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5 Questions Insurance Agents Love Asking (And Responses For Them To Go Away)

Here are some smart responses to the typical questions insurance agents love asking.

This article was updated on 21 June 2019.

Exiting from MRT stations have never been more challenging. Most of us can relate to that. We see well-dressed individuals loitering around wearing a lanyard armed with a pen and a clipboard. With a bright wide smile, one of them approaches us while we try to avoid eye contact and widen our stride, hoping to bypass them.

But usually, they will still approach us. And most of the time, these insurance agents will start their conversation by asking us to help them complete a short survey. Sometimes, we are unable to avoid them, especially if we are waiting for a friend.

Here are 5 questions that insurance agents love asking us and our suggested responses for them.

#1 “Do You Know What The Inflation Rate Is Currently?”

Purpose Of Question:

Agents want to make use of the question to share about the importance of investing and beating inflation. The words “declining purchasing power” will be thrown around to suggest that if you don’t do anything today such as invest in an Investment-Linked Policy (ILP) that they are selling, the money you save today will become less valuable in the future.

Read Also: The Ugly Truth Of ILPs

Your Response:

“Singapore’s core inflation rate is around 1.9% for January 2019. For 2018, that figure was 1.7%, while the headline inflation rate in Singapore stood at 0.4% for 2018.”

Read Also: Singapore Inflation Rate In 2018: Here’s How Much Prices Of Everyday Goods And Services Have Increased

#2 “Do You Know What Is The Interest Rate Offered By The Banks? Do You Know That There Is A Better Way Of Saving Your Money?”

Purpose Of Question:

Agents want to remind you just how little interest the money you keep in your saving account is earning, compared to the policies that they wish to sell you.

Your Response:

“For normal saving accounts, banks typically offers an interest rate of 0.05%. But that’s your bank. Because I use high-interest savings accounts like OCBC 360, UOB OneDBS Multiplier, which allow me to earn a much higher interest rate, similar to some of the returns from certain long-term savings plans.“

#3 “How Much Do You Save Each Month? We Have This Cashback Saving Plans That Is Totally Flexible And Affordable.”

Purpose Of Question:

Agents are trying to suggest some ways you can use your savings for.

Your Response:

(Allow them to draw out the plans, it would usually look something like this): This illustration is based on a male, non-smoker, 30 next birthday with basic sum assured of $30,000. This plan assumes that the cashback is not reinvested into the plan.


Policy Term Premium Term Monthly Premium Total Annual Cashback Received Before Maturity Guaranteed Return Non-Guaranteed Return Total Return
18 years 18 years $276.40 $24,000 $12,000 $26,277 $62,277


Total premiums paid = $59,702.40

Difference between total return and premium paid = $2,574.60

Yield = 4.3%

The 4.3% yield is based on the total return received at the end of maturity. This includes the non-guaranteed return portion, which was forecasted at an investment rate of return of 4.75%. This means that any actual rate which falls below 4.75% will further lower your yield of 4.3%.

If this saving plan is meant for retirement, you might be better off contributing this amount into your CPF special account or retirement account of a guaranteed 4%. If you are looking for flexibility, monthly STI ETF savings plan could also be a better option.

#4 “You Can Never Have Too Much Insurance”

Purpose Of Question:

Agent realised another agent have already sold you the plans that he was hoping to sell.

Your Response:

“Wrong. One might run a risk of being over-insured. Imagine buying a $200,000 car and insure the car for $3million, we will also run the risk of being over-insured when the amount insured is significantly larger than our income. “

#5 “You Didn’t Hear What I Want To Say, What Makes You Think You Don’t Need My Product?”

Purpose Of Question:

Agent is basically trying to sell you a product, even after realising you don’t really need it.

Your Response:

“If I really need a product, I will find out the features and buy it after researching. I wouldn’t suddenly need a product after someone on the street tell me that I need it.”

Not All Street Canvassers Are Bad

We are not saying that you should not listen to financial planners. Unfortunately, however, there are too many insurance agents out there on the streets that are simply trying to push products to unsuspecting consumers, even without knowing their client’s needs and financial goals. Some agents themselves may not even be that knowledgeable in the first place.

If an agent is able to give a patient and elaborate explanation on the response you gave, plus more insights that you didn’t realise, then perhaps they do have what it takes to be your insurance agent.

Read Also: Buying The Right Insurance Policy In Singapore

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