Internet – the greatest utility to mankind – has revolutionised the way we think and seek information. But it is subject to both adulation and criticism.
Yes, the Internet cannot teach you how to find a needle in a haystack or count the drops in the mighty ocean. But, help you in buying insurance? That it surely can!
Here are 5 ways how you can use the internet to buy an insurance policy.
Comparison of policy features, especially the premium rates, is very important when you purchase an insurance policy. Earlier, people used to rely on their agents or simply go ahead and buy a policy based on popular perception.
However, with the advent of the Internet, comparing policies online has become a breeze. In fact, almost all insurance companies have online portals that provide policy details, brochures, terms and conditions, premium details and the policy document. This can be viewed for comparison before making the purchase decision, without disclosing your personal details.
There are also third-party online marketplaces that help you draw up a comparison chart, shortlist options based on your requirements, and apply for the selected product.
When you compare various products available in the market, you can see the benefits and drawbacks of each product and make a wise call.
Calculation of insurance cover amount
An important dilemma most people face while purchasing insurance is the amount of cover they should opt for. It does not make sense to opt for a cover that is much lower than what is actually needed, as you will be exposing yourself to the risk. Similarly being over cautious and opting for a higher amount of cover than what is needed means you will be paying a higher premium. Therefore determining the approximate cover amount required assumes great significance.
The internet has many online calculators that allow you to input your details like net worth, goals, liabilities etc to determine the amount of cover you should opt for. Although it is possible to arrive at this figure by using an excel sheet or the traditional calculator, the presence of the internet has made this task much easier for the common man.
Check claim settlement ratio
A critical factor to help you in deciding which insurance policy you must opt for is the Claim Settlement ratio of the insurer. Claim settlement ratio signifies the number of claims settled by the insurer compared to the total claims received by the insurer during the specified period.
The Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India’s (IRDAI’s) annual report, which is available online, has these details for some insurance categories. Third party websites also carry these details in some cases which can be used. Earlier when there was no internet, people had to rely on the agent or the insurance company for this data. There was no way of verifying its correctness. Today, all that has changed.
Check fraud or dispute issues
You must choose your insurer carefully as the repercussion of choosing a wrong insurer can be severe. Every year, you pay the insurer an annual premium amount with the hope that this will be used when you or your family needs it in times of an eventuality. Therefore, exploring the credentials of the insurer is critical.
The Internet allows you to check for any fraud related issue or disputes which are present against the insurer. IRDAI’s historical reports also give these details, which can be retrieved from the internet.
Check social media for reviews
The social media has become an extremely powerful tool of the Internet to air reviews on different product categories. You can check social media or other review websites for feedback on various insurers and their products from both existing customers as well as those who are in the process of applying for the product.
Checking reviews helps in taking purchase decisions and also in evaluating existing products. A bad review spreads like wildfire across the internet, and as a result of this, insurers also are careful while providing their services.
A recent survey conducted by Google India and ICICI Lombard revealed that the non-metro cities in India are at par with or even ahead of metros for buying policies online. The power of the internet cannot be underestimated in the modern day. More and more people are using the Internet to guide their insurance purchase decisions.
Are you a part of this revolution or one of those old-school laggards?
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