I’m sure you all had that one friend who’s become an insurance agent (or, as they would sometimes call them, financial advisors) and would bombard your social media feed with posts about why you should get insurance.
Insurance, I have to agree, is one of the best financial defenses one can have in these troubling economic times. Getting insurance is one way we can retire without having to rely on our relatives for financial assistance, work beyond retirement age, or worse, use our own children as a kind of “gatasan” – a toxic Filipino trait millennials are now trying to get out of.
But in the past weeks, I’ve noticed that some of these so-called “financial advisors” have become like multi-level marketing (MLM) agents who just can’t stop talking about their product.
Like, their Facebook pages have become so full of promos of their insurance products that you sometimes wonder if they even have their own social or personal lives. (Oh yes, they have personal lives, but they would sometimes try to connect their own personal experiences with the need for getting insurance to laughable levels.)
And lately, some netizens have noticed that a few insurance agents are now resorting to “dirty” tactics, such as gaslighting and guilt-tripping, to get you to buy insurance policies.
Here’s an example: they would say things like, “Sige, hindi ka kumuha ng insurance ngayon, tapos magsisisi ka sa bandang huli.” Or, “Sinasabi mong priority mo ngayon gastusin ng ang pamilya mo kaya hindi ka makakuha ng insurance, pero sa huli, makikita mong para rin ito sa pamilya mo.”
I’m not saying that all insurance agents behave like this, but people who go to such lengths as guilt-tripping are damaging the profession – and are actually making people shun insurance as a whole.
Let’s face it: in these economic times, just getting through our daily lives is already a big win. As much as I understand the value of insurance, I wish these so-called “financial advisors” would understand that for some people, every centavo they earn may mean life or death for them and their families. To me, saying things like “Dapat i-prioritize mo rin ang pagkuha ng insurance para sa pamilya mo,” is tantamount to saying, “Huwag mo na silang pakainin para makabayad ka ng premiums.”
Here's something insurance agents should consider: if you are really concerned for the future of your client, why not offer them insurance that they could afford at their current economic situation? Heck, I remember this program of the Social Security System (SSS) called “AlkanSSSya,” where members-- minimum wage earners and self-employed people-- could contribute to the SSS as low as P11 per day. Other companies, such as Globe, now offer medical insurance for as low as P30 a day. I’ve yet to see any insurance agent offer insurance for THAT low.
Which makes me think that some insurance agents are really after the large commissions that they get for every transaction and are not concerned about their clients’ welfare in the first place. For me, the real reason that you should offer insurance is because you’re concerned about your client, not with your pocket.