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Online options work out cheap

Online options work out cheap
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First Published: Wed, Feb 09 2011. 08 08 PM IST
Updated: Wed, Feb 09 2011. 08 08 PM IST
The industry has made your task of buying a term plan easier. As many as five insurers now offer their term plans online, with MetLife joining the family with Met Protect.
Now you can buy the cheapest life insurance policy from the comforts of your home with just a click of the button. However, the process of buying a policy online has not become as smooth as transferring funds or buying an air ticket. Certain offline procedures still remain.
Also See | What you Get (PDF)
Advantages
The biggest advantage of buying a term plan online is that you pay a lower premium for the same cover. Since the insurer does not have to compensate the agents, the benefit is passed on to you. Says Balachander Sekar, director-product and marketing, MetLife India Insurance Co. Ltd: “The commissions on a term plan varies between 15-25% and we pass this as a cost benefit to our online customers.”
The other advantage, although less visible, is that you end up filling the proposal form yourself. The biggest mistake that people often make while buying an insurance policy is that they delegate the paperwork to agents. The beneficiary may face problems if wrong information is provided as insurers reserve the right to deny a claim if information provided is found incorrect. You can avoid the disaster by filling in the details yourself.
Problems
Buying an insurance plan online is not seamless yet. What you can do online right now is fill up the proposal form and pay. Once you have paid the premium, know-your-customer and medical check-ups will get initiated. A medical check-up usually kicks in when a person is opting for a very high sum assured or is buying a term plan at an old age. Adds Sekar: “Typically customers up to 35 years of age opting for Rs50 lakh cover need minimal medical requirement. However, this works just as a guiding principle and will depend on a case to case basis.”
With the unique identification project on the horizon, buying an insurance policy will become simpler still.
Graphic by Naveen Kumar Saini/Mint
deepti.bh@livemint.com
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First Published: Wed, Feb 09 2011. 08 08 PM IST