After all the turns and tumbles over the past few years, online shopping domain has finally proved that it is here to stay. More and more buyers are now switching to online shopping for clothing, electronics, accessories and what not. But when it comes to insurance, people are still very reluctant to buy it online. It appears that online insurance as a product has a far way to go before actually melding with the buyer's tastes. Why is that? Well, largely because of the skepticism surrounding it. Here we have tried to debunk the most prevalent online insurance myths.
1). Buying online is complex - Contrary to this belief, buying insurance online is a very simple and straight affair. You can buy it anytime and anywhere. All you need to do and log on and get started. Insurance can't get easier than that. Not only it saves the customer precious time but also sets him free of the hassles of meeting up with agents and rushing to insurance offices.
2). One must be net savvy to be able to buy insurance online - Not in the least, just a basic know-how on computer and internet is sufficient enough for one to buy a plan online.
3). Buying online is costly - Well, this is far from the truth. Showcasing and selling an insurance plan online proves to be much less costlier for the insurer. That is because of two reasons, first that there's no agent involved, hence his commission is chopped off from the cost of the plan and second that it cuts down the infrastructure costs. The cost so saved is eventually passed on to the customer as reduced prices.
4). Claim settlement is tougher for online policies - The claim settlement process hasn't yet been streamlined online as of yet; it will be with time. The claim process of an insurer is the same regardless of whether the plan is bought online or offline. Rather what makes claim settlement really tough is not disclosing your crucial details. If the information has been given truthfully, there's no reason for a claim to be turned down.
5). It takes longer to get the policy documents – On the contrary, it's quite opposite. Once you buy a plan and make the payment, the documents along with the policy number are mailed to you instantly. You can take a printout of the documents immediately. Moreover, in case you get your papers missed or misplaced, you can always access them back by simply logging in your account and getting a re-print of the same.
6). Chances of fraud - Online portals do not sell a plan, they just help you compare the plan and once you zero in on a plan, you are re-directed to the insurance company's website. So there are no chances of fraud. On the other hand, it's hard to be sure whether an agent is or is not the representative of an insurance company. Also, the buying decision in online insurance is based solely on facts and is never made in haste or pressure. When buying offline, the customer lands in high chances of being taken by the luring/pressure tactics of insurance agents.
7). Lack of Personal Assistance – All the leading insurers at present features online assistance on their website. Whether you want to know the key features of a plan or get a clause clarified, all you need to do is click on the live chat option and get personal assistance in real time. It's much better than waiting for your agent to call back or going through the intricate IVR system of the insurance company to get the telephonic assistance.
8). Putting personal information on online comparison portals puts privacy at stake - Insurance comparison portals like PolicyBazaar work in accordance with SSL certified protocol. This makes sure that the privacy of your personal information will be kept intact. The sole intention of getting your information is to get you quotes that specifically meets your insurance needs.
9). Online insurance lands you in higher chances of ending up with a wrong policy – When insurance is bought online via comparison portals, it lets the buyer to perform a need based search for the plans. So he only gets to choose between plans, specifically suiting his needs. Insurance agents on the other hand are always biased as their motive is to push the policies they have in their own kitty.
10). You get a limited choice of plans while buying online – It can't be more wrong. Online platform gives you a much wider comparison between various plans than you can ever expect to get while buying offline. The comparison portals showcase a whole range of insurance plans offered by a gamut of insurers. With the possible exception of LIC, every insurance company offers its plans online. Online platform gives you a wider choice of plans along with their comparative features.
11). Online policies usually come with a plain vanilla coverage – On the contrary, online plans come with a wider coverage, better features and greater upper cap on exit age. Top it up with the fact that it is easier to add riders and benefits in a plan when buying it online. Insurance companies assume that only educated individuals with a robust financial background would be interested in buying online insurance and hence online plans are better pitched than offline plans.
12). By buying online rather than from the agents, you might miss any schemes and discounts – Here in India, online insurance is still in its primary stage and hence very competitive. The insurance companies are waging a price war against each other and the customer gets to roast all the benefits in the form of discounts and other value added features. Online insurance comes with a much wider scope of enjoying discounts than offline insurance.
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