Due to the advent of online platforms, the debate over online vs offline has gathered steam over the past few years. While everyone has their own personal opinion on, which channel is better for the consumer, its best to first analyse the advantages of online vis-à-vis offline before forming an opinion.
Although the traditional channels have been preferred by consumers, the trend is slowly yet surely changing as consumers move towards the online platform to buy insurance among other amenities or products. Let’s understand why this shift in consumer behavior is taking place by analysing the inherent benefits of the online medium.
- Cost-Benefit: Money Matters
While making any purchase, the first thing that comes to an individual’s mind is cost and insurance is no different. With the competition growing intense, more and more insurance companies are creating their space online by offering cheaper premium as compared to offline policies. Most online life insurance plans work out to be cheaper as compared to their offline counterparts. This is primarily because of no involvement of any agent, thereby eliminating agent commission or any intermediary cost. Offline insurance, on the other hand, is sold by agents and their commission leads to an increase in premiums for the customer.
2. Transparency is the Name of the Game
One of the best ways to compare all the plans is through the help of online insurance platform. All insurance companies allow you to get all the information about all the insurance plans available online. One can easily compile all the information regarding their policies, costs, premiums, and benefits associated with the product under one platform. This makes your online insurance purchase much easier as one is able to easily compare different policies under one portal. However, if you buy insurance policy offline, the information is limited to only what your agent tells you. Nonetheless, it’s always a good idea to first compare all the plans from any online insurance aggregator and then select the one which suits your needs without burning a hole in your pocket.
3. Power is in Your Hands – You Buy What You Want Not What is Sold
While buying life insurance online you are directly dealing with the brand i.e. the insurance company. You can easily log on to company’s website and directly go through the policy’s terms and conditions in full detail and can take your time to weigh the pros and cons and then decide which course of action to take. On the contrary, when you buy a plan in offline mode you will be doing it through the help of an agent. And it is quite likely that agent might try to influence your decision by influencing the terms and conditions as agents usually have certain targets to meet with regards to sales and may pressurize your decision of their choice. Hence, you must keep this in mind while making online term insurance vs offline term insurance comparison.
4. Flexibility in Applying
Buying life insurance has never been so easy. Online channels offer more flexibility when it comes to buying insurance plans as compared to offline channels. You can sit in the comfort of your home, compare the different policies and select the one that meets all your needs. All it takes for you to buy a policy online is a computer with an internet connection and a debit card and your policy document will be delivered at home. You can also see information on the different riders you would like to add on to your policy. While purchasing offline there are chances that you may not be aware of these add-ons and miss out an opportunity to protect yourself against accidental deaths or liabilities. However, since there is not an agent to guide you, you need to do your own research while buying a life insurance policy. This is good as you will be aware of everything that is happening.
(Views expressed above are the personal opinion of Akshay Vaidya, Head- Term Life Insurance, policybazaar.com.)