Let us begin with a situation this time – Imagine one of your family members being diagnosed with an unknown illness requiring extended hospitalization. There is a massive expense that comes with this situation. How will you manage medical bills at that time? Such financial emergencies come into everyone’s life. The best solution to overcome this is to buy health insurance online. Digital methods of purchasing health insurance are gaining popularity in recent times. With advanced technology, people are adopting digital ways more as it is fast and is always available in times of urgency.
Online methods are desirable as it is all done as per convenience. For instance, we can easily relate to online shopping. We shop for everything ranging from clothes to gadgets online which are delivered to us within a few days. But with online health insurance, the delivery is even faster, i.e. the insurance is availed within a few hours. Isn’t that good?
While online health insurance might look appealing and has a lot of advantages, there always exists a question of whether it is safe to buy health insurance online or not. You obviously buy from the company – still, the reliability is always doubtful. As every coin has two sides, so is online health insurance. There are certain advantages and disadvantages of buying online health insurance that is as follows:
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1) Diversity: It is tedious for any person to visit multiple lenders or banks to remember their policies and plans. The online platform is much more diverse as numerous plans are present online. You can simply select one that suits the best of your needs.
2) Comparison: As said above, there are a variety of plans online. It makes it easy to compare the available options, such as better rates, benefits, offers and features. Plus, you can also compare medical insurance plans with health insurance to buy an ideal one in the end.
3) Effortless: Online procedures are carried out entirely on smart gadgets, making our life hassle-free. Now that health insurance has gone online, there is minimal paperwork, and the entire process is really cost-effective as it saves a lot of money with cheaper alternatives and low or no processing fees. And not to ignore, you save on the distributor’s commission as well.
4) Informative: What happens when you go to distributors, banks or insurers for information on health insurance plans? They help you out, but there is always some or the other doubt that is unaddressed. Well, this is not the case with online health insurance. Everything included and excluded in the health insurance plan is available on the screen online. For instance, if you might be tempted to buy a medical insurance policy, online portals will also provide you with information on that while stating the difference between the two.
5) Convenience: As you shop online while sitting on the couch sipping coffee, so you can buy a health insurance plan for yourself and your family online. It is absolutely convenient and allows you to think and decide about things such as the premium you want, the investment you would like to make and the renewal you wish. The easy-to-navigate website functions much better than a human.
6) Service: Imagine buying health insurance offline. After a few years, you may face some problems with premiums. What would you do in that case? Would you search for the distributor from whom you took the plan? That seems a little impossible, though! Like any other online insurance plans like medical insurance, auto insurance, and house insurance, customer service executives can address your concerns anytime you have a query on your existing plan.
1) No negotiations: Many people do not favour online health insurance plans as there is no scope for negotiations in them. Some find the premium expensive, which they cannot negotiate and has to abide by it no matter what. A certain set of prices is available on the internet that one has to choose from. The offline procedure has one-on-one discussions in which the person bargains as per their will. Sometimes, even the plans are modified.
2) Scams: You might have seen ads on TV about OTPs, loan scams and other money-related risks. It makes people cautious of making any money-related activity online. And also, these tasks require adding personal and financial details, which is often taken as a risk. In short, you must be very careful when buying any insurance plan online. Go with only the best health insurance companies to avoid scams.
3) Information Overload: While informative content is the most significant advantage of buying health insurance online, this can also be a disadvantage. The information available is too much, including financial terms and clauses which a layperson cannot understand. A lot of readable content might also end people into confusion which causes a higher relapse rate. With so many comparisons available, it might also confuse you with the best medical insurance and best health insurance, thereby enabling you to buy the wrong one.
4) Short-comings: Online platforms are dependent upon servers, Wi-Fi and electricity. If any of this goes down, there is a huge risk involved. After all, one cannot fully rely on Artificial Intelligence for this. Mistakes are bound to happen sometimes. In fact, many times, a person may choose one online health insurance plan but, with technological loopholes, might be given another one.
Everything has pros and cons, but this does not make one product or service superior or inferior to one another. A customer should be vigilant in buying anything online or offline. Technology has definitely brought us some great things and has made our lives stress-free, but we should keep in mind that it can also backfire. It is best to check the Security certificate (SSL) of the websites to avoid online fraud and scams. Read every instruction, terms and conditions before you buy health insurance online. Do extensive research first and select the best one depending on your and your family’s needs.