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What are the Benefits of Buying Insurance Online?
- DetailsWritten by PolicyBazaar -
- Hits : 7398 -
Updated date : 21 November 2017
In one word, buying insurance products online is expedient, fast and cost-effective. By measuring the needs of its customers, insurers have made the insurance products that range from life to health, auto to travel- available online. Online insurance is one of the best ways to purchase insurance. Getting a policy is just a few clicks away now and one can buy it at any point of time, even in the comfort of your home.
Advantages of Online Insurance in a Broader Prospect:
The distribution competence also adds to the cost-effectiveness. In online insurance, customers directly deal with the health insurance company and buy a plan. Hence, the distributors’ commission is saved. The entire process requires less paperwork and is done via internet, so it is cost effective. These saving are further shared with the policyholder in the form of lesser premiums.
Avail an Informed Deal
Most importantly, online insurance enables a customer to get an informed deal. Now-a-days, there are various aggregator sites that help you do an overall insurance comparison online. Hence, whenever you decide to buy a plan, you always have an option to compare the plans in terms of benefits offered, coverage, features, claim process, renewal etc. This way one can easily weigh the pros and cons and finally can choose the right insurance plan that meets his/her needs.
Can Make a Purchase Based on Online Reviews
Reviews are an important facet of every online business. These are the feedback of existing customers of a particular product. While buying a plan, you can check for the reviews as well to get an overall idea about the product or services offered by the insurance company. If you buy a plan via other sources, this first-hand feedback is missing as only online services offer customer review to guide a buyer.
Can Avail Automated Services
The online platform isn’t restricted to sale only, instead, it is a fast and competent servicing channel at the same time. The policyholder can avail the online services like download the policy document or brochure, get prompt insurance quotes online, when the policy lapses, renew it online, pay the annual premium online, track your investments, make claim whenever required etc. The best part of online insurance is that you don’t have to depend on someone. Also, online process is hassle-free that enables you to make a transaction without wasting your time. Here you do not need to rush to the insurer’s office to clear a single doubt about the policy; write them or you can talk over the phone asking for assistance.
Since not everyone is equally aware of computer or not internet-savvy, they may have doubts regarding making financial truncation online. Owing to this fact, most of the insurance companies have introduced live chat feature on their official websites, so that customer can directly talk to the customer support team about any grievance and get verbal assistance. Also, toll-free numbers are quite a known term where one can register a complain, which is an offline route but you can collect the information online. This way you can either ask the representative to guide you through the purchase via telephone or make a request for a face to face meeting. Further, the insurer sends an executive to help you buy the plan.
Benefits of Buying Life or General Insurance Online:
With the increasing number of people choosing the convenience of online insurance purchases, the insurers have started offering exclusive offers to these customers. As other insurance products, buying general insurance or life insurance online is also convenient and cost-effective at the same time. It gives the buyer maximum information about the policy at the time of buying.
Since insurance sector is loaded with enormous numbers of insurance policies, it is advisable to do your own research before making a decision. Do not just jump into the cheaper plan as the cheapest may not always be the best. Online insurance offers you to do a proper comparison of the plans and get a better deal.
Here are a Few Benefits of Buying Insurance Online:
- Comparison: The online aggregator companies help the insurance buyers to compare the plans online. This way one can make an informed decision and buy a right plan that fulfills his/her requirements. The online comparison includes comparing the policy benefits, features, exclusions, inclusions, premium etc. Once you decide on the plan, the insurer will further guide you through the process.
- Saves Time: In this busy era, we often procrastinate on the most important decisions to make. When it comes to buying a plan, the application process may seem so tedious that it discourages you from buying an insurance. With less paperwork and hassle-free process, online insurance process is more convenient and time effective as well. Why it is convenient is that you can make a purchase at the comfort of your home or sit on your favourite couch or at any time that is convenient for you. Also, in case of health insurance, some insurers offer health care plan with no pre-medical check-ups and the policyholder can immediately issue a PDF format of the plan he/she decides to buy.
- Security of Policy Document: There are many examples where policyholders lose their policy document. The worst part is that it is a cumbersome process to reissue a duplicate policy document from the insurer. This situation can be avoided if you buy the policy online. In online insurance, the policyholder receives a soft copy of the document.
