Not sure how many of you even remember the big printed (8-9 pages) airline tickets (not too long ago – 2002 it was still in vogue)…the travel agent (without whom you could not book the tickets), the discounts of 8% that the agents gave (to people who asked!!), or the free ticket for the wife (if you were a corporate customer)….
The internet surely ended all this. Today you need an agent only if you are planning something big, need a taxi pick up (even that the taxi drivers give you their cell numbers for you to call!), need hotels,….etc.
Do you notice a similar trend for the life (and general) insurance agents?
I do. Imagine I meet a guy in the aircraft, get talking and tell him ‘Take term insurance’ and once you have taken that, just surrender all the other 20 plans that you have’.
Imagine the guy does that. He stays in Cochin, I stay in Mumbai. We may not even meet again except through mail or as a reader of my blog. I gained NOTHING out of giving that advice. He saved a lot of cash flows. He thanks me.
What does it do to his agent?
He is pulling his hair. He does not even know that subramoney exists. He cannot understand why the……HIS LOYAL GOOD, LISTENING client is suddenly surrendering his policies. After all these policies are government guaranteed. They are issued by the biggest insurance house. He keeps wondering what hit him.
Nothing Mr. Agent. Just the power of the net. Sure, it is for the customer to find out what is good for him….but 15 years ago when the agent started the business, he did not know:
a. A product called Term Insurance will be sold with so much gusto.
b. Clients need for insurance could go DOWN too (with inheritance, ESOP, logic, an earning spouse, ..)
c. A client would have a choice of providers
d. A free advice provider with NO hidden agenda (called the net) will say things very, very differently…
poor agent. Not that ALL of them will be eliminated, but yes, most of them will be. Also banks will continue to mis-sell and its clients will continue to mis-buy.
After all even the regulator has a vested interest in the industry being ALIVE..(remember the alphabet D in its acronym?)
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