not a type of product whcih can fit into any one size fits all theory. Lots of variations due to circumstances, profile, risk taking ability and what not. Really a combination of art and science.

    Nice, short and to the point, as usual.

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