Buying an insurance policy can sometimes be more confusing given the number of options that you have been presented with. Only detailed research will help you wade through this confusion. This article seeks to clarify one such dilemma that you might be presented with – should you buy the policy online or offline?
Which is the Right Method?
The right method of purchasing your car insurance policy will first and foremost depend on the resources available at your disposal. Purchasing insurance online will be less expensive than doing so offline – simply because all intermediaries such as brokers and agents are done away within the online process.
Additionally, online insurance companies offer attractive discounts such as new user discounts, year-end discounts or other festival offers to attract customers into this nascent market. One excellent benefit is that several insurance aggregators compare the policies and premium costs of different insurance companies, making your job easier!
Differences Between Online and Offline Buying Options
|Basis||Online purchase of insurance policy||Offline purchase of insurance policy|
|Process||Simpler and quicker as all the information is available in a click of a button.||The process is long drawn out as one has to meet the agent, discuss the policy, finalise a policy, make the payment and receive the policy documents at one’s address.|
|Transparency||One can read through the terms and conditions of the policy and know the actual policy wording even before buying the insurance. |
You can save the policy details for your future reference and ensure that you get what you see and what you pay for.
|One can access the full document for a detailed study only after making the final payment.|
|Time factor||The entire process can be wrapped up in a period of a few hours.||The entire process might need nearly 2 to 3 days for completion.|
|Premium prices||As online insurers do not have a lot of infrastructures to look after, their operational cost is on the lower side.||The premium prices are likely to be higher as the operational overheads need to be covered through the premiums received|
|Customer support||Online car insurance policies offer 24/7 support to the policyholder.||In case of an offline purchase, limited support may be available and the turnaround time for a resolution may be high.|
|Claim settlement||Online filing expedites the reimbursement or cashless claim settlement process.||In case of an offline claim process, the process will be lengthy as one has to go through an entire host of people before receiving the final claims amount.|
Differences Between Renewing Policy Offline and Online
|Basis||Online policy renewal||Offline policy renewal|
|Ease of renewal||The renewal process is even easier as the online buying process as your data that will be available with the insurer.||The offline renewal process has the same issues that one faces while purchasing the policy.|
|Speed of completing the process||The policy will be renewed almost instantaneously.||It will require some time to get renewed.|
What are the Benefits of Buying Car Insurance Online?
The benefits that online purchase of a car insurance policy has are as follows -
Easy comparisons of Car Insurance Plans
The car owner can peruse different policies offered by different car insurance companies on neutral websites to learn about the various policies offered, its terms and conditions, and other details.
You may even access reviews, the popularity of the policy, premiums, claim settlement ratio of the insurance company, etc. to get more clarity about each individual insurance product.
Also, online distribution channels are cheaper than the conventional method. In case you encounter any incomprehensible terms, then seek help from insurers, people who have purchased these policies before, etc.
Digital-first insurance companies generally charge lower premiums as they have lower operational costs and little or no dependency on intermediaries. There are no commissions or brokerage costs that need to be paid, so the cost of the premium is significantly reduced. For example-Akhil wanted to buy a car insurance policy and was confused, i.e. whether he should buy it online or offline. Thus after discussing the matter with his friend, he decided to buy an insurance policy online as his friend also saved a lot when he purchased his car insurance policy online. Because there is no commission involved hence this benefit will be passed on to the policyholder in the form of lower premiums. Akhil compared the quotes of different insurers right on one platform hence selected the one insurer, offering him the car insurance policy at less premium. Hence, Akhil was happy to crack the deal as he saved many on his car insurance premium.
A quick process with complete transparency
The process has no paperwork and filling in details online is not time-consuming. There is no requirement to submit a host of documents either. The process is simple, efficient, and hassle-free when done online.
Customisation of Policy
You can toggle between the various policies, add-ons, and the like to find out which suits your needs the best.
Also, if you are well versed with insurance terms and policies and have enough time to conduct thorough research, you can purchase a policy online and save on the premium. With the availability of more information, you can customise your policy better.
The renewal process is even easier than the online buying process as your data will be available with the insurer. The policy will be renewed almost instantaneously.
Quick customer service
Online customer service is available 24/7 whether it is to rectify an error or make some additions to your insurance portfolio. The turnaround time is very less and the customer’s needs are given due priority.
Easy claim settlement
The hassles of a claim settlement process seen in earlier offline policies have been reduced to the minimum with the online claim settlement process. There is no more requirement of heavy documentation, problems of money transfer, and difficulty in coordination between the insured and the insurer.
If you wish to purchase a car insurance policy in the near future, keep in mind the factors mentioned above before deciding whether or not to buy car insurance online or offline.
Use the opportunity that the internet has to offer by easily collating all information about different insurers and insurance policies in one place and then compare the benefits of each! Factor in the pros and cons before making that final call.