Malaysia: Number of full time agents needs to increase--LIAM

| 30 May 2017

To become a more mature insurance market like Australia, Japan and Hong Kong, the Life Insurance Association of Malaysia (LIAM) will work towards minimising the number of part-time agents, said its industry promotion committee chairman Ramzi Toubassy at the at the opening of the 2017 Limra-Loma Operational Strategies Conference in Kuala Lumpur last week.

“About 70% of insurance agents are currently part-timers. We need to turn them into full-time agents, so that they can fully dedicate themselves to the industry, and provide better services,” he said, as reported by Bernama.

Mr Toubassy also spoke about how Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) efforts at liberalising the insurance sector will address the protection gap in the country and increase the insurance and takaful penetration rate to 75% by 2020, a goal the government has set for the industry. It would also help boost insurance sales in the country, he said.

“According to BNM, the overall insurance and takaful penetration rate in Malaysia has ranged between 54% and 56% over the last five years,” Bernama reported him as saying.

“The advances in digital technology, demand and expectation for life insurance products and services will bring about new challenges and demands to a career in life insurance sales. But it will also help increase the penetration rate,” he told the media.

He noted that the Malaysian insurance industry has been undergoing a transformation with implementation of key initiatives under BNM’s Life Insurance and Family Takaful Framework (LIFE Framework), aimed at promoting product innovations, diversification of distribution channels, greater transparency and consumer protection.

Mr Ramzi said the significant developments and regulatory changes taking place in the industry required industry practitioners to move quickly to adapt to the new rules and policies, to re-strategise business models and think of new ways of responding to changing market demands.