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What does it take to become an insurance agent?

1. The thirst for learning

The insurance industry has gotten more regulated over the years. For one to start becoming an agent, you are required to sit for these exams:

  • Rules And Regulations For Financial Advisory Services (M5)

  • Life Insurance And Investment-Linked Policies (M9)

  • Life Insurance And Investment-Linked Policies II (M9A)

After which, you can apply to MAS for the license and they, in turn, do a reference check. Other papers required:

  • Health Insurance (HI)

  • Collective Investment Schemes (M8)

  • Collective Investment Schemes II (M8A)

If you would also like to be able to do general insurance, these are the 3 papers that you will need to clear as well:

  • Personal General Insurance

  • Commercial General Insurance

  • Basic Insurance Concepts And Principles

After a couple of years in the industry, I went on to get my Chartered Financial Consultant designation. And that alone was me having to pass another 9 papers! There are other professional designations that you can work towards such as the Certified Financial Planner, Chartered Life Underwriter, Associate Estate Planner and so on. One thing I have learnt is that you can never know enough about this industry as it keeps evolving and you need to constantly learn and evolve in your learning as well.

2. The love for people

I get to work with people from all walks of life on a day-to-day basis. I get to know more about their lives, their families, their industries as well as their hopes and dreams. That really excites me and fuels my love for this career. It allows me to see my clients grow and achieve what they set out to. I also get to work with the friends and families of my clients as well. If you are looking to join, the love for people is a must because they are the pillars of your career!

3. A service mindset

You need to put your client’s best interest first. Be it whilst you recommend them plans or when they really need your help when making a claim. Empathy is an important trait for an agent as it helps you understand the client better and makes you fight harder for claims and for better underwriting outcomes. I want the best for my clients and will go to great lengths for them.

4. Resilience

This is not an easy career by any means. But it is a rewarding one. You need to have the resilience to weather a bad day, a bad meeting, a tough client. Nothing easy is ever worthwhile and nothing worthwhile is ever easy.

If at first, you don’t succeed, you got to pick yourself up and try again! Often people are scared to fail but it is through failure that you grow.

5. Adaptability

Covid was a real game-changer in the industry. Due to the lockdown, we could no longer meet clients face to face. Insurance companies started to rely heavily on technology to continue doing business. What used to be in-person interactions now became virtual ones with video conferencing being a large part of how we connected with clients during the circuit breaker. Being able to adapt to and embrace new changes in the industry will ensure that you can continue serving your clients!

6. Being a good listener

The art of listening is such an important tool in this industry. Agents often fall prey to wanting to educate clients about everything we know and end up dominating conversations. But it is when you listen carefully to what your clients say is when you uncover the hidden dreams and wants, they might have. As I matured in my career, I began speaking less and listening more. Doing so enabled me to connect with my clients better and become a better agent.

If you think you have what it takes to be an insurance agent, or you are curious or your gut is telling you to explore this further, then you are in the right place at the right time. I am currently expanding my team and I would love to have a chat with you. Send me a message below or email me at to introduce yourself and let me know why you want to be an insurance agent. Hope to hear from you soon!




aka Shalini Arul, a blessed mama to 2 beautiful children, Dhruv and Ria, a Chartered Financial Consultant in the insurance industry for 12+ years. Also a member of the Million Dollar Round Table and an International Dragon Award qualifier.

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