How safe is buying health insurance online?
Since the cost of medical facilities has been rising rapidly, it has become a necessity to purchase a health insurance policy. The importance of the same can be seen from the recent pandemic and the rising coronavirus cases and its hospitalisation expenses in India.
Thus, it can be safely said that a health insurance policy would help you by providing financial cover in case of medical emergencies. Amongst the various benefits provided by the health insurance plans, cover for pre-hospitalization, hospitalization, and post-hospitalization expenses, cashless facilities, domiciliary hospitalization, etc. are some of the major ones.
Today, we live in a digitally-driven world where the online mode is the most common and convenient means to perform any task, and the purchase of health insurance is no exception. A lot of individuals today, especially young professionals, are opting for the purchase of health insurance policies online. Most of the insurance providers offer the facility of performing the transactions online by safe means and you can perform your transactions without the fear of any fraud.
According to the BCG report, pre-sale and post-sales of insurance policies, i.e. initial research and after-sales service has been very high and even buying the product online has grown manifolds in the last decade.
Online Insurance versus Offline Insurance
Let us talk about some of the major differences between online and offline methods of purchasing health insurance policy.
- Transparency –
By online means of buying health insurance, individuals can check the information instantly whenever they feel like. Whereas in the offline method individuals would have to believe in the information provided by the insurance advisors. All the necessary information, terms, and conditions of the insurance policy would be available on the website in a systematic manner. So, there is the easy availability of information and transparency which can be helpful for the applicants.
Tip: There is no need to trust what your insurance agent has said. You can verify the same online very easily.
- Plenty of choices –
Limited choices are available in the offline method as agents are usually associated with a single insurance company whereas there are several options available in case of online means of purchase.
Tip: You can compare the features and benefits of all the health insurance plans online and then choose the one that best suits your needs.
- Premium rates –
The rate of health insurance premium is sometimes less for online mode of purchase as commission rates and other costs would be eliminated whereas these costs are included in offline means which increases the premium rates.
- Errors –
Chances of errors are less in online means of insurance purchase as an individual would fill his application forms himself whereas offline means the form is filled by agents which increases the scope of error.
- Convenient and hassle free-
With the digital age, anything online is way more convenient and less time consuming than offline. Thus, health insurance plans bought online can help you save a lot of time than its offline counterpart.
- Privacy of information –
Privacy of information can be maintained in the online method which is a risk in the offline case as your confidential data is being shared by the agent.
Is it safe to purchase a health insurance plan online?
Online purchase of health insurance plans is extremely safe as all insurance providers would provide a platform for carrying out the transactions in a very secure manner. Also, insurance providers would make use of secured connections and encryptions to avoid any type of cyber fraud.
The payment gateway provided by the insurer would provide a safe platform for transaction. It is similar to doing an online banking transaction and is regulated by the RBI or the Reserve Bank of India.
How to safely purchase health insurance online?
To avail protection from fraudulent activities while purchasing a health insurance policy online, some measures must be taken.
- You must purchase the health insurance plans only from trustworthy websites and should avoid any transactions with any fraudulent website which can offer cheap insurance plans or discounts.
- You must make use of portals to compare online health insurance policies, their features, and then decide on which one to purchase.
- While checking information on comparison websites, you can also cross-check the information on the insurance provider's website to avoid confusion.
- Some health insurance policies would come with the co-payment option which is also denoted as "co-insurance" especially for senior citizens. This would mean that a part of the expenses incurred during the treatment has to be paid by the policyholder.
Tip: Thus, you must check out the clause of co-payment thoroughly to avoid any issues later. The lesser, the better.
- There are sub-limits associated with the maximum limit of the room rent of the hospital or with the limit of treatment of some specific ailments.
Tip: Always go through all the terms and conditions of the policy before purchasing, especially the one on sub-limits or room rent capping. This could affect your health insurance claim as well.
- Do take assistance from the Customer support executive of the health insurance provider in case of any queries.
- While purchasing an online health insurance policy and making any payment, policyholders should check for the SSL Security certificate which would verify that the particular website is legitimate and the files can be encoded safely.
Tip: Always check for websites which have https://
- Furthermore, after making the payment, do not forget to keep a screenshot of the transaction page to avoid any discrepancies in the future.
Hence, purchasing health insurance plans by online means is quite popular among the customers and it is also a safe option when carried out after proper research and from trustworthy websites.