CUSTOMERS who want to buy insurance products in Singapore now have added protection after special identity cards have been issued to qualified and licensed agents of general insurance companies.
Insurance buyers can now ask to see an agent’s identity card before doing business. Buyers can quickly and easily ascertain if an agent is licensed and authorised to represent the insurer whose product he or she is offering.
The General Insurance Association of Singapore (GIA) has issued some 8,500 cards to member companies since the start of this year.
The association has over 30 members, including NTUC Income, AIA and Aviva.
Agents employed by these companies are required to obtain and carry the identity cards before they can conduct business with clients.
Among other details, the card will include a picture of the agent, the expiry date of the licence and the agent’s nominee number. The number can be used to verify the licence via an agent search function on the GIA website.
Identity cards will be renewed yearly unless revoked by the GIA.
Cards can be revoked when agents do not renew their agency registration or if their licences are terminated by their principals or insurers.
“We aim to protect our customers by issuing these cards, so they can buy insurance products from licensed and qualified intermediaries who are in a better position and are better equipped to offer product advice,” said Ms Stella Tan, GIA management committee member and chairman of the Agents’ Registration Board.
Insurance agent Ho Tat Hong, 50, feels that the issuing of such identity cards is a must and should become a business practice.
“At the point of introduction, it establishes that you have gone through the proper training and exams to give qualified advice,” he said.