Why buying health insurance online is more transparent
Updated: Apr 7
Traditional health insurance as it once existed was very different from the modern-day, contemporary insurance sector we now know and relate to. Back in the day, before digital channels were popular, insurance was primarily sold in-person, physically. Insurance companies employed a wide network of agents who pitched insurance proposals to their customers and to potential buyers. The marketing was primarily manually done, with the onus of conveying the terms, benefits, and the features of insurance plans falling upon insurance agents.
While this was no doubt a successful system, the concept of human bias eventually did creep in. The policies that were pitched to the consumer or the end-user ultimately depended on what the agent involved decided to sell. And naturally, this removed the element of transparency from the transaction, at least to a certain extent. Even today, more often than not, it isn’t possible for an agent to pitch and explain all the health insurance plans offered by the company they’re employed by.
This issue, however, is practically non-existent in the digital realm. When consumers decide to purchase health insurance online, it’s a whole other ball game – one where the consumer has the freedom to choose from the policies offered without the element of human bias interfering.
What is online health insurance?
Simply put, online health insurance is just your regular medical insurance plan that you can purchase online. You can purchase the plan of your choice directly from the site of the insurance company you’re eyeing, or you could purchase it from the portal of an aggregator. Whichever channel you choose, buying health insurance online is a quick and easy process.
Why is buying health insurance online more transparent?
Now that you know what online medical insurance is, you may be wondering about why, if it all, is online insurance more transparent than its offline counterpart. First, let’s get the “if at all” bit sorted. There’s no doubt that buying health insurance online is more transparent than getting it physically. Online medical insurance plans give you all the details you need to know in one place, thereby not only making the process more transparent but also improving the convenience factor.
But then, why is online health insurance so transparent. For starters, it’s because insurance companies generally give you access to all the terms and conditions online, right on their website. All you need to do is click on a few links and there you have it – all that you need to know about any medical insurance plan that you’re planning to purchase. By contrast, purchasing health insurance from an agent may not be as smooth or as transparent. After all, it may not be possible to get to know all the nitty-gritty of every plan on offer through an agent, isn’t it?
Secondly, there’s another reason why buying health insurance online is a more transparent process overall. Health insurance providers are mandated by regulations to put up all the terms and conditions of their plans on their website. Yes, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India mandates that every insurance company selling health insurance as a part of its range of products must make the terms and conditions of the policies available to users online. So, if you’re buying your health insurance online, you can rest assured that you have the law’s backing and that no T&C, minor or major, will have been left to fall through the cracks. In other words, what you see online is what you get.
What are the other advantages of buying health insurance online?
Buying health insurance plans online also opens up many other favorable avenues. As a potential policyholder, there is a host of other ways in which you can benefit from online medical insurance plans. Here’s a quick look at some of the advantages.
More affordable premiums
Purchasing your health insurance online is a more affordable move because the premiums for online plans are often lower than the premiums for their offline counterparts. This is because there are no intermediaries involved, and you get to buy your plan directly from the insurance company. And since your premium is a cost that you’ll incur year on year, it’s a smart move to make it as affordable as you can.
Simpler documentation and paperwork
When you purchase a health insurance plan online, nearly the entire process is digital. So, there’s much less paperwork involved. This can be a huge advantage for people who find documentation cumbersome. You need not spend precious time and resources getting hard copies of your proofs ready. Simply uploading soft copies generally gets the job done nearly and on time.
Easy comparison of multiple plans
When you buy medical insurance online, you also get to compare the plans available online easily. Most insurance companies have a built-in comparison tool on their websites, so you can match and weight the costs and benefits of different plans at a glance. This is not a luxury that’s available when you purchase health insurance offline, because there’s only so much comparison that’s possible manually.
Convenient purchase process
Purchasing insurance online is generally more convenient than offline purchases. For one thing, you can invest in the health insurance plan of your choice at any point in time – night or day – from the comfort of your home. You also reduce the chances of errors in the application because you fill the forms yourself. And lastly, online purchases also allow you to make very informed decisions regarding the plan you’re investing in.
How do you purchase health insurance online?
If you’ve never bought a medical insurance plan before, or if you’ve previously only interacted with insurance agents to take care of your insurance requirements, you may be unaware of how to purchase a health insurance plan online. But worry not, because it’s really quite simple. The actual process, of course, varies from one insurer to the next. Broadly speaking, however, these are some of the steps that you may need to follow.
Visit the site of the insurance company from where you wish to purchase the plan.
Look around for the policy documents and read through the terms, conditions and features.
Make use of an online health plan comparison tool to identify the right plan for your needs.
Once you’ve made your decision, upload the relevant documents and fill in the application form.
Submit the forms and paperwork online, make the initial premium payment and wait to hear back from your insurer regarding the physical copies of the policy documents, which they will generally send to your registered address.
That’s it. It’s that simple!
So, now that you know how online medical insurance improves the scope for transparency and minimizes the chances of miss-selling, you may want to consider this mode to invest in health insurance. If you’re looking to improve the convenience quotient even further, then you’ll find the health insurance plans from Kenko ideal for your needs.
Kenko gives you two customer-friendly healthcare plans that save you the trouble of looking into the fine print and scouting for hidden charges. The monthly subscription plans come in two options - the Rs. 699 per month plan and the Rs. 199 per month plan. Both plans offer excellent coverage for hospital expenses as well as for medicine purchases, doctor’s consultations, diagnostic tests, and much more.