How your Dad bought insurance and why you can do better
From our parents to us, there is a gap in the way finances are viewed and managed between generations. There’s a good reason why insurance companies have had to reinvent themselves to keep pace.
Documentation is daunting. Certain financial terms can trigger adrenaline in the body or a languor-induced procrastination. If you think this is a gross exaggeration, you’ll be surprised to know that this may well be what lies beneath you thinking, ‘ah! Insurance can wait…’
The truth is it shouldn’t.
The earlier you invest in insurance the better. And your Dad probably knew this well, which is why he took the trouble to call an insurance agent, go through with the documentation and follow through patiently with the paperwork even if it went back and forth several times or even though he may not have known how much insurance cover he’s eligible for.
But we clearly have not inherited that generation’s patience and meticulousness.
Luckily, a lot of insurance companies realized this fact well in advance and took their entire insurance purchase process online.
No human interface for a serious product like insurance?
While an online process promises to be high on convenience, one still wonders if a complicated product and serious investment like insurance can be done with no human interface.
Unlike purchasing clothes online or calling a cab, insurance requires high involvement on a buyer’s part, which is why insurance companies like HDFC Life are using a blend of intuitive, self-help processes and live chats, call with agents to guide you at each step should you get stuck.
In fact, they’ve not only taken insurance purchase for over 23 different products online, but also allow a claim processing request to be initiated online.
With that in mind, we took a shot at trying to purchase insurance online and here’s what we found:
1.Get an instant quote and compare products
Before you close in on the insurance company, you can go to one of the many aggregator sites like Policy Bazaar, Compare Policy or Easy Policy and get quotes from various insurance companies that you can compare.
It’s a simple, quick way to weigh your options before you decide where to buy from.
2.Choosing the right plan is easier with information on your fingertips
Think you have no idea of what kind of insurance to buy? Everything you need to know is available on the website of insurance companies. For instance, on HDFC Life, you can find out the most suitable product as per your profile. So you can go ahead and identify the kind of plan that would work for you depending on your goals and needs.
3.It’s so easy and quick, it’ll spoil you
This is where HDFC Life’s online insurance purchase process bowled us over. It’s easy, intuitive and a matter of simply following the steps. The documentation can be paperless and a breeze if you so wish.
Simply upload scanned copies of your identity, address and date of birth proof. If not, they also have the option of sending across hard copies to their address.
What’s more, just like tracking your last online shopping order, with the HDFC Life app you can track the process of your policy issuance.
4.Online insurance is cheaper
Since there is no insurance agent (read commissions) involved and the company saves on infrastructure costs, they pass on the cost benefit to buyers, thus making online purchase of insurance cheaper.
5.The insurance regulator is looking out for you
There may be many insurance options out there. But be assured that every new insurance product and innovation goes through rigorous scrutiny by the government body, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDAI) to make sure customers are secure and are able to understand all the product nuances well.
And in case there is potential misspelling, the IRDAI insurance ombudsman is very easy to approach. This is because insurance goes a long way in providing social security, so the government not only encourages citizens through tax deduction, but also makes sure the policyholder is thoroughly protected.
6.Closing the loop with accessible customer service
From live chats to help you with post purchase servicing to processing your claim request online, HDFC Life has struck the balance between simplifying the process to take the complexity out of insurance while maintaining the human element. So you need not worry about what happens when it comes to servicing or claims processing.
So the next time your Dad follows up with you for the umpteenth time about what the status is on your insurance investment, stop fretting and get online. It’s faster, cheaper and much more transparent than before.