Mar 2, 2012

Customers are Now Allowed to Negotiate Fees

The Financial Regulator has tipped the delivery prohibition of insurance commissions from 1934. Now customers can haggle with their brokers. In a life insurance policy, it can quickly be a few thousand euros. In the same dimensions move collect the commissions, the broker for the sale of private health insurance. A lot of money, which already caused many a fit of rage when the insured.

Many wondered what to be collected compared to such sums. But not anymore - at least temporarily. The market is open to trade in insurance. In future, customers can haggle over the price. This makes possible the Financial Supervisory Authority. She shakes a regulation that dates back to 1934. Thus, it was so far the approximately 258 000 Insurance agents banned in Germany, to give customers discounts. Commission giving prohibition is the keyword. Conversely, those who violated reckoned with fines of up to 50,000 € per case, even a professional ban was possible.

The tax ban is abolished, although not yet. However, BaFin will review the ban in principle and has already announced that they "perform at the end of the test procedure does not" going to. Intermediaries must therefore provisionally fear no punishment. The response to the imminent repeal of a provision that exists only in Germany, dissolves in the industry from different reactions. Agreement among advocates and opponents are only one point: It can fundamentally change the insurance industry.

Cheer especially discounters. They advise their clients and therefore can not dispense with up-front commission. Next they were allowed to enter the payment date, however, not officially. Now, the BaFin has on their appeal against a judgment of the Frankfurt Administrative Court per charge (Case No.: 9K105/11.F) is waived. "This is the free price competition no longer a problem - and it especially benefits the consumer," says AVL-Uwe Lange.

He and his small business from wine town near Stuttgart, had won the judgment after the supervisor had threatened them with a fine. He would have like mutual funds and insurance companies now completely legal pets discounted to 100 percent, so the commission will charge the customer. AVL claims to be satisfied with the annual management fees for funds and unit-linked life insurance. "In a healthy competition for customers usually forms much better terms and better offers," said Long swipe at the opponent.

Just the quality of argument, however, draw on them as well. "Good advice is not for nothing, not even a" bargain price "to have", says Jörg Werth Prince, Chairman of the Executive Board of the Insurance Association of German Insurers (GDV). A race of the mediator to the "cheapest consultation" will be borne by the quality of advice, he believes.

Hans-Dieter Schäfer, Managing Director of the Federal Association of German Insurance (BVK), oscillates as a precaution before the job club. "Smaller brokers are falling by the wayside," he says. For them, the business would simply not expect more if they had to make something of their commissions.

Basically, a distinction on the intermediary market in Germany between insurance agents and insurance brokers. The former work in the interests of one or more insurance companies, the latter ones would be on the side of customers as its trustee and Biotechnology Industry. It's about a big, grown massively in recent decades business: Since 1990, the number of insurance contracts of over $ 300 million to more than 450 million was raised - an increase of 50 percent. The portfolio of health insurance has doubled.

As fears many a small or even large sales to his benefice - especially since many consumers ever since the financial crisis, the whole issue Retirement skeptical about. In addition, legislative initiatives come at a national and European level to increase transparency. Must the acquisition costs for life insurance, are already recognized much more clearly than they did a few years. This meant that many customers are only partly to the high sales commissions at issue now, attention has been.

Customers are Now Allowed to Negotiate Fees

Intermediaries justify high commissions with cross-subsidies

The industry justifies the high cost of living and private health insurance with the much lower for property and casualty insurance. Personal liability insurance for 60 € can not stand more than 15 € commission, but this hardly justifies the effort for the agent handling the claim, it is like. The reward is only due to high commissions in other policies.

"If this eliminates cross-subsidies, which would be far more expensive competitive services," says Hans-Georg Jenssen, Executive Director of the Association of German Insurance (VDVM). From the abolition of the commission giving its opinion ban will benefit mainly to the "rich and famous" who exactly abschlössen such high-volume life insurance, where haggling is a really worthwhile.

And he sees another danger: that customers can seek advice in the future at one point, but conclude elsewhere. "The other agent will then give you a part of his commission to the customer, after all, he had no work," says broker representatives Jenssen.

Who advises well, need not worry about commission

But apart from that information, an increasing number of consumers of financial products long been a matter of pros and cons in the media and the Internet, especially, the broker, if he actually sees as representing the interests of customers, who see things quite calm at .

If he delivers, that is good advice, he must also worry about his little commission, maintain advocate against the end of the ban. And if he gives off a small part, will be worth it for him and yet he also solidifying his relationship with his customers.

At the federal level by the insured is expected to welcome at least the temporary abolition. The consumer advocates appeal but to the vision of customers: "Consumers should not be misled by high commission fees to a signature," it says. In the first place must always be whether the policy fits with the customer and meets its needs.

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