The number of insurance agents in Singapore has remained steady since 2015, according to the minister in charge of its financial regulator.
Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Senior Minister and Minister in charge of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), revealed that the number of insurance agents in Singapore has been stable at around 19,000 since 2015, following a rise in numbers in the first half of the decade.
This was in response to a question in Parliament by Patrick Tay Teck Guan, MP for Pioneer SMC, regarding the number of people working as insurance agents in Singapore from 2010 to 2020 as well as various breakdowns of the numbers.
As of 2020, the total number of life, general, and composite insurance agents in Singapore was at 19,219. Data for general insurance agents was not available for 2010 and 2011, while in 2012, there was a total of 16,527 insurance agents across all segments.
The gender breakdown was quite even, while Singapore citizens making up around 90% of the agency force in 2020. Permanent residents made up most of the remainder, with foreigner insurance agents just numbering 350.
The average age of insurance agents was below 40 years old, indicating a relatively young agency force.
According to Shanmugaratnam, the MAS and the General Insurance Association of Singapore (GIA) do not distinguish between full-time or part-time insurance agents and do not collect information on academic qualifications.
Life insurance agents are required to have at least a GCE “A” level certificate or an International Baccalaureate Diploma qualification or a diploma awarded by a polytechnic in Singapore, or equivalent qualifications. Meanwhile, general insurance agents are required to have at least three GCE “O” Level passes or equivalent.
Shanmugaratnam added that life insurance agents have higher educational requirements due to the more complex nature of the products they sell.