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Buy Life Insurance: Online vs Offline

To buy a life insurance policy, you're left with two ways: either to buy it via various online portals or buy offline via an authorised agent of an insurance company. The online platforms are revered for lower life insurance premiums, multiple alternatives, accessibility and transparency whereas the offline methods are venerated for the agent's assistance and additional policy coverage. Both these methods have their own merits and demerits and this article attempts a back to the front review of both. The benefits of each method are outlined along with the pros and cons and in the end; it'll help you to make a final choice- online or offline.

Core Benefits of Buying Online Life Insurance

Here is a rundown of the core benefits of buying insurance online:

Merits of Comparison

Online purchase of a life insurance policy offers you a dynamic platform for easy comparison of different policies, companies and life insurance premiums. You'll get a myriad of alternatives to compare and make your choice. As a rational consumer, it's your very responsibility to do a basic alternative check and online life insurance platforms will aid you in doing so. However, the agents will persuade you to purchase a life insurance premium plan from their company.

Unlimited Access and Seamless Support

If you choose to buy your life insurance online, these platforms offer you 24x7 access and support facilities through chat facility, toll-free and even an extensive knowledge base. Moreover, it's really easy to access these platforms directly via your device irrespective of platform barriers. On the other hand, the agents may be unreachable and sometimes, there are chances that you may not get the service of the same agent at the later stages.

Evidence is Everything

In the present world where every word you use may invite legal implications, it is necessary to have valid documents for every matter especially those related to finance. If you are to select your life insurance premium online, you are empowered to take screenshots or printed receipts of terms of service, policy details and most importantly, payments. These documents can be saved in digitized format on your device so that they can be accessed anytime when required in future. On the other hand, the agents may glorify the insurance terms in their favour that may result in dissatisfaction of the buyer after buying the policy.

More and More Savings

Savings aren't bitter no? Online life insurance premiums, ipso facto, are up to 40% cheaper than offline life insurance premiums. This is primarily because of the absence of intermediaries. With the elimination of the middlemen, the prices of essential commodities can be cut. The absence of agents in online platforms results in absence of commission and other related costs, ultimately resulting in a lower life insurance premium amount. It's a reality that offline insurance premiums carry an extra cost.

Crystal Clear

The online platforms present clear information about your policy, terms and conditions and life insurance premium. The platform offers you higher transparency and you can even cross-check from the official site of the company. This is the age of information and information is power. Moreover, some platforms offer you a discussion forum for the open discussion of policies, life insurance premiums and terms and conditions. On the other hand, you are to be heavily dependent on the agent for such information and in some cases; the agent may not have certain knowledge at his disposal.

Secure and Speedy Payments

The online platforms are known for ease in payments and renewal of your life insurance policy. All your payments will be processed via a secure payment gateway and a valid payment invoice will be instantly generated that could be saved for future reference. Also, insurance claims can be made online and many online insurance platforms provide free Human Life Value calculators which will aid you back to front so that your right life insurance premium could be calculated with utmost precision. However, all kinds of payments, exchange of documents and verifications are to be made through the agent and hence are of less efficiency and are time-consuming.

Key Benefits of Buying Life Insurance Offline

The key benefits of buying life insurance offline are as follows:

Rational, Reasonable, Rightful

Buying offline insurance will be a more reasonable choice than buying online. There are chances of deviation from the actual purpose by being attracted to handsome life insurance premium packages than the actual package required. It's similar to buying a refrigerator: you just need 190L and you buy 260L just because the latter was available at a higher discount rate.

I Need Assistance

If you are not able to use the online channels due to any reason, then an agent will help you. Also, if you aspire for a personal touch, and want to avoid the machine-machine contact, offline policy purchase will best serve your purpose. If you need regular assistance with your policy and information slightly deviated from the mainstream, an agent will help you out. You'll have an agent anytime at your doorstep and you will only have to affix your signature and make your payment. Everything else will be handled by the agent. Sit back and rest!

Handsome benefits

Most of the online insurance policy platforms will only offer death benefits. If you aspire for accident cover, then you'll have to pay an additional premium. On the other hand, the offline policies will be backed by additional coverage like critical illness coverage and permanent disability benefit among many others.  

Pros and Cons of Buying Life Insurance Online

After discussing the key benefits of buying a life insurance policy online, let us discuss the pros and cons of buying life insurance online:

Pros

The following is the list of pros of buying life insurance online:

  • A plethora of alternatives to choose from
  • Round the clock accessibility
  • Lower premium amount
  • Higher transparency
  • Easy payment and policy renewals
  • Flexible
  • Online policy discussion forums
  • Claims can be made online
  • Secure, faster and direct payments
  • Human Life Value calculators to calculate the right premium amount

Cons

The following is the list of cons of purchasing life insurance online:

  • Discounts and attractive offers that make people purchase something that they do not require
  • Absence of 'personal touch'

Pros and Cons of Buying Life Insurance Offline

The following are the Pros and Cons of buying a life insurance policy offline:

Pros

The pros of buying life insurance offline are as follows:

  • Can make a rational choice free from the influence of offers and discounts
  • Agent at your doorstep
  • Pay, sign and leave everything to your agent

Cons

The key pointers for the cons of purchasing a life insurance plan offline are as follows:

  • Only one choice- the company that the agent is representing
  • May not be available 24x7
  • Manipulation of terms and conditions to glorify the agent's parent company is possible
  • Commissions and related payments make it costly
  • Dependent on an agent for all information regarding the policy

Final words

Your final choice concerning whether you've to buy your insurance policy online or offline depends on your preferences shaped by a myriad of factors. The prime factor that shapes your preference is basic computer knowledge and a basic idea of online payments. If you're unable to meet these criteria, then the offline option will be the best.

Also, if you are in need of an accessible agent at your doorsteps to why you can entrust your entire policy related affairs, then the offline option would be the best as you've to deal with the payments and other boring stuff online. Nonetheless, there has been a significant tilt of preference towards online insurance policies these days. Accessibility, greater accountability, reduced life insurance premiums, ease of payments and seamless flexibility makes online policy platforms a better choice.

However, the final choice is yours and in both cases, may it be the agent or the online platform, always take care to purchase the policy from an authentic and official source.

Disclaimer: PaisaWiki does not endorse, rate or recommend any particular insurer or insurance product offered by an insurer.

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