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Is it Safe to Buy/Renew Car Insurance Online?

Team AckoDec 18, 2020

The short answer is yes, it is safe to buy or renew car insurance online. The long answer is yes, it is safe to buy or renew car insurance online if you buy it from an authentic source. Does this mean you should skip the online platform? Well, you can do that and go back to the time-consuming, document-driven offline method of insuring your car. Or, you can take some simple steps to ensure you are buying from the right place and enjoy the benefits of buying or renewing a motor insurance policy from the insurer’s website or the app. Read ahead for details.

Car Insurance

Is It Safe to Buy/Renew Car Insurance Online in India?

In India, you can easily purchase a car insurance policy or renew it online from the insurer’s official website or the mobile application. Gone are the days when people were scared to transact online. From fearing Internet Banking, they moved towards paying from Online Wallets and using other Mobile Banking apps. However, the scamsters have also evolved and found out new ways of duping people by performing cybercrimes. Therefore, one must be vigilant while shopping online. Once secure, then you can buy/renew car insurance policies online within two minutes.

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Note that the following details are in-depth and meant for informational purposes. They are not prescriptive and only stated for foolproof security measures. In most cases, simply buying from a renowned brand and verifying the website (for example, www.acko.com) should suffice. Here’s how you can ensure safety while buying or renewing car insurance from these online avenues.

1) Before Buying

Insurance companies selling car insurance policies online need to be registered with the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI). The list of such companies is shared on the regulator’s Consumer Education Website. You can check if the name of the insurer is mentioned in the list or not. If it is, then you can purchase the plan from the insurer.

Another way to check if the company is registered or not is to look for the registration number on the website. For example, ACKO’s IRDAI registration number is 157. It is clearly mentioned on www.acko.com at the bottom of the homepage.

2) While Buying

Once you are sure that the insurer is registered, you can visit their official website and then buy or renew the policy from there. You can reach the website by directly typing the web address in the browser and searching it or by using a search engine (for example, Google) to do so. You can also reach the website via the insurer’s official social media handles and promotional campaigns.

Once you reach the online location from where you can purchase the plan, verify if it is the insurer’s page and not a duplicate one designed to scam you. You can also ask for an official link to the page by calling the insurer on their official number.  

If you are buying from the insurer’s app, make sure you have downloaded the original app and not a fake one. It’s best to download the app from the link given on the insurer’s official website.

3) Post Buying

Once you have made the payment, you must check if you have received the Policy Document or not. Post-purchase, the same can be accessed from the website/app or by checking the inbox of your email ID that was registered with the insurer. On rare occasions, there can be a delay of around ten minutes. But if it has been more than ten minutes and you haven’t received the Policy Document, then you must contact the insurer and follow-up.

Also, you need to browse through the Policy Document to check if it is an authentic one. The same can be done by checking the QR code, policy details, signatory, etc. If you feel there’s something wrong, contact the insurer. If everything is authentic and you find that some details are mentioned incorrectly, you can get in touch with the insurer and get it rectified via the Endorsement Process.

Car Insurance is Mandatory in India

There are strict laws concerning car insurance in India. If you own a car, it must be insured before being driven on public roads. You do have the option to select the coverage. You can either just go for the compulsory Third-party Insurance Plan or buy the Comprehensive Cover, which is superior to the previous plan.

The Comprehensive Cover includes the Liability Cover and it insures your vehicle against damages caused by fire, calamities, etc. Such an ‘Own Damage’ cover is not included in the Liability Plan. Not following the law can expose you to legal hassles. Thus, it is better to buy a Comprehensive Plan as it not only takes care of the legal part but also offers help if your vehicle is damaged.

Benefits of Buying/Renewing Car Insurance Online

If you are in doubt about online insurance, the following benefits might help you reach a decision.

  • No Commission: Buy directly from the insurer and avoid the commission cost paid to middlemen.

  • No Paperwork: Buy online without filling lengthy forms and uploading documents.

  • Save Time: Vehicle insurance policy can be purchased or renewed online within minutes in just a few clicks.

  • Save Money: Online car insurance is usually less costly than the market price.

  • Free Quotes: Get to know the policy’s purchase price for free.

  • Quick Compare: Free quotes and easy access to websites ensures a quick car insurance comparison of policies.

  • Total Convenience: Buy or renew a plan as per your convenience as per your preferred time and place.

  • Complete Transparency: All the information is openly shared on the website for you.

  • Better Control: You have the control to choose your cover and insure your vehicle as per your liking.

  • Instant Access: Access your Policy Document anytime by logging in to the website/app.

Car Insurance Online: Safety Checklist

There are some signs that you should be wary of while buying car insurance online. If you come across the following signs, pause your purchase process and think it through.

1) Too Good to Be True

There are some offers that are true. And then there are some that are too good to be true. If you come across such offers, and they take you to a suspicious landing page or openly ask for unnecessary information about your bank account, then it is a red flag and you should hit the mission abort button.

2) Too Much Information

Online/Digital insurers do not need a lot of information to offer a car insurance policy. As there is no need for excessive form-filling and documentation, the purchase process is super quick. If you find the process to be too stretched without any purpose and it demands unnecessary personal/bank account information, then you should contact the insurer and verify the same.

3) No or Fake Policy Document

You should receive the Policy Document in exchange for the premium paid. Some delay is manageable but if you haven’t received the Policy Document for a while, then you need to contact the insurer. If there’s a delay on their side, they will let you know. Also, the policy needs to be verified by going through details such as the authorized signature, cover details, premium calculation, etc. to authenticate the same.

The Final Word

From booking a cab to ordering food, the online infrastructure has made life simple. Same goes for insurance as well. From a time where it took days to insure a car, the turnaround time has come down to a couple of minutes thanks to online car insurance. The online world has created a new market and it has also resulted in some scam artists that take advantage of naïve consumers in this market.

A common fraud in the online ecosystem is phishing and data theft. To avoid this, you must not disclose unnecessary bank account information and not share personal data without any relevance. If in doubt, simply call the insurance company and ask if the information is necessary. This way, you will come to know the reason behind the need for the information and you will make sure that there is no fraud. Simply be a bit alert to avoid traps set by cybercriminals and you are through to a convenient insurance buying experience via the online method.

Frequently Asked Questions

Read ahead to know commonly asked doubts concerning online car insurance.

Q1) Is buying car insurance online a safe option if I want to purchase it via a smartphone?

Yes, you can buy a car insurance policy via your smartphone in a safe way provided you buy it from a certified insurance seller’s official website/app.

Q2) Is it okay to share basic details like name and number in exchange for a free quote?

If it is an authentic website, then you can share basic details for a quote but do not share any unnecessary personal or bank account related information for a free quote. When in doubt, speak with the customer care team and then proceed.

Q3) Where can I find the cheapest car insurance policy online?

The price of a car insurance policy depends upon several factors such as which cover you choose, from where you decide to buy, etc. A basic online search should help you find out the cheapest and the best-suited plan for you. You can check out the premium for your car by visiting www.acko.com for free.

Q4) Is online insurance cheaper than offline insurance?

Online car insurance policies offered by digital-first insurers are usually more affordable than the offline ones because the online companies have lower operational costs and do not depend upon intermediaries leading to a reduction in commission cost.

Q5) Can I purchase insurance for my new car from a different insurer than the one I had purchased the policy for my previous car?

Yes, you can choose the insurer of your choice to insure your new car.

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CIN: U66000KA2016PLC138288

IRDAI Registration No: 157

Category: Non-Life Insurance

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