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Health Insurance 376 views February 26, 2019
Table of Contents
Ordering things online or availing services by contacting through the web is in vogue. So much so that brands are now directly selling to customers online without the hassle of setting up businesses in brick and mortar showrooms and offices. In the past few years, many insurance companies including those selling health insurance have set up their online portals encouraging prospective customers to view details of the insurance product they wish to buy and then decide accordingly. Insurance aggregators have further simplified the “shopping online for insurance” experience by bringing together details of all the major insurance products like health insurance policies on a single site. The desire to choose the right insurance product in sync with one’s needs and the budget has taken precedence over other factors, thus, prompting people to buy insurance online.
Buying any kind of insurance product like an online health insurance policy and plans ensures that you can now shop from the comfort of your home with just the click of a button. However, there are more benefits to buying health insurance online that may be listed as:-
No matter how good the insurance product is or irrespective of the extent of benefits the insurance company offers, the cost of the plan is one of the factors that determine its purchase. This is particularly true of health insurance plans where different insurers charge differently. Buying them online frees insurers from the hassle of dealing with intermediaries, thus, saving on operational costs and advertising expenses. Also, since customers are buying directly from the insurance companies, there is no scope of distribution costs being added to the premium charges, thus, enabling the latter to pass on the cost benefits to the former in the form of discounted premium charges.
Advanced technological means have allowed insurance aggregators to share details of all kinds of health insurance plans sold by insurance companies operating in the market. This enables customers to compare the various health insurance policies in terms of the benefits offered, the nature and extent of coverage, their features, details regarding claim processes and renewals in addition to any additional perfunctory benefits for which they charge. Customers are, therefore, able to make an informed decision after looking at the pros and cons of every health insurance policy before deciding to pay for the same.
The ease of buying is synonymous with online purchase. Instead of going through the hassle of having to meet an agent and submit physical copies of the documents needed to buy insurance, customers may consider buying insurance from the comfort of their homes or offices as and when they feel like. Moreover, the customers can seek help, when required, by typing in their queries in the query box shared on the insurance company’s website. The customers would be required to fill in all their personal details themselves and attach scanned copies of the necessary documents. This not only ensures that the insurance policy bought would contain correct details of the insured but enable the paperless and hassle-free purchase of the same.
The online buying process also ensures easy correction of the errors, if any. Revision of the details submitted and updating them when required becomes easy. Also, as the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority of India (IRDAI) is planning to make e-Insurance Accounts (eIAs) mandatory for several kinds of insurance plans in the long run, the KYC process can be done only easily, thus, aiding the insurance buying process.
Insurance had received a considerable backlash in the past due to mis-selling by agents who misled their customers into buying policies that they did not need to earn high commissions. Since customers would be buying policies online from the insurers directly, there is no scope of mis-selling. Customers buying policies online view the details of the products they are buying, thus, ruling out any scope of wrongful selling on the part of the insurance company. Claim settlements become easy as the customers had submitted all necessary documents while buying and all details are correctly submitted sans any scope of misunderstanding.
Though a major part of the world is connected through the internet, many people still continue to be apprehensive when it comes to making online payments. To help customers who are unsure about making financial transactions online or pay for their policies through the web, all the insurance companies have a live chat facility on their websites. The customers simply have to share their concerns that get solved in real time, thus, enabling them to make a quick and informed decision about the policy they are looking at. For those preferring the offline route, there is a toll-free number available which means that the customer can speak to the customer care team at no added cost.
It is common for customers to seek online reviews about the products that they wish to buy or of the insurance company they wish to buy from. Reviews are nothing but experiences shared by former customers or existing policyholders. Since most customers prefer to check the online reviews before buying any plan, it becomes imperative for each insurance company to provide the best possible services and, thus, gain positive feedback about the same. Online reviews serve as a guide and go a long way in helping customers make the purchase decision.
Considering the continued rise in the cost of medical treatment, buying health insurance has gained more importance in the past few years. However, the hassle of buying the insurance and increasing instances of mis-selling had put insurance companies on a backfoot, thus, prompting them to take the online route. With every bit of information now available online, customers can easily look for the kind of product that will serve their needs.
Factors like free medical check-up, cashless facility, list of network hospitals, reimbursement clause, availability of day-care procedures, pre/post-hospitalization care, co-payment clause, waiting period, list of pre-existing disorders, extent of cover obtained, policy period, premium charges, claim settlement efficiency, no claim bonus, maternity benefits and lifetime renewability must be looked into before opting for any health insurance plan. Customers can easily look into the necessary details and then make their choice.
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