Insurance news report shows consumers prefer agents

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South Asian non-life customers still depend on professionals for their coverage needs.

According to the latest international insurance news statistics regarding the commissions earned by individual agents from the first quarter of the 2011 fiscal year when compared to those of the first quarter of this year, the average has risen from 35 percent to 43 percent.

This indicates a growing dependency from consumers on their agents.

On a wider scale, there have been three channels of distribution, which include individual agents, corporate agents, and brokers. Together, these are the primary insurer sales force. Though corporate and individual agents can sell products from only one non-life and one life insurer, brokers draw options for sale from several different companies. Furthermore, brokers are governed by the norms of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority and are corporate entities.

Still the FC Research Bureau’s most recent insurance news analysis shows that agents are on the rise.

This research indicated that in the non-life sector among the six leading private insurers, individuals had the top rank and had increased in their commissions by around 56 percent. These top six companies included Reliance General Insurance, ICICI Lombard General Insurance, Tata AIG General Insurance, Iffco-Tokio General Insurance, Cholamandalam MS General Insurance, and Royal Sundaram Alliance Insurance.

The statistics of HDFC Ergo General Insurance were considered though differently, as they did not provide the breakdown regarding the commissions received separately by corporate and individual agents, only agents in general.

This same insurance news showed that brokers received 34 percent of the total commissions.

They also saw increases over last year. When comparing the first quarters of both years, there was a rise of 27 percent in the amount of commissions received by brokers. Corporate agents held a 23 percent share of the total, but saw declines by 3 percent when compared to the same period in 2011.

The commissions to each category of the sales force varied from one company to the next. The insurance news reports showed that individual agents from Reliance General saw the largest increases in the commissions they received. Conversely, the individual agents at Iffco-Tokio General saw a decrease in their commissions, which was against the sector’s overall trend.

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