In this article we will see the commission structure of Insurance Policies . We will look at Endowment/Moneyback/ULIP plans and how much commission an agent earns per year out of those policies.
As per Insurance Act, 1938, The insurance companies are allowed to pay a maximum commission of 40 per cent of the first year’s premium, 7.5 per cent of the second year’s premium and 5 per cent from there on. The commission paid is limited to 2 per cent in case of single premium policies. In case of pension plans, the commission is limited to 7.5 per cent of the first year’s premium and 2 per cent there on. Currently most of the policies are very much paying these kind of commissions . Let us quickly look some of the facts on Life Insurance .
- Average sum assured of the insured Indian is around Rs 90,000
- 1 trillion worth of policies lapsed in 2008-09 , this is mostly because investors have discarded their old policies to buy new one’s , thanks to agents who tell people about another “hot” plan in market. Another reason is that investors buy policies which have higher premium than what they can afford in reality and later feel that its time to stop it .
- India Insurance penetration is around 7.5% of global numbers . i.e: 0.16% of the GDP, which is , against a global average of 2.14
- As per IRDA report 2008-09 , Insurance Industry had 29.37 lakh agents by the end of Mar 2009 , out of which 13 lakh agents were added during 2008-09 .
Life Insurance Commission Example
|Policy Type||Premium Paying Term||Upfront Commission (1st Year)||Trail Commission (2nd & 3rd yr)||Trail Commission (from 4th yr)|
|Endowment / Term Plans||15+ yrs||25% – 35% *||7.5%||5%|
|Endowment / Term Plans||10-14 yrs||20% – 28% *
|Endowment / Term Plans||5-9 yrs||14%||5%||5%|
|Endowment / Term Plans||Single Premium||2%||0%||0%|
|Money Back||15+ yrs||15% – 21% *
||20 – 40%||2%||2%|
Note : Some of the numbers are in range, which means the commission can lie between that range . Mostly its minimum commission + Bonus if any
- Policy Type : Endowment Policy
- Premium Paying Term : 20 Yrs
- Premium/Year : Rs 1 Lacs
|1st Year||Rs 35,000||1 X 35%|
|2nd Year||Rs 15,000||2 X 7.5%|
|4-20th Year||Rs 85,000||17 X 5%|
|Total||Rs 1.35 Lacs||6.75%|
Q: So are you imaging which is more costly ? Mutual funds or Insurance Policies ?
Read subramoney’s article on this topic.
How to use this information ?
Agents have to make sure that they follow-up with clients and track the premium payment, this leads to overheads and regular feedback from agents side , apart from that there are operational expenses incurred by agents , so we should not forget those points . As a customer , you should be knowing how much an agent is making out of you , this should form the basis of the quality service for you . An agent should help you understand your Insurance requirement and provide you the best solution , He should assist you in buying the Policy and over the years he should update you/ help you with all the changes .
Hot discussion topic
As per a govt-appointed committee , Insurance commissions should totally be removed by 2011 . “Immediately the upfront commissions embedded in the premium paid (to agents by insurance companies) be cut to no more than 15 per cent of the premium. This should fall to 7 per cent in 2010 and become nil by April 2011”, said the consultation paper prepared by Committee on Investor Awareness and Protection. (Link) .
What do you feel about removing the commissions from Insurance products totally ? Will it impact the Insurance Industry , how much ? Do you think it will lead to fall in premium payments or new policy getting issued ? I personally feel YES . What are your views ?