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Online vs Offline Term Insurance - A Comparison

Online and offline term insurance are two different approaches to purchasing life insurance, each with its own pros and cons. Read ahead to understand the difference between the two.

  • 7,246 Views | Updated on: Mar 14, 2024

Term insurance is a popular form of life insurance that provides financial protection to your loved ones in case of your untimely demise. One of the critical decisions you need to make while buying term insurance is whether to go for an online or offline term insurance plan.

Life insurance can be purchased both online as well as offline via an insurance agent. While in the earlier days, the online option was limited in use, today, it is extremely popular. Some people are still skeptical about the safety and transparency of buying an insurance policy online.

What is an Online Term Plan?

In today’s fast-paced digital world, insurance has also evolved to keep up with the changing times. One such innovation is the online term plan, which has gained significant popularity among individuals seeking life insurance coverage. An online term plan is a type of life insurance policy that is available for purchase online through insurance companies’ websites or other online platforms without the need for intermediaries such as agents or brokers. This type of insurance is becoming increasingly popular due to its convenience, affordability, and ease of purchase.

Benefits of Online Term Insurance Plans

Unlike traditional life insurance plans, which involve complex paperwork and lengthy processing times, online term insurance plans offer several benefits that make them an attractive choice for individuals seeking life insurance coverage.

Affordability

One of the most significant benefits of online term insurance plans is their affordability. Since these plans do not have any investment or savings component, the premiums are relatively lower compared to other types of life insurance plans. This makes