If you are in you 20s or 30s you probably remember insurance agents knocking at your door and trying to convince your parents about the merits of buying Life Insurance Policy Online that they were selling. Your parents perhaps even complied knowing nothing about the fact that the so called policy that was being advocated as the best for them, was perhaps the best for the agent himself as it fetched him the highest commission!
Reasons to buy an insurance policy online
With 52 million active internet users in the nation today, who use the online platform to buy everything from groceries to gadgets online, it is little wonder that they are open to buying online life insurance polices too. The life insurance sector is very much a part of the rise of e-commerce in India and is gaining popularity across the nation. And with good reason too. If you are not quite convinced yet, here are some reasons why you should opt for online insurance plans.
1: Lower cost: While making any purchase, the first thing that comes to your mind is cost, and insurance is no different. Most online life insurance products are at least 50% cheaper than their offline counterparts. There are two major reasons why this is possible. Firstly, you purchase from the insurer directly, therefore there are no intermediary costs that are passed onto you. Secondly, insurance companies themselves work on the premise that the mortality risk in the customers who buy policies online is lesser than those who opt for policies offline. Therefore they are agreeable to offering them products at a lower premium. Thus online policies work out to be significantly cheaper.
2: Higher sum assured: Because of the lower costs involved the average sum assured tends to be higher in online policies, as compared to offline life insurance products. Besides clever marketing tactics by insurers show the per day costs of purchasing an insurance policy. For instance it will not be uncommon for you to come across an advertisement that says that a policy of Rs 50 lakhs is available for a premium of just Rs 8.5 per day. It is natural that you would be tempted to buy a policy that comes this cheap!
3: Empowering the customer: Insurance companies provide all the information regarding the product, it features, tenure and riders clearly on their website. Therefore those customers who are willing to make an online purchase can access this information easily and make an informed decision. They no longer have to depend upon an agent or any other party with a vested interest to give them the relevant information.
4: Easy reputation check: With rampant use of social media and the forums of customers sharing their experiences about each and every purchase they make, it has become easy to check the reputation of the insurer and the product that you are applying for. Reputation is mostly with regards to claims settlement. While opting for a product you can scour the web to see the previous experience that customers have had with regards to the claims settlement of a particular life insurance product. You can thus make a better decision based on this information.
5: Overall transparency: As each and everything about the product in question is online beginning from its features to the customer experience as well as the regulatory action that is applicable in case there is a problem at your end, there is nothing that an insurer can keep from you anymore. There is therefore total transparency that you can count upon.
However, one must bear in mind that as much as buying insurance online comes with many benefits, there is no advisory involved. The onus is therefore solely on you as the customer to carry out the right kind of due diligence and picking out a product that is a perfect with your overall financial plan.
How To Apply For A Life Insurance Policy Online
After you’ve found your best quote, you’ll need to apply for the life insurance policy – this process can take several weeks.
The process of applying for life insurance can involve even more extremely personal questions, paperwork, and a medical exam.
Policygenius helps you get started, but you still have to buy insurance from an insurance company, most of which are still living in the pre-digital era. So, you can’t really buy life insurance entirely online.
Here’s what happens after you apply:
1: Verify your application: First, you’ll need to speak with an agent on the phone who will verify some of the information you provided online and confirm that the quote you selected is the best policy for you. The agent will then provide some paperwork for you to sign and submit your application to the insurer.
2: Schedule your medical exam: If the insurance company requires a medical exam (and most do), a contractor known as a paramedical professional will contact you to schedule the exam. The paramedical professional is trained like a nurse in performing a physical exam.
Policygenius, however, has partnered with Brighthouse SimplySelect℠ to offer term life insurance with no medical exam or lab work required! All you have to do is answer a few questions and talk with a Policygenius agent over the phone.
This significantly speeds up the underwriting process, so you can get life insurance in as little as three of four days, rather than a few weeks or months. And what’s even better is this doesn’t raise the premiums that typically come with no-medical exam policies.
3: Complete your exam, then wait: The examiner will take a thorough medical history to confirm the info in your application. He or she will take your blood pressure and draw a blood sample that will be sent to a lab to test for cholesterol and glucose levels, tobacco and drug use, and diseases. These results will be shared with you by mail.
In life insurance applications, honesty is paramount: don’t be surprised if you must answer the same question about your medical history or tobacco use five times, but always answer honestly. Insurance companies share information, so misrepresenting information might not just get you denied from one carrier, but banned from many. Worse, it could give the insurer legal grounds to deny your family’s claim if you die.
The insurance underwriter’s job is to take all the information from your application and medical exam and decide whether to insure you and how much to charge. This takes many weeks. You’ll want to ask your agent whether the carrier binds any life insurance upon receipt of the application. For example, when you submit your application and a check for your first premium, many carriers will insure you for something, although not the full amount you’re requesting, pending completion of the underwriting process.
What to expect after you apply
When your policy is approved, it is placed in force and you will be notified, and receive a full copy of the policy.
If you didn’t already provide your agent with a deposit, you’ll be asked to make the first premium payment.
Some insurers may allow you to make your first payment to bind your policy upon submission of your application (prior to your medical exam). The insurer reserves the right to cancel the policy or increase your premium if your exam reveals previously undisclosed medical conditions, however.
Either way, be sure to ask when your policy will be effective – especially if you’re replacing an existing policy. Don’t cancel the old life insurance before you’re sure the new policy is in effect!
The agent will send you a hard copy of the policy. You should make a copy of this policy, place the original and the copy in different spots for safekeeping, and tell your spouse where they are. Finally, you can relax knowing that one of the most important pieces a solid financial plan is in place for you and your family.
That’s it! Although it seems like a lot, the process of buying life insurance can be easier than you think. Scheduling the medical exam and waiting on the results are the only real hassle.
Buying life insurance doesn’t have to be difficult anymore. Know that you’ll likely want term life insurance, not whole life insurance. And when looking for life insurance, aggregators like Policygenius can help you get quotes for term life in just minutes.