Insurance Agent – “least trustworthy source for buying insurance “– SURVEY FINDINGS

Many of us rely on our neighborhood, agent or a known agent from whom our parents or relatives used  to buy insurance. But with growing cases of misselling, lack of knowledge,  lack of trust makes them least preferred intermediary for buying  an insurance policy in the sales chain.

As per the recent survey conducted by “The Associated chambers of Commerce & Industry of India “ (Assocham)  “ An insurance agent is considered the least trustworthy in the sales chain of insurance policy across different segments among the financially literate as well as non-literate consumers, according to a study” .

As per the study,  72% of the survey participants who are in the age group of 18-60 years with no specific knowledge of insurance, concluded that their insurance agent is the least trustworthy source when it comes to buying the insurance products.

In this era of digitization when everything is available at a few clicks online, why should one compromise or compel himself or herself to buy insurance from an insurance agent or other offline modes? There are online portals, one of which is an “Insurance web aggregators”, which are licensed and approved by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) to sell insurance online. Such intermediaries offer insurance plans online and which is easy to buy just like you buy other things for yourself online by comparing the price and benefits of the product. The best part about buying online is that the portal is not biased about any insurance plan or company, just like the insurance agent and offers you comparison among the multiple insurance plans available in the insurance industry. Online buying offers you to buy a plan as per your actual requirement rather than a forced requirement.

You make a prudent decision yourself by opting for the insurance plan for yourself and your family. You may opt for all types of insurance plans ranging it from life to motor insurance, health to travel insurance and many more. Online buying of insurance plans offer you premium which is cheaper than buying from an agent. Insurance companies have to offer agents a substantial amount of commission to sell the company’s product to the prospective customers. The commission of agents, become the part of the premium paid by you, so you end up paying higher premiums. On the other hand, buying online eliminates the agent’s commission part in your premium, making it more economical and cheaper as compared to buying offline.

Lets understand the 10 broad differences to highlight the pros of buying insurance plans online:

S.No Distinction Parameters Buying  through Online Modes Buying through Insurance Agents
1 Cost Offers cheaper premium quotes  as the insurance company saves the cost of commission and policy issuance if a customer buys online Premium offered to the customer is on the higher end due to agent’s commissions
2 Comparison The online buying offers Comparison for price, benefits, key features,etc. of various plans to make the right decision Insurance Agent offers insurance  plan which is sourced by the insurance company they are empanelled with
3 Policy Issuance Issuance of policy is easy and quick as the proposal form, and other documents are submitted online directly to the insurance company Issuance of policy is delayed as the documents are in the hands of agents and at their convenience the same is submitted to the insurance company
4. Time & Convenience It is easy to buy the policy online at your convenience and saves a lot of time as you can buy a policy at few clicks Buying from an agent is a tedious task and comparatively less convenient and more time consuming
5. Knowledge Web aggregators have insurance experts to guide you regarding various insurance specific terms and conditions to allow you to make your decision.They guide you from start to end. Insurance agents  have limited knowledge about the  products offered in the market and know (fully or partially) only about the insurance product sourced by their company
6. Dependency You are not dependant on anyone to buy an insurance plan. You are aware about the movement of your insurance proposal. You are dependant on the whims and fancies of your insurance agent and remain clueless about the your insurance proposal.
7. Prejudice Online buying avoids any sought of biasness related to the particular insurance plan or company Biased about insurance plan of their insurance company and towards the insurance plan which offers them maximum commission
8. Scope of Misselling There is a minimal or zero scope of misselling as you are aware of the decision you are making by doing proper comparison and buying as per your need and budget Highest scope of misselling as the agent is biased towards the product which offers maximum benefits to him rather than the customer. Ignores the actual insurance need of the customer
9. Post sale Services Online buying from an insurance aggregator helps you in post sale services too The insurance agent usually vanishes after making a sale
10. Reliability Last but not the least, online buying is more reliable and is a trustworthy platform for your insurance buying needs As the survey says, people rely less on the insurance agent and takes them as least reliable source for buying insurance

 

So, get out of the traditional ways of buying insurance and shop insurance online without any hassles and make a confident, prudent decision for all your insurance needs. It is not difficult and it will help you to make an unbiased, free and need based decision for a better today and secured tomorrow. Make the most for yourself in this era of digitization.

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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