- 24x7 Customer Support: You meet with an accident or your car stops functioning in an isolated area. What would you do? Fret not. Your insurance policy covers all these situations. You just need to inform the insurer by dialing customer support number. Trained and well-experienced executives will guide you through the situation. Moreover, you can come to them with any of your queries or complaints that may happen during an online transaction. You can avail 24X7 online services from the insurer. Moreover, during claim settlement, customer support team is responsible to make the process smooth and fast.
Online Insurance: Few Suggestions
It is convenient, fast and in one sentence will cost you comparatively less. With so many perks, online insurance has all the required constituents to be an instant hit with today’s tech-savvy generation who are in favor of doing everything with a few clicks. Gone are the days when one would had to personally visit insurers’ offices to buy a plan or fix an appointment with the middleman. With internet booming slowly and steadily, every requirement of yours can be done within a blink of yours eyes. Thanks to the online services!
The insurance sector is no exception. Today you can avail the entire gamut of insurance services or product online. Even some renowned insurers have introduced some of their term plans exclusively online only. Apart from the insurers’ websites where you can search or purchase a product, there are online aggregator sites to hawk insurance policies and help the buyers in comparing the products under a similar category. They are the reason, you know the various options available in the market and reach to an informed decision. However, it can be a win-win offer for both the buyers and insurers, it has its own set of limitations and we can’t deny it. So, it is necessary to look at the both side of the coin.
The Hitches-Not to be Ignored
Though online facilities appear good, the e-distribution system is not free from drawbacks and censure. The plans that one can avail from the internet are pre-set, which means you get only the vanilla version of the plan and it can’t be modified as per the policyholders’ wish and requirement. You can’t customize each and every plan to meet your needs or negotiate with the insurer over the premium rate.
In case of online term plans, the policyholder may not be eligible to opt for a rider options such as critical illness, personal accidental cover, premium waver etc. Online option is best suited for the no-frills plan. So, if you buy a policy and want to bundle these facilities in your coverage kitty, it won’t be available. Or you may end up paying extra to avail them with your plan. Let’s take an example of Metlife Insurance. If someone buys its offline term product, Met Suraksha Plan, the policyholder can add a critical illness rider or other optional riders at a nominal cost. The same is not applicable if the same person buys it online, though you can avail the plan at a cheaper price. Provided you will be deprived of any rider options.
When you buy an offline insurance policy, you are always required to fill-up the application form manually, so the chances of mistakes or being mis-sold by a company is less. While in the online process, one may feel the absence of an intermediary to guide through the entire process. So, mistakes cannot be avoided. Though, it requires less paperwork and time, if a little paperwork keeps you safe, there is no harm at all!
All customers are not aware of what they want or when the market is trending financially. So the absence of an intermediate, who helps the customers to decide an adequate plan as per their requirements, makes policy buyers feel insecure. Online insurance is meant for those who are quite confident about what they actually need.
The online claim process is also not fault-free. Due to not having a solid online claim mechanism, the policyholder may end up being dependent on the insurer and thereby requires to get in direct touch with the insurance company. Here also, an executive is appointed to guide him and hence, he/she has to follow the traditional route to get the claim processed.
Also, when you approach an aggregator site, it is mandatory to double check if the information provided by the website is the latest or up-to-date. Ensure that you won’t misguide by providing wrong information or comparing the plans under the wrong tool.
While making e-transaction during online insurance, always check the legitimacy of the website, or check the SSL (security certificate), to avoid fraudulent commitment. Take screenshots or keep a proof of the transaction page for future reference. In case you face any discrepancy regarding a transaction, you will at least have some proof to back your point.
Yes, we can’t deny the competency of online insurance. It is no doubt the best option to jell with the fast moving lifestyle. However, considering the inadequacies, one should be careful while buying an insurance plan online. When you celebrate the absence of an intervener, you will be left to fend yourself. Here’s why you need to be extremely cautious when deciding your mode of purchasing an insurance plan. Well, by not supporting either of them, as each one has its own perks, we leave it to the readers. You can post your views on the comment box below.
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