Aug. 7 (NBD) -- Chinese insurance agent industry cools down as insurance agents decline drastically in recent years.
Wang Fang, a housewife from a small town, started to work as an insurance agent since early 2016.
She chose to join a top insurance company in her town. The company provided basic salary and 30 percent of the insurance products as commission in the first 3 months, or 50 percent a month if the monthly sales surpass 12,000 yuan (1,753.6 U.S. dollars).
From the training courses the firm offered, Wang learnt products information, products features, target customers, promotion strategies and communication skills.
However, Wang only obtained orders from relatives and she failed to develop new customers. Six months later, she finally decided to quit the job and became a sales woman in a supermarket.
Data shows that people who worked as insurance agents in China amounted to more than 50 million. It is noted that by the end of 2017, the number of registered insurance agents stood at over 8 million. The fierce competition forced a number of lower-tier agents to quit the insurance industry.
An insurance senior officer who worked as an agent explained that apart from request for high ability, insurance agents also face heavy work overload, unstable income as well as unreasonable tax, which will make the group lack sense of belonging.
Ma Cunjun, founder and CEO of online insurance platform Huize, held that most agents only take such job for survival and they see little space for professional development. The majority of insurance agents sign agent contracts so that they can gain revenue only from commissions. Due to intense competition, strict assessment and scarce training, those personals have to struggle to survive, not to mention job security.
Currently, insurance companies value more about the employees' social relations over their abilities.
Large number of unqualified employees and high employee turnover rate cause people's mistrust of such agents, which further weankens insurance companies and the entire sector.
Since China launched new policies to encourage development of insurance industry, the insurance domain saw a surging number of new insurance agents in recent years, industry expert Gu Kewei, said to NBD.
To reduce employee turnover of the sector, insurance enterprises should set higher standards and business norms for employees to follow, so that the society will respect and trust the insurance industry. This will also create a better working environment for agents where they can improve their abilities in the long run, an industry insider noted.