How safe is it to buy Health insurance online

As the medical treatments are getting costlier with each passing year, having a health insurance has become a necessity rather than a luxury. Apart from allowing the individuals to get proper medical care during hospitalization, the medical insurance comes with various other benefits. These benefits include domiciliary hospitalization cover (at-home treatment if approved by a doctor), top-ups, personal assistance and cashless facility. The features and benefits vary from insurer to insurer and also depend on the premiums paid by the customer.

With online world becoming part and parcel of our lives, a lot of individuals also prefer purchasing their health insurance plans online. Almost all leading insurers offer the facility to perform online transactions safely.

Benefits of buying health insurance online

As purchasing health insurance online comes with a numerous benefits, it is becoming a preferable mode for most of the individuals. Some major benefits include:

Comparison of policies is easy

The very first benefit is availability to compare the policies of all health insurance companies with a click of few buttons. An individual doesn’t need to contact the agents of different companies or visit their office to receive information. A lot of third-party portals also assist the individuals by letting them compare the features, premiums and insurance covers of different companies. This saves a lot of energy and time that is otherwise wasted while conducting the research.  

The terms and conditions of policies from reputable companies are available in a detailed manner. A lot of websites also offer a free quote through their online tools. The comments and reviews further empower the individuals to make a well-informed decision while purchasing a scheme.

Simply put, the easy availability of information and transparency makes the screening process hassle-free.

Lower Premiums

The health insurance becomes cheaper in the case of an online transaction due to the absence of middlemen and agents. The insurance companies also cut down their administrative costs to a greater extent by executing their operations online. This further reduces the cost of the policies.

Safe online transactions

If an individual is purchasing the insurance through a reliable company, s/he need not worry about the safety. The trusted insurers provide the online transaction through secure methods. These companies also rely on secured connections and encryptions to shield their customers from any form of cyber frauds. This also means that in case of an error, the insurer takes the responsibility itself. The payment modes offered by the health insurance companies include debit/credit card, net banking and online payment wallets like Paytm and MobiKwik.

Online insurance v/s Offline insurance

This table compares the features of online and offline insurance:

Online Insurance Offline Insurance
Transparency The individuals can check all the information instantly. The customer has to rely on the information provided by the agent.
Premium rates Lower than offline insurance, as the agent’s commission is eliminated. Higher because insurer administration costs and commission of agent are included.
Scope of Error As the individual fills the registration form himself/herself, there are no chances of errors On the other hand, the chances of an agent filling the wrong information increase in case of offline insurances
Privacy Online registration also ensures that the privacy of the policyholder is maintained. The policyholder has to disclose the information to the agent while purchasing the information offline.
Technical knowledge required Basic knowledge of internet. No knowledge of internet is required.
Choices Plenty of choices and ability to compare them instantly Limited number of choices.

All these points show that buying health insurance online is a hassle free and economical process when compared to offline mode.

Tips to safely purchase the health insurance

To protect yourself from fraudulent activities, it is mandatory to follow some instructions.

  • The very basic requirement is to purchase the health insurance only from the trusted names and avoid dubious websites that may offer extremely cheap plans.
  • Use the services of portals that allow you to compare all the features of the different health plans from various insurers.
  • A lot of policies come with co-payment clauses under which you have to pay a part of the expenses during the treatment. Check this clause thoroughly to avoid issues later. Sometimes, the term ‘co-insurance’ is also used for it.
  • You must also go through the sublimit clause of the policy, which is related to the maximum limit of hospital room rent and limit on the treatment of specific ailments.
  • You can cross verify the information of the insurance company from the insurer’s website in case of any doubt.
  • Calling a customer support representative of the company is also a good practice to clarify all your doubts.
  • Before making any payment, check for SSL security certificate of the website.
  • Keeping a screenshot of the transaction page is another essential way to avoid any issue in the future.

Conclusion:

Most of the benefits linked to online health insurance make it a safer and preferred mode. You can also apply a blended strategy under which you can compare the policies online and purchase the best one through an offline agent. This will ease up the claim settlement process, as you may need to contact an agent during the process.

Harjot Singh Narula

Harjot Narula is founder and CEO of ComparePolicy.com, an IRDAI approved insurance web aggregator focussed on selling online insurance for companies. Harjot has more than a decade of experience in software development and has also spent 5 years in US working for the mortgage and risk management industry.

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