Boost in conduct related initiatives as well as higher level of engagement and ownership within Singapore’s insurance eco-system following launch of best practice papers by Insurance Culture and Conduct Steering Committee


SINGAPORE, 10 January 2024 – 

The Insurance Culture and Conduct Steering Committee (ICCSC) today released its fourth paper Promoting Ethical Culture and Conduct in Insurance Intermediaries (General) . This set of guidelines – centred on prioritising and protecting the interests of customers by general insurance intermediaries – outlines best practices for GI intermediaries in maintaining and elevating standards of integrity and professionalism to build customer trust and confidence in the sector.

Key areas of focus in these latest set of best practice guidelines include:

 - Cooperation to mitigate rolling bad apples by ensuring corporate GI intermediaries and insurers work together to prevent individuals with prior misconduct from re-entering the industry. The recommendations include checking for past misconduct when hiring as well as establishing accountability in staff responding to reference checks.

- Prohibition of referral or introducer fees, and preventing the use of sub-agents for the sale of general insurance policies. Insurers and general insurance intermediaries should also refrain from allowing online partners to function as intermediaries without proper licencing or registration, remunerating such partners with a percentage of sales for each policy sold via their platform, and/or participating in pricing packages that may result in biased and inappropriate product recommendations, ranking, or advice of a general insurance product.

- Remuneration practices and agency performance management framework where appropriate incentives and a balanced scorecard are utilised to ensure reward and recognition goes beyond financial indicators. This includes minimum two hours of training annually on ethics, conduct and compliance, and for agents, setting a clear process to ensure remedial actions are mapped out and delivered for errant behaviours with frequent, close monitoring of the agents by the first and second lines of defence.

The first three papers focusing on Human Resources, Corporate Governance and Life Insurance Intermediaries were released in two tranches in 2022. This fourth paper follows the release of the Inaugural Insurance Trust Indicator Study by ICCSC, which showed good levels of trust in the Singapore insurance industry.

“We are heartened to receive positive feedback on the value of work done by the ICCSC. Following the publication of our best practice papers and Insurance Trust Indicator Study, the industry has observed an increase in the levels of involvement and accountability of individuals within the insurance eco-system – including leaders, supervisors, agents, brokers, and financial advisers – on matters relating to ethics and conduct. This is good progress and we will continue to engage all stakeholders to further uplift the industry,” said Dr Khoo Kah Siang, Chairperson of the Insurance Culture and Conduct Steering Committee.

Areas in which key actions have been taken by some of the industry players to enhance culture and conduct include:
- Enhanced risk management frameworks and policies including rigorous trainings on risk-related activities and how to better manage them, as well as introduction of formal consequence management procedures
- Implementation of Quality Assurance Scorecard for more comprehensive performance evaluation across financial and non-financial metrics
- Increased communications and interactions between management and staff to strengthen tone from the top and establish feedback loop for two-way engagement.

The ICCSC, consisting of senior leaders in the industry, was established in December 2019 to foster sound culture and strengthen standards of conduct among insurers in Singapore. They are supported by the General Insurance Association of Singapore (GIA), the Life Insurance Association (LIA) and the Singapore Reinsurers’ Association (SRA).

The best practice paper and infographic can be downloaded at: