First of all, I believe there is cause for concern arising from the repeated inferences, both in this paper and elsewhere, that the agent is somehow obligated to provide "service" long after the sale on the policies that he has sold.
Certainly the insurer has an obligation to provide such service, but I cannot agree with the rationale that it must be done through the agent.
No other industry expects its salesmen to double as servicemen and technicians.
The normal agent's contract authorizes him to do three things:
- submit applications,
- deliver policies, and
- collect the initial premium thereon.
In no way is he authorized to do such things as secure policy loans for the insured, let alone to answer questions about policy provisions and dividends, which he probably is not qualified to do.
1974 - CONSUMERISM AND THE COMPENSATION OF THE LIFE INSURANCE AGENT, by Anna Rappaport, Society of Actuaries