Life Insurance Industry conducts “Study on Turnover of Agents” to further enhance and strengthen agents’ professionalism
Kuala Lumpur, 27 January 2022 -The Life Insurance Association of Malaysia (LIAM) together with its 16 member companies are working together to further enhance and strengthen the professionalism of its agency force and upskill them through continuous training and professional programmes to accelerate growth in 2022.
In line with its efforts to raise the standard of its agency workforce, the industry is conducting a “Study on Turnover of Agents” targeting 5,000 respondents to establish the reasons for agents leaving the profession, the relationship between product knowledge and the retention of agents and to establish whether demographics, working experience, support at work and training and development have influence on the agents’ retention.
Speaking on the study, which will begin this month, LIAM President, Loh Guat Lan said, “The “Study on Turnover of Agents” is aimed to reach out to these agents who have left the business to enable us to better understand and validate the reasons behind their departure. The findings of the study, will help the industry formulate further best practices and focus on key areas where LIAM and other stakeholders in the industry can assist in improving the recruiting and retention of quality and productive agents.”
“In the pandemic era, we need to be proactive and improve ourselves in servicing the policyholders. Various strategies have been implemented in adapting to the change and challenges brought about by the pandemic. As the broader economy recovers and responds to the pandemic, we see many new opportunities and potential in the Malaysian insurance market. This is where insurance agents can fill the gap and address the needs of the public. The role of insurance agents has become more significant as the industry is gearing itself to increase the penetration rate, reduce the protection gap and reach out to the underserved market.
As a highly regulated industry, insurers are to ensure that they only hire qualified individuals who will play an important role in strengthening the protection of consumer interests as well as to foster an industry that practices accountability, integrity and efficiency. In advocating professionalism, our agents and intermediaries undergo rigorous training and examinations to equip them with the knowledge, skills and competency to serve their policyholders,” Loh explained.
“The industry is also proactively looking at how to recruit more full-time agents, developing best practices for agency development, reviewing current Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programmes to identify gaps and to set new benchmarks as well as development of competency of agents through certification/ accreditation programmes.
We are very encouraged with the positive development in the number of agents recruited by the life insurance industry during the pandemic. As of 31 December 2021, the number of agents has increased to 88,068 agents from 82,042 agents in 2020. As a stable and dynamic industry, a profession in the insurance industry is indeed attractive, rewarding and provides an abundance of opportunities that attracts people from all walks of life,” Loh added.
Meanwhile, LIAM CEO, Mark O’Dell said, “The industry works very closely with the regulator, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) and other stakeholders including the Malaysian Insurance Institute (MII), Malaysian Financial Planning Council (MFPC) and National Association of Malaysian Life Insurance and Family Takaful Advisors (NAMLIFA) to review the programmes for the development and up skilling of agents through new programmes and programmes which are in demand by the industry. This would further enhance the productivity of the industry.”
Speaking on the Agents’ Turnover Study, O’Dell said, “LIAM has commissioned Inspire Group Asia to conduct the study, which consists of an online survey to 5,000 respondents, 250 telephone interviews and some focus group sessions.
The survey which will run for several weeks from 24/01/2022 to 15/02/2022 is also offering incentives to lucky participants. For the online survey, 20 lucky participants will stand a chance to win RM100 Touch ‘n Go eWallet credits and for the telephone interview, 100 lucky participants will stand a chance to win RM50 Touch ‘n Go eWallet credits,” O’Dell highlighted.
“Agents who have left the industry and selected to participate in the survey will receive an email from email@example.com. We are calling these agents who receive our email to respond by 15/02/2022 to qualify for the lucky draw.”
“Moving forward, we hope through the study, the industry will be able to formulate an effective recruitment and retention programme for its agency force in line with our efforts to produce quality and productive agents for the industry,” O’Dell concluded.