Planning to buy term insurance online? Make sure you’re aware of these 4 things
If you’ve ever purchased anything online, you’ll know how simple the whole process is. You can compare your options and their features at your fingertips, and once you finalize the exact item you want, you can also often get discounts. What’s more - the item delivered right to your doorstep - no extra effort needed. And if the item you got is not up to your expectations, you can even replace or return it - all this from the comfort of your home.
By the looks of it, buying term insurance online might seem easy too. And you might even get discounts of 5-10% off the premium amount - if you buy from the insurer’s websites directly.
But, before you get swayed by the discounts and convenience, you should learn about some unforeseen challenges you’ll have to face - both in the short-term, as well as in the long-term journey, which might even span many decades.
In this article, we’ll learn about a few such challenges - so that you are aware, and make an informed decision.
1️⃣ You have no control over which advisor is assigned to you
Insurance remains a complex product, with hundreds of fine print. It becomes very difficult to buy the product without someone knowledgeable explaining the product to you. When you buy insurance online, the system assigns a representative to work on your case. You'll connect with this representative either when you call their call center, or when they call you to offer a product. This representative is randomly picked by the system. They follow a set of instructions and fixed scripts to guide you towards a plan they recommend for you.
Further - you'll probably speak to an entirely different person every time you call the company’s call center. And you have to be very lucky - to find someone who will provide unbiased advice, keeping only your best interests in mind.
2️⃣ You might face incessant calling and spamming
Online platforms allow you to research and compare term insurance policies easily - at the tip of your fingers. However, this comes at a price. Most insurance platforms or companies require you to provide your mobile number, some with even OTP verification before you can start browsing and researching their policies. They won’t even generate a quote until then. The problem is not about sharing phone numbers. Every app today requires you to register with your phone number. The problem is the minute you enter your phone number, you’ll start getting calls.
3️⃣ The post-sales process might not be as effective, once you make the payment
If you’re purchasing the policy from an insurer/aggregator’s website, you should be aware that you’re required to fill in only basic personal details before you make the payment. The insurance company might ask you to submit documents, fill the proposal form, undergo medical tests based on your medical declarations - after the payment is done.
In case you face any issues during this and call the insurer/aggregator’s call center, there are chances you may not receive the personalized assistance you are expecting. We have heard many customers complaining that calls keep getting transferred from one team to another - and the person who sold you the policy, in the first place, won't even be available to help you after the payment is made.
4️⃣ The claims process largely remains offline
Your family would already be going through a lot of emotional turmoil in case of an unfortunate event and the last thing they would want is to go through complexities when filing for the term life insurance claim. While the buying process is majorly online, the claims process is still offline for most online platforms.
They might guarantee 24X7 online claims assistance, but your family may still need to visit the Insurer’s branch office to submit the claim form & other documents as well as for follow-ups in case of post-filing questions. Also, in case the claim gets stuck somewhere, your family will have to be really lucky to get an advisor who will help them get their claim processed quickly.
Term insurance is the financial safety net that you weave for your family. It requires careful planning and long-term commitment. One small mistake on your part now could cost your family badly at the time of claim. And in case things go wrong, you won’t even be around to help them.
A Good Alternative to Buying Online
Instead of purchasing a policy online, you can buy it through a good financial advisor. The advisor might not be able to give you offers and discounts that online platforms will, but they will guide you and be there to help you throughout your term insurance journey. At the time of purchase, they will be by your side - they will do a detailed need analysis and suggest you the right product. And then when you pass away, they are the ones who will also ensure that your family’s claim is settled quickly, without any hassles.
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- When buying online, the advisor that will help you with your problems will be appointed by the system. Hence, whether you get good advice or not, will depend largely on your luck.
- Also, the advice you receive through call centers has minimal ownership after you buy, as the salesperson may not be contactable after the payment.
- The minute you enter your mobile number online, you will be spammed with calls and messages.
- After you make the payment on an aggregator’s website, the insurer will ask you to fill the proposal form, undergo documentation and medical tests - and there’s no guarantee if the aggregator’s executives will assist you during this.
- Although you purchase the term plan online, the claims process will be offline. Your family will have to visit the branch to fill the claim form and submit the documents.
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