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What is better – buying insurance online or through an agent?

7 May 2019

Car Insurance Article

As the world is becoming digital, more and more people are relying on online platforms to make their investments. Today, it has become incredibly easy to get information and compare different companies before purchasing anything, including your insurance policies. However, some people still prefer to go the conventional route while purchasing insurance i.e. they make investments based on the recommendations of their insurance agent or brokers. So we decided to draw up a comparison – buying insurance online vs agent. Let’s see which is better.

Online research vs the agent’s word:

The greatest advantage of the digital age is that you can get information for almost anything online. While buying insurance you need to consider several factors such as the insurance companies’ reputation, the quality of customer service, their claim-settlement ratio etc. There are several direct and indirect online forums on which you can find this information, based on which you can make an informed decision. On the other hand, if you are buying a policy through your agent, you are typically opting for something he recommends, with no additional information. Sure, you can convey your requirements, but you can never be too sure, if you got the right deal.

Direct transaction vs commission:

Another point of comparison in buying insurance online vs agent is the way in which the transaction is completed. When you purchase insurance online, you just pay the specified premium amount, with no hidden costs. You can easily add or remove additional riders. In many cases, insurance companies are tied up with banks and digital wallets, which can help you to earn discounts on specific credit/debit cards and cashbacks for online payments. You also get discount for renewing policies before the actual policy renewal date, thus making your premiums much cheaper. An agent cannot make any offer that facilitates savings. In fact, you end up paying your agent a commission or an intermediary fee for the services rendered.

Self-filing vs filing claim through agent:

In the case of buying insurance online vs agent, this point probably tilts in the favour of the agent. You can assemble all your documents and hand them over to the agent, who can complete the claim-filing procedure on your behalf. That said, people who don’t have an agent can reach out to the insurance provider’s customer service help-line and find out how to file a claim. The only difference is that you won’t have a dedicated middleman to help you through the claim-filing process.

Accessibility to the insurance company:

Another advantage of buying insurance online vs agent is that you have great accessibility to your insurance provider directly. Without the presence of a middle man, the information is relayed directly to you, with no scope of miscommunication. If you are in an accident and are trying to reach an agent, you may or may not be successful in doing so, and the latter scenario can increase your stress when you are already under duress.

Reduced chances of fraudulence:

When you purchase insurance online, through the company’s website, you can read all the terms and conditions and then purchase the policy. On the other hand, your insurance provider may try to influence his decision, only because he is rewarded by XYZ insurance company for selling an X number of policies and completing his/her monthly target.

As you can see, there are more benefits of buying insurance online vs agent. A little online research can go a long way. It can help you make informed decisions while making investments and also facilitate a lot of savings.

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