How to Become an Insurance Agent
An insurance agent is a representative of an insurer and may be employed to sell insurance policies to clients. Insurance agents sell and negotiate life, general and medical insurance to match the needs of their clients. The insurance products are tailor made to serve all the client needs. An agent implement marketing strategies to promote new and current insurance policies such as; developing relationships with prospective clients through networking and referrals, evaluating the needs of their clients and propose plans that will meet the criteria, as well as the clients’ financial status and develop a protection plan by quoting rates for immediate coverage and long-term goals.
The clients are also able to enjoy comprehensive life cover benefits and tax free bonuses. The amount invested by the client is also flexible and can be adjusted to fit the budget. As an insurance agent, you may work for an insurance company, refer clients to independent brokers, or work as an independent broker.
- The Insurance Act CAP 487
- The Insurance Act Regulations
- Guidelines to the Insurance Industry on Registration of Insurance Agents 2015
RESPONSIBILITIES OF INSURANCE AGENTS
- Maintain a register containing the names, license number, addresses, principal officer, business transacted and such other particulars as may be required by the Authority for its Agents
- Attend meetings, seminars, and programs to learn about new products and services
- Calculate premiums and establish payment methods
- Report the progress of initiatives to stakeholders
- Maintain bookkeeping systems, databases, and records
- Monitor insurance claims
- Meet customers’ expectation to ensure satisfaction of insurance coverage
- Continuously educate yourself on the industry and learn about new products and services
- Fulfill all policy requirements
- Help clients settle any claims on their insurance
- Customize insurance programs to suit individual customer needs
- Ensure that policy requirements are fulfilled, including completion of the appropriate forms
- Inspect property in order to examine its overall condition and decide its insurance risk
- Make sure all paperwork is filled out and filed to put insurance policies in place
- Assist customers in properly completing insurance applications in order to act as an intermediary between the customer and the insurance company
REQUIREMENTS OF REGISTRATION AS AN INSURANCE AGENT
- Log in to the Insurance Regulatory Authority Online portal under online services, Agents Online Portal and register a new account as first time applicant.
- The applicant or its Principal Officer must have passed or been exempted from Certificate of Proficiency (COP) examination for Insurance Agents. The examination is offered by the College of Insurance.
- Registration fee Kshs.1, 000 payable to the Insurance Regulatory Authority.
- Documents as proof of nationality. Note that all agents must be East African citizens.
- Confirmation by the Principal Officer of the Insurer for whom the applicant proposes to act as an agent certifying that the applicant has the knowledge and experience necessary to act as an agent.
- Where applicable, a certified copy of the certificate of registration of business name reflecting the kind of business applied for. In case of a Corporate Agent, the following will also be required:
- a certified copy of the certificate of registration of business name reflecting the kind of business applied for or a certificate of incorporation;
- a copy of the Articles of association or rules and regulation;
- details of the shareholders or partners.
- A Statement of all the classes of business the proposer intends to transact.
- All proposal and policy forms of all the classes of business the proposer intends to transact, including all endorsements and other written matter appertaining to the same.
- The proposed premium rates intended.
- The reinsurance arrangements.
- Location of office premises and branches.
In making a decision, the Authority will either; (i) grant a license or approval; and (ii) inform the applicant of its reason for rejecting the application.
CONDITIONS AND REQUIREMENTS OF BEING AN INSURANCE AGENT IN KENYA
An applicant or an Agent or a Principal Officer must satisfy the following conditions and requirements: Must have a written contract with the Insurer authorizing the agent to transact specific classes of business
- Must be registered by the IRA as an insurance agent for each year of practice;
- Where the agency is a corporate entity, the principal officer shall be qualified and approved by the Authority;
- Must identify himself as an insurance agent acting on behalf of the insurer;
- Must disclose his registration number if so requested and identify his registration number on his business card;
- Must ensure that the product proposed is suitable to the needs and resources of the prospective policy holder as disclosed to the insurance agent;
- Must give advice only on those matters in which he is competent to deal with or otherwise seek advice from his insurer;
- Must explain the cover afforded by each product recommended to ensure that the prospective policy holder understands what he is buying;
- Must explain the specific differences to which he is referring when making comparisons with other types of products or forms of investment;
- Must treat all information supplied by the prospective policyholder as confidential and disclose such information only to the insurer to which the business is being offered;
- Must not make inaccurate or misleading statements about any insurer or their products, or any other intermediaries;
- Must give a breakdown of premium and statutory charges payable by the policyholder;
- Must not unduly influence the prospective policyholder, and make it clear that the answers or statements given are the latter’s own responsibility;
- Must not be convicted of criminal offence involving fraud, misrepresentation or dishonesty;
- Must not have had a civil liability for fraud or misrepresentation under any law;
- Must not have been disqualified or suspended by a competent Authority from practicing a profession on grounds of professional misconduct;
- Must have sufficient competency, in terms of relevant experience and academic qualifications, to reasonably conclude that he will be able to discharge satisfactorily his duties and responsibilities;
- An applicant or Agent which is a legal entity, must not be the subject of a winding up order or must not be an entity in respect of which a receiver has been appointed whether by a court or otherwise; must not be an un-discharged bankrupt; and
- Must comply with the Insurance Act or these Guidelines or any other prudential requirements and other guidance issued by the Authority from time to time.
For more information on licensing you can visit the Insurance Regulatory Authority website or contact us for help in compliance at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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