Attention must be paid to improving quality of insurance agents: Experts

It is critical to improve the quality of insurance agents and consultants to consolidate the trust of insurance buyers and bring the life insurance market back on track, experts have said.

According to Pham Thu Phuong, Deputy Director of the Insurance Supervisory Authority under the Ministry of Finance, the life insurance market must be put under scrutiny, especially the quality of consultancy, customer care service, and claim settlement.

Many insurance companies did not pay adequate attention to the quality of training for consultants and controlling the quality of agents. The claim settlement also caused frustration, she said.

Although bancassurance was considered to bring significant benefits, problems arose during the implementation due to the loose management, which caused a stir among insurance buyers, Phuong said, adding that most of the frustration came from buyers through bancassurance.

According to Tran Hong Nguyen, Deputy Chairwoman of the Law Committee of the National Assembly, problems of the life insurance market were a big lesson to all relevant parties, including State management agencies, insurance companies, and banks as well as insurance buyers.

Attention must be paid to improving quality of insurance agents | Business | Vietnam+ (VietnamPlus)
Many insurance companies did not pay adequate attention to the quality of training to consultants and controlling quality of agents. (File photo).

The management agencies should keep a closer watch on the market and improve market forecast to have timely measures to cope with arising problems before they went out of control, she said.

For insurance companies and commercial banks, it was critical for them to improve the training quality of their consultants and agents, not only in sales skills but also in knowledge about insurance products and professional ethics.

When insurance did not go in the right direction, the consequences were transparent as people would turn away from insurance and it was the insurance companies who would suffer, she said.

“Insurance companies must pay attention to controlling and operation of consultancy of agents. It is the first important thing.”

Insurance companies and banks should cooperate in training together with a clear supervision mechanism and accountability.

The settlement of claims should also be timelier and more satisfactory, she said. In addition, insurance buyers should study the terms of insurance contracts carefully.

Ngo Trung Dung, Deputy General Secretary of the Vietnam Insurance Association, said that existing scandalous claims should be solved promptly and thoroughly based on the established laws and signed contracts to consolidate trust in the insurance life market.

Communications should also be enhanced to raise awareness about life insurance.

It was also necessary to have the base for handling when consultants or agents provided the wrong consultancies, he said.

The draft decree guiding the implementation of the Law on Insurance Business said that insurance companies were responsible for recording the consultancies and keeping the audio for five years as evidence for handling disputes. This solution was being applied in Hong Kong, he said.

According to Phuong, protecting the rights of insurance buyers was also a top priority.

She said that there would be decrees and circulars detailing the management of the consultancy of insurance agents, especially bancassurance.

Inspections would be increased this year to ensure market discipline, she stressed.

To date, there were 78 insurance companies and one branch of a foreign non-life insurance company operating in Vietnam. The insurance market saw an average annual growth of 205 per year.

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(Source: Vietnamplus)