Tarun Mathur gives a quick low-down on what advantages one can have when buying motor insurance online
Illustration: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com
While there is no dearth of insurance companies and policies that promise you the best deals, it is very important for a consumer to keep her/his requirements foremost and purchase a policy accordingly.
Earlier, when a person bought a new vehicle -- two-wheeler or four-wheeler they usually bought insurance offline without comparing and researching different policies.
However, with the rise in a number of insurers retailing online and online insurance platforms coming into play, consumers now have multiple options to compare and choose from.
1. Get the best deals
Insured Declared Value (IDV) is an important component of motor insurance because this is the value you get in case of theft or total loss of the insured vehicle in an accident.
Moreover, a vehicle's premium also depends on its IDV and when you compare plans online, you will find different companies giving different IDVs for the same vehicle. So, you can decide your premium, something you will not be able to do if you are buying insurance offline.
When you buy add-ons with a base policy, different companies offer different combos and plan features that you can choose easily depending on your requirement. The comparison of various add-ons with the base premium is faster and easier on the website.
Usually, the price of a policy bought online is 30 per cent cheaper than its price offline.
Due to competition among insurance companies to sell their products, enticing offers are made from time to time. Moreover, banks also offer incentives or cash back on online transactions.
2. Better informed decisions
The best thing about buying insurance online is the transparency factor, which makes you a more aware and informed consumer.
With so many policies available in the market, it gets confusing for a person to pick the best one with the right kind of riders. When you go online to buy a motor insurance, the comparisons are faster and best premium rates are offered by the companies as soon as you key in your requirements.
It is also easy to maintain and process all the details and history of your vehicle under one profile that makes your work easier.
3. Better assistance and hassle-free purchasing
It is a misnomer that one does not get a sales agent's assistance in an online insurance purchase.
Soon after you compare insurance options online, you can reach out to the associates to help you zero in on a policy of your choice.
The associates will not only assist you to compare two or more policies, but they also help you with the documentation of the policy.
Similarly, you can also get assistance on making a claim. And whether you buy a policy or make claim, you can do it from the comfort of your residence or office.
4. Renewal of a lapsed policy made easy
Many of us do not renew motor insurance before the expiry of the deadline and then have to run around to get the lapsed policy revived. One of the conditions in the case of a lapsed policy is the inspection of the vehicle by the insurer's representative on the owner's premises.
With new mobile applications such as the self-inspection app, one can now easily make a short video clip of the vehicle by a mobile phone and upload the same through the app, feed in the existing policy information and details of the vehicle, make the necessary payment and the renewal will be done in a short time.
This service saves a lot of time and effort.
With digital innovations and increasing awareness about insurance, Indian consumers now have access to faster, easier and economical ways to buy and renew insurance policies.
According to a recent report published by BCG (Boston Consulting Group), the online insurance market in India is already in excess of Rs 700 crore, with motor insurance contributing around Rs 250 crore.
The report also predicts 3 to 4 times growth in the online insurance industry by the year 2020. So it is evident that the online insurance has caught the fancy of Indians and the trend is expected to grow further in coming days.
Tarun Mathur is director, policybazaar.com