Pros and cons of being an insurance agent in Singapore
A career in the insurance industry is an exciting and hugely fulfilling one. However, in the 13years of my career as an insurance agent, I have seen many new agents burn out and leave the industry very early on. Being an insurance agent is tough. You are faced with rejection daily and hear far more Nos than Yeses.
I am always reminded of the illustration of 2 miners digging for gold. One gives up quite easily when the going gets tough and the other is PERSISTENT and finds the gold. Despite facing rejections, as an agent, you just have to keep picking yourself up again and never give up. It is this tenacity that sets the long-term agents apart.
This profession is also an extremely rewarding one. Not only do you get to help people, but you get remunerated in tandem with the effort and hard work you put into it. So, what do I love about my job? EVERYTHING! But if I had to narrow it down, the following reasons would definitely be the cherry on the cake for me.
The perks of being an agent...
Seeing your work help someone
Clients sometimes tell me that they do not see the effects of insurance immediately and to them, it serves as just a piece of paper. I tell them that I hope they never have to use this piece of paper as it would mean that something untoward did happen. I have done countless numbers of claims for my clients in the span of my career. I feel good when I can assure them that their coverage is in order and that they do not need to feel worried about the financial blow to their families when they get ill or injured. Looking at the claims files of my clients that I have collected over the years, always empowers me. It serves as a powerful reminder of why I do the work I do; it makes a big difference in the lives of many families I care about.
There are even times when it is not just been about the policies or claims, but just being there for someone in their time of need and knowing that it meant something to them at that time gives me purpose.
Not a 9 to 5 job
I am thankful for this aspect of my career. I work on weekdays, weekends and even on public holidays. But I can plan my schedule and dictate my working hours. This is especially important to me as a mom of 2 as I also want to be able to spend time with my children and watch them grow!
Having the autonomy to plan my work schedule in line with my family schedule enables me to be present for those who need me be it my clients, family or friends even!
Managing my own career and progression
As an agent, you are considered self-employed. You must run your own ship and as such, can determine your career progression without having it be hampered by unpleasant work environments. You can either choose to be a producer (someone only focused on sales) or a manager (someone who has a team of agents to teach). For a long time, I chose to focus on being a producer as I wanted to build my family and did not want to short-change my team. Now, I am focused more on team building as I plan to become a manager who can share my knowledge and build my dream team!
Some difficulties faced by agents...
Being available to your clients
Let us admit it- disaster does not check the time when it strikes. Sometimes, accidents and unfortunate situations occur when one least expects it. And at that time, clients want to reach their agents immediately for important information about their coverage or procedures. However, as much as any good agent would like to be available to answer their clients' urgent queries, it is not always easy to be available 24/7. I do my best to attend to my clients' needs and requests in the fastest manner because I know how valuable that information they seek is to them, and I want them to be able to handle any financial situation with as much ease and in the most comfortable manner to them possible.
Rain or shine, night or day, I am always having my phone in my hand in case I get contacted by a client. I have taken calls whilst on holiday and I even remember having my phone and answering texts whilst I was in labour!
The paperwork involved in the insurance industry is quite significant. Form filling is one thing required from the beginning of a sale all the way to client servicing. Thankfully, a lot of form filling is now done through softcopy so the need to meet physically to sign a form is reduced drastically. But it still needs to be done! These forms are needed especially when filing a claim or when making changes to an existing policy. Without them, the insurer will not be able to proceed with what needs to get done.
Despite the challenges, I am still passionate about my job. I have learnt to embrace both the rewards and challenges and carve out what works best for me as an agent and as a mother/wife/daughter etc. If I could turn back time, would I still choose to be an insurance agent? In a heartbeat! I am proud of the work I have accomplished, and I always remain thankful for the chance visit my brother-in-law paid me at Frujch. If it were not for him, I would not be here today being the agent that I am!
Being AgentMama is only possible because of the support of my loving family and the trust that my clients have placed in me. I strive to improve myself continually and become the best version of myself. If you have read this article and feel that this is a career you wish to explore, send me a message below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I would be happy to have a chat with you!