Fact Ver­sus Mis­con­cep­tion

Insurance - - CONTENTS - Text Billy Gum­bang, CMII, AMII | Labuan FSA | billy@labuan­fsa.gov.my

“Al­though

there is noth­ing wrong with this

gen­eral un­der­stand­ing one can­not ig­nore the truth that there are

many pos­si­bil­i­ties

where in­sur­ance of­fers may be struc­tured.”

IN­SUR­ANCE MAY NOT BE THE HOTTEST TOPIC FOR dis­cus­sion for many people from dif­fer­ent walks of life. In fact some la­bel it as a waste of money and sim­ply ig­nore its im­por­tance un­til they hit the wall and a dire need to have a pol­icy arises. No doubt that, to some ex­tent, the low ac­qui­si­tion of knowl­edge and less at­ten­tion given to the sub­ject of in­sur­ance, is in­flu­enced by the be­lief sys­tem and en­vi­ron­ment where we are liv­ing in, as well as the val­ues rooted in our up­bring­ing. Al­though to­day we are liv­ing in a mod­ern and borderless world, where al­most ev­ery­thing can be reached by a swipe of our fin­ger, it is dif­fi­cult to com­pre­hend the fact that the level of mar­ket aware­ness on in­sur­ance is still rel­a­tively low as com­pared to other more de­vel­oped so­ci­eties. This trend is not only seen in Malaysia but other coun­tries within the re­gion where the driv­ing force for in­sur­ance pen­e­tra­tion re­lies heav­ily on govern­ment in­ter­ven­tion through com­pul­sory cover and the ag­gres­sive­ness and mar­ket­ing prow­ess of the agents.

THE JOUR­NEY BE­GINS

Un­der the back­drop of many mis­con­cep­tions about in­sur­ance, one may think that start­ing a ca­reer in this field could prove to be more risky as com­pared to other sec­tors that are more promi­nently es­tab­lished. To a novice that has just started to es­tab­lish a strong grasp on the sub­ject mat­ter, I must say that it is not an easy jour­ney to travel. The main stum­bling block is not the neg­a­tive hearsays that keep on nag­ging in the mind, but rather the fear of fail­ure for tak­ing the wrong ca­reer path. Be­ing raised in one of the most re­mote ar­eas in the Land of Horn­bill, where ac­ces­si­bil­ity and ba­sic needs re­main a ma­jor is­sue, I was nur­tured to be an in­de­pen­dent per­son with the lib­erty to de­cide what I want to do in my life. Dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tions al­lowed me to be ex­tra pru­dent and cau­tious with any ma­jor de­ci­sions and I did not have any buf­fer for mak­ing mis­takes. I started off my ca­reer as an in­sur­ance dummy with triv­ial ex­pe­ri­ence on the sub­ject un­der my belt. With limited knowl­edge and ex­po­sure on the sub­ject mat­ter, not know­ing whether or not I had made the right choice, I braved my pur­suit of in­sur­ance back in 2006 when I took up a job with the or­gan­i­sa­tion that I am still serv­ing. I must say that it was not an easy de­ci­sion, given that I had limited op­tions to con­sider at that par­tic­u­lar time. To make the story more ex­cit­ing, al­low me to share on how my bond­ing with in­sur­ance be­gan. My very first en­counter with in­sur­ance be­gan at the end of 2004 when I took “In­sur­ance and Risks” as part of my first-de­gree course­work in my fi­nal se­mes­ter. Be­lieve it or not, I was awarded the Best Stu­dent Award for that par­tic­u­lar sub­ject, fully spon­sored by the in­sur­ance in­dus­try play­ers as part of their an­nual Cor­po­rate So­cial Re­spon­si­bil­ity pro­gramme, which made me 500 ring­git richer. Even then, I was very naive and clue­less as to whether or not such limited knowl­edge gained from one par­tic­u­lar syl­labus would be use­ful in my fu­ture en­deav­ours. Af­ter all, my ma­jor was in­ter­na­tional fi­nance, and it is quite dif­fer­ent as com­pared to in­sur­ance. With­out think­ing too much about it, given my fi­nan­cial and ac­count­ing acu­men, I was quite de­ter­mined to purse the fi­nance-re­lated pro­fes­sion, and surely not in­sur­ance! I thought my jour­ney with in­sur­ance ended there, but it evolved in­stead. In 2005, prior to my grad­u­a­tion, I was of­fered to be an in­tern at one of the ma­jor rein­sur­ance com­pa­nies where a large pro­por­tion of the busi­ness was un­der­taken with over­seas coun­ter­parts. Such in­tern­ship pro­grammes were made com­pul­sory as a part of the pre­req­ui­site in com­plet­ing the course­work. Lit­tle did I know that the in­tern­ship pro­gramme would bring any merit for a deeper bond­ing with in­sur­ance un­til I re­alised that I was ac­tu­ally sur­rounded by people who are pas­sion­ate about in­sur­ance and the jobs they are do­ing, to be ex­act, rein­sur­ance busi­ness. That was where my in­ter­est and the de­sire to know more about in­sur­ance took off and continues to flour­ish to­day.

Al­though the na­ture of my job does not in­volve de­vel­op­ing any in­sur­ance prod­uct, I, how­ever, started to ac­cu­mu­late knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ence

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