July 22, 2021

Mahesh has been living in your locality for many years now. For you and many of your neighbors, he is more of a friend than just an insurance agent. Of course he helps you to fill all those long and complicated insurance proposal forms, ensures you don’t have to worry about remembering the dates of renewals, makes the payment process easier for you and provides overall help about insurance matters. Also, he is the one you rely the most when it comes to choosing the best plan from so many insurance plans in India. But is he your well-wisher or is he doing all that primarily for himself, keeping his priorities above yours?

Let’s see how it all works out.

For years we have been told that insurance is a must and one should buy it not out of a real necessity, but not out of obligations to save tax or just because we have to buy it. These thoughts have been basically put in our minds by insurance agents who tend to gain from our investments. You might say no harm in that as it’s their profession and they should earn for their hard work. True, you are right if you think so, but then you should also get the maximum benefits if you invest in an insurance policy and shouldn’t be short changed.

As per the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India – IRDAI Guidelines, the insurance agents can earn a maximum of 40% commission in the first year on selling ULIPS. Where non-linked policies are concerned, their commission is a accounted for 35% in the first year. However, IRDAI has made certain regulations regarding non-linked policies as well wherein an agent gets more commission if he can get you to commit to a policy for a longer term. Let’s explain with the help of an example:

Term Commission for 1st Year Commission for 2nd & 3rd Year Following Years
5 Years 15% 7.5%/5%* 5%
10 Years 30% 7.5%/5%* 5%
12 Years and More 33%/30%* 7.5%/5%* 5%

*For brokers, the maximum payable is 30% in the first year of the term of 10 years or more and 5% in the following years. For agents other than brokers, the maximum commission payable is 40% during the first year for the term of 12 years or more.

This was about a particular plan. Now consider an example about commissions for different kind of plans:

Policy Type 1st Year 2nd & 3 4th Year Onwards
Money Back Plan 15%-21% 10% 5%
Endowment Plan 25%-35% 7.5% 5%
Single Premium Plan 2% NIL NIL

These commissions vary on the basis of the term of the policy and agents try to sell you, an insurance policy with the maximum term for their own benefits irrespective of the fact whether you need it or not.

Now, for example, you have bought an endowment policy from Mahesh for an annual premium of Rs. 1 lakh for a period of 20 years. During the course of the term, he is going to earn as much as Rs. 1,25,000/- as commission from your investment! This is the amount of money that is going only towards his commission and then there will be other charges like fund management charge, policy administration charge and a few more of those. Therefore the return on investments in such policies is low due to such high costs involved.

The best way is to eliminate the need of an agent and buy an online policy. The companies offer excellent plans that are simple to understand, easy to compare and easier to purchase without any hassles. There are websites dedicated to offering you details about every plan in the market on a single platform to make things easier for you. Find out information and then select a plan that charges you lower premium and ensures that your investment goes towards earning you a healthy return at the lowest possible cost to the company too. It’s a win-win situation for both the insurer and the insured!

Insurance plans in India have been sold by agents for a long time now. It is time for a change. Embrace it and make your money work wonders for you!

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