People who read me know that I firmly believe that the support and advice of a good insurance agent is essential. I have many good friends who are insurance agents and are happy to be, because they know their work will open the eyes of many people, help them to protect their families and have a better life.
But also – unfortunately – there are those who only seek to sell to sell. Of those there to flee because they can tell us anything – even lies – so to achieve that sale.
What NOT to do an insurance agent
A few days ago I was contacted by a seller of Optimaxx Plus (product of Allianz) through LinkedIn, a social network for serious professional contacts. His name is Carlos but not write his name because it is not my intention to affect you.
I just want to take the case as a good example of what NOT to do an insurance agent.
First I must say that I find very wrong to use that means to try to sell insurance to people who do not know. But if it is already doing (I repeat, it’s wrong) at least I should have read my professional profile – which clearly did not. That is, I was contacted by “blind”, without even knowing who I am or what I do.
You know that 86% of seniors (65 and older) live on charity or employed? (INEGI 2013).
Reason: No saved voluntarily providing retirement.
Let me help you create the habit of saving through a plan.
Although the message starts well, with a fact, directly going to describe your product. “Let me help you create the habit of saving through a plan.”
A good insurance agent must first understand my needs – and then you recommend the most suitable product to solve. In this case it assumes that I have habit of saving or plan my personal finances, “Let me help you create the habit of saving “and offers me the solution” through a plan. ”
1) 100% safe, backed by ALLIANZ that lets you save from 1,000 pesos a month deducted from your credit card or debit card.
2) Annual interest rate of 12% (average of the last 7 years).
Right now I do not know whether to laugh or mourn.
Then he tells me that the product is 100% safe and gives an interest rate of 12% annually (although clarifies that it is the average of the last 7 years).
This has two problems:
The Optimaxx Plus was launched in mid-2008, which has not yet 7 years in operation.
The concept of interest rate is related to the cost of money.
Therefore, usually it refers to instruments that pay a fixed rate (or revisable). In this case, instead of annual interest rate should speak average annual return over the past years. Optimaxx Plus is a product – which by the way is the best there is in the insurance market mainly for retirement – which does not offer a guaranteed fixed rate but invests contributions in one or more investment portfolios to customer choice.
Each portfolio has had different yields: there are in pesos, dollars and euros with different levels of risk. There are also portfolios that invest in other assets such as gold or actions of countries like Brazil, China and emerging markets. Then it may not be a 100% sure: no investment is.
At the end also he tells me:
Note: NOT afore, is not sure life is not safe retirement.
This note blown away stunned. What NOT to do an insurance agent, never, is to deny the essence of the product you are selling.
In the own agreement of understanding Allianz Mexico product can be found here , it is mentioned:
What is OptiMaxx plus?
It is an individual retirement plan with scheduled contributions.
With this savings plan have the possibility to build, starting today, the heritage that allows you to enjoy the retirement you deserve while you can enjoy tax benefits supported by Articles 93, 151 and 185 (formerly 109, 176 and 218 ) of the Law on Income Tax (Income Tax Law).
To get this straight: Carlos says an individual retirement plan, designed by an insurance company, it is NOT a secure retirement.
Furthermore retirement insurance belongs to the branch of life. In fact it has a basic benefit for accidental death. Therefore it is also a life insurance.
Anyway. I said the following:
Hello Carlos, it seems that Bernd is not going to like you use a social network as serious as LinkedIn for marketing Optimaxx Plus.
By the way, you can not say that an investment plan whose returns are not guaranteed but depend on the performance of financial markets is 100% safe. Quite simply this is a lie.
Bernd, the person I mean, besides being a good friend is the Director of Heritage Benefits Solutions and Allianz Mexico. I know he does not like insurance agents use such arguments to place your product, however I know that is very concerned provide good training for “financial advisors” who contract (although the product also sold by independent insurance agents, among other distribution channels).
It seems that did not get it because Carlos replied:
These misconceiving the mail when I say 100% sure I mean the support of Allianz not the interest, if you read it well you will notice that at any time I say that interest is 100% safe and also ask for a quote to detail the product . I appreciate your interest and your statement. Cheers
Maybe I should have left it at that, but thought it necessary to clarify my arguments and replied:
Carlos, a 100% safe product implies that there can be losses. It implies that capital is fully protected.
Not the case. Naturally, by the fact that they are portfolios that invest in all long-term debt or traded, there may be losses also affect capital.
So it’s not 100% sure. No investment is and so I do think that is a deception and a lack of accountability sell that way.
It is not a criticism of the product, which certainly seems very good (personally I have a Optimaxx Plus as part of my exit strategy).
But the work of any good adviser is to tell people what they can expect. The support does not imply that Allianz will protect you from loss of your investment – in that sense can not say it is 100% certain that Allianz supports it.