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BW Businessworld

Buying Insurance? Go online!

By purchasing your policy online, you’ll be in complete control of the entire process – right from the preliminary research to the shortlisting and final execution

Photo Credit : Shutterstock

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That our nation is on the cusp of a digital revolution is now old news — an IAMAI-KPMG report recently estimated that India's internet user base is set to surpass 50 Crore individuals by the end of 2017. Naturally, more and more Indians are going online to purchase insurance as well. In fact, a study conducted by FICCI-Quintiles IMS interestingly concluded that online sales of health insurance will explode by 15-20 times (not per cent!) in just another three years' time. Here are four compelling reasons why you should join the rapidly expanding ranks of online policy-buyers - just in case you haven't done so already.

It'll save you both time and money
No more waiting around for your agent to swing by - purchasing your policy online is a speedy process. Most websites are heavily optimized to ensure the best possible signup experience. Besides the time saving, your premium amount will actually be lower when you make an online purchase. By cutting out the middleman, you'll be removing the commission element too. Life Insurance agents snag anything from 5% to 40% of your first-year premium as their commissions, and Health Insurance agents aren't far behind. For a relatively passive product such as insurance that requires little (if any) ongoing advice, such a high reward quantum seems unwarranted.

You'll be in control

By purchasing your policy online, you'll be in complete control of the entire process - right from the preliminary research to the shortlisting and final execution. You'll have the luxury of comparing a bunch of different products, side by side, before making the final decision to buy. Moreover, you can complete the process at your convenience, pausing and resuming your application as your schedule permits.

It's a whole lot more convenient
The elimination of unwieldy and inconvenient paperwork is another advantage of purchasing your next policy online. Most portals require the filling of an online form, followed by the upload of scans of supporting documents using secure servers. You'll no longer need to run about making photocopies and organizing documents. What's more, you can even set up an automated payment schedule so that your policy doesn't risk lapsation due to an accidental non-payment.

No conflicted advice
Last but not the least, going online will free you from the bane of insurance mis-selling. By now, you're probably no stranger to the commission-driven malpractices that plague the insurance distribution environment in our country. If you're unlucky, you may have been a victim yourself. The fact remains that the 'advice' coming from most insurance agents gets driven by the quantum of commissions they earn from the product - a classic case in point is the precipitous drop in ULIP sales after they were reformed, simply because their payouts shrank to a fraction of their previous levels. Buying your insurance policy online will allow you to take an informed decision that's free of conflict. Additionally, you'll be able to benefit from the paste experiences of other netizens too.


Tags assigned to this article:
insurance personal finance ulip investment