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India: Proposal to appoint mentors for insurance agents yet to take off

Source: Asia Insurance Review | Apr 2017

A proposal to have mentors for insurance agents is still to be implemented, six years after plans were mooted to help them stay longer in the industry. The proposal aimed to help increase the number of active agents. 
 
   While the industry had 2,027,184 agents at the end of 31 January 2017, the number of active agents is estimated at between 50-60% of this number, reported moneycontrol.com.
 
   In 2011, IRDAI proposed that senior agents with experience of at least five years were to act as mentors. Under proposed guidelines, the senior agents could mentor up to 15 newly licensed agents at a time. As an incentive, the regulator suggested that senior agents be entitled to 25% of first-year commissions on the policies sold by those agents who were mentored by them. 
 
   However, insurance companies are not in favour of paying additional incentives to senior agents.
 
   “We already have incentives and training for agents. There is no requirement to have additional staff to train new entrants. The costs will have to be borne by us,” said the head of distribution of a mid-life life insurance company.
 
   The life insurance industry saw as many as 3 million agents in the field in the 2009-10. The number fell to 2.01 million at 31 March 2016.
 
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