Team AckoJul 22, 2021
A decade ago, people used to browse online and buy offline. Traditionally, people liked to buy gadgets and clothes offline as they could get the feel of it before buying. But as technology developed and delivering products became faster and cheaper, people started buying online as well. With the combination of smartphones, internet banking, tech-savvy sellers and buyers, one-day delivery, and festive offers, online scored over offline in almost all products and services categories. But what about car insurance online? Which is better, online car insurance or offline? Read ahead for the answers.
The following table will highlight prominent differences between buying car insurance via the online method and the offline method. By going through the table, you will be able to gauge the best fit for you as per your needs.
|Points||Offline Car Insurance||Online Car Insurance|
|1) Meaning||Offline car insurance is a purchase process where the act of buying a policy takes place at physical office space or by meeting an insurance agent. For example, an insurance company’s office or a car dealer’s office who has a tie-up with an insurer.||Online car insurance is a purchase process where the act of buying a policy takes place in a virtual setting like a website or a mobile application.|
|2) Process||Here, the process involves meeting the seller, filling forms, and submitting the required papers.||Here, the process involves visiting the insurer’s website/app, sharing basic details, choosing the plan, and buying the same by making the payment online.|
|3) Transparency||There’s less transparency in this method as there is an intermediary involved.||There’s more transparency in this method as there is no intermediary. You can access all documents on the website, read through them, and make an informed choice.|
|4) Time Factor||Comparatively, this is a lengthy process. Starting from setting up a meeting with the seller, to submitting documents and making the payment can take up a few days.||Buying a car insurance policy online is a quick process. It does not require any appointments. You can insure your car any time of the day as per your convenience. Unlike a physical office, the online platform like a website does not have an end-of-the-day closing time.|
|5) Payable Premium||The payable premium in a traditional office-based insurance process can be higher in comparison to the online method. This can be attributed to higher company overheads.||As online insurers do not have a lot of infrastructures to look after, their operational cost is on the lower side. No intermediaries mean no commissions and that in many cases translates into low-cost insurance plans.|
|6) Influencing||The chances of being influenced by an agent or an intermediary into making a particular decision are more in the offline process.||The chances of being influenced are less here as you are in control throughout the decision-making process.|
|7) Comparison||It is tough to compare policies offline. You will have to visit multiple people. Even if one agent is presenting to you several options, it is time-consuming and challenging to compare brochures.||Comparing car insurance policies online is not at all challenging. You can either pick an aggregator website and get the majority of the quotes and coverages in one shot. Or else, you can visit the websites of your preferred insurers and then use the premium calculator to know the quote, and then compare them.|
|8) Customer Support||Often, you have to rely on the agent/intermediary for support while buying the policy offline. If the insurance company has a calling-based support team, you can seek help there as well.||In the online process, you can seek answers to your queries thanks to website content, blog posts, and chatbots. There are dedicated teams that handle email and call-based queries as well.|
|9) Claim Settlement||As the focus is on manual-processes, the claim settlement process can be a lengthy one.||Online car insurers offer a quick and hassle-free claim settlement process. They can do so because of the tech-based infrastructure.|
|10) Renewal||The offline renewal process poses similar challenges faced during the offline policy buying process.||The online renewal process is even easier than the online buying process. Assuming you are renewing from the same insurer from whom you purchased the plan, your data will be saved by the insurer. All you have to do is log in to the website and make the payment. The policy shall be renewed as soon as the payment goes through, which happens almost instantly.|
Also, Read: Is it Safe to Buy/Renew Car Insurance Online?
By going through the above-mentioned table, you must have concluded that in most cases, buying car insurance online is beneficial than buying it offline. If you are still confused, here are some direct benefits of buying online car insurance.
You can find out all the details about a car insurance policy by researching online. There’s the insurer’s website, blog posts, and the Policy Wordings as well. The online policy buying process aids better research and comparison so that you can make an informed and calculated decision.
Generally, car insurance policies offered by digital-first insurers are less expensive than those offered by offline insurers. This is because the online insurers have a low operational cost and less or no dependency on intermediaries, thereby reducing the cost paid as commissions.
It is possible to buy a car insurance policy in two minutes via an app or a website. No paperwork. No money paid as commissions. No filling long forms. No submitting a bunch of documents. Online car insurance is quick, simple, and efficient.
If you are stuck while buying the policy or while raising a claim or simply want to rectify an error in the policy document, the online insurer’s customer support team is at your service 24×7.
Online car insurance eliminates hurdles to claim settlement such as heavy documentation, coordination problems, and money transfer. The online insurers offer instant claim settlement, Cashless Claims, and seamless coordination thanks to Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning.
The points mentioned in the previous sections state that online car insurance is better than offline car insurance. However, you must look at these options from your own perspective. Someone who is not tech-savvy, is too comfortable with the agent-based approach, and does not mind foregoing the online-based benefits might prefer the traditional way.
There is a way around this as well. If you feel the online process is daunting, simply ask a millennial relative to help. Better, you can try to insure your car online yourself, it is not difficult at all. The final call is yours. If you feel a method is stressful for you, skip it and pick the other one. But make sure to buy and renew car insurance as it is a legal requirement.
Here are the top advantages of insuring your car with ACKO.
Insure your four-wheeler within minutes from the website or the app.
Get a policy at a low premium thanks to ACKO’s tech-based infrastructure.
Buy direct from ACKO and skip paperwork and commissions.
Get services such as one-hour pick-up and 3-day doorstep delivery as per the terms and conditions.
Benefit from Cashless Claims across garages.
Also, read: Car warranty vs insurance. Which is better?
Here’s a section featuring common doubts concerning online vs offline car insurance.
Is buying insurance online from a new insurer safe?
Buying insurance online from a new insurer is safe provided you have checked the credentials of the insurer. Browse the insurer’s website for its IRDAI certification/registration number to authenticate the insurer’s validity and buy the policy.
Is online insurance always cheaper than offline insurance?
Mostly, online insurance is cheaper than offline because of several factors like the company’s low operational expenses, no commissions, tech-based strategy, etc.
Can I shift from online to offline and offline to online after a few years of the policy?
Yes, you can shift from online to offline and offline to online while renewing the policy.
Is there a difference between an offline insurer also offering the policy online and a purely online insurer?
The difference between the two is mostly related to the overall strategy. A digital-first insurer might be more tech-savvy and offer related advantages than a traditional insurer offering policies online.
Do online insurers also offer add-ons such as Roadside Assistance and Zero depreciation?
Yes, online car insurers do offer popular add-ons.
Do online insurers inspect cars before insuring them?
Online insurers do not inspect cars unless the car has been uninsured for a while.
What to do if I am unable to find my four-wheeler’s model on the insurance company’s website?
You can contact the insurer’s customer care department if you are facing difficulties in searching for your vehicle’s model on their website.
I do not have an internet banking facility. Can I pay for the online car insurance policy via Debit Card?
Yes, most insurers offer the facility to pay the premium via a Debit Card.
Do I have to visit any government office like a registrar to renew my car’s insurance online?
There is no need to visit any office while renewing your car insurance online.
I have never purchased insurance online. What if there is a problem while buying the online policy?
Insuring your car online is not difficult at all. If you face any challenges, you can call the customer care number and seek help.
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