May 20, 2024
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Online vs Offline: Where to buy a term or health insurance plan In India?

As COVID-19 spread back in 2020, online health insurance and term insurance became increasingly popular. This makes sense, given that purchasing insurance online was a safer and more convenient option at that time. According to the market study, digital influence on health insurance plan sales was 15% in 2021. With the rapid growth in the use of mobiles and the digitalisation efforts from the government as well as from the IRDAI, more and more people are giving preference to online health and term insurance over offline. 

If you’re wondering what the difference is between online and offline insurance policies, you’re not alone. However, any comparison must consider a variety of factors. Continue reading to gain understanding and learn about the benefits of online versus offline insurance. 

Process of applying: When it comes to choosing online insurance, you may get a policy directly from your phone or computer. All that is required is you opening an insurer’s official website or app or an aggregator site and input your details, and you will get a quote. If you are not satisfied or cannot afford to pay the amount, you can adjust the coverage without anybody pressuring you. One also gets the option to read the terms and conditions with peace without hurry. Once you are satisfied, you pay the premium online and receive the policy document by email.

When applying for an insurance plan offline, you must conduct your due diligence and contact an agent. To have your application processed, you must first complete a form and submit the necessary documentation. Once your application is approved, the insurer will mail you a paper copy. As one can see, the application process remains a fundamental differentiation between online and offline. Depending upon your availability of time and ease of comfort, you can choose the option.

Easy to compare: When searching for policies online, you will see that most insurance companies will list the specifics of their policies on their own product pages. This allows you, the consumer, to see the policy’s details. Furthermore, companies may offer an online insurance premium calculator for their policies, allowing you to obtain rates for the coverage you require. Thus, when purchasing insurance online, you can simply evaluate its features as well as the pricing structure, thus allowing you to select the best plan for you.

Easy access: Any comparison of online versus offline insurance is incomplete without considering ease. Online health insurance and term insurance allow you to purchase a policy from anywhere, at any time, as long as you have a computer or smartphone and a reliable internet connection. On the other hand, obtaining an offline insurance policy necessitates scheduling an appointment with an agent or visiting your insurer’s nearby branch.

List of Documents: Paperwork is another major consideration in the online vs. offline insurance debate. Remember that buying health and term insurance online needs minimal paperwork. If you apply for health insurance coverage offline, you have to submit physical documents such as your Aadhaar card, birth certificate, and medical history records, among others.

Options available: When purchasing health & term insurance coverage online, you have numerous possibilities. Usually, on the mobile and phone application of the insurance company you select, it offers a variety of products. On the other hand, when getting a health or term insurance policy offline, you must rely on the salesperson, and this could limit your options as you might want to sell you a higher coverage plan. 

Clarity of Information: Transparency is another important consideration when comparing online and offline health & term insurance. You may find important information about different insurers online, such as their claim settlement ratio, the process of filing claims, and other details. This leads you to make a more informed purchase decision. In the event of an offline mode, you must rely exclusively on the agent, who may be biased or even misinformed. In reality, a lack of knowledge of the health insurance plan waiting period is a common drawback of shopping offline.

Duration of processing the application: While purchasing health insurance plan coverage online takes only a few minutes, the same process offline may take several weeks to be approved. Thus, the offline mode takes longer than the online mode. This is a significant difference between online and offline insurance. 

Cost and affordability: When comparing premiums between online and offline insurance, you may discover that the online option is more cost-effective. The reason for this is that you do not have to pay some broker-related expenses or other service fees. Even if the prices are the same online and offline, you may be eligible for seasonal or additional discounts online. Also, make sure to read the minute print of the policies and avoid making decisions based just on pricing.

Understanding the Insurance Products: The decision between online and offline is also influenced by an individual’s understanding of the product. While some people prefer to conduct their research online, others prefer to consult with a trusted local agent. Because a term insurance plan can be purchased in either of these two ways, it is up to you to pick which method you want.

At last, 

When deciding between online or offline, one has to understand it isn’t just about the mode of purchase. While one can see a list of policies online, the information on the same is also available online. While the offline form has been around for a long time, the online version gained prominence between 2005 and 2010 in India. In addition to the benefits outlined above, there are several other reasons why you should consider purchasing health and term insurance online in India. If you need to update your insurance policy, you can easily do it online. This can save both time and money. Furthermore, while purchasing a health insurance plan, you may be able to gain clarity into the policy structure, benefits, and cost. It is often regarded as both convenient and cost-effective. In the end, it is entirely up to the individual and their comfort preference. 

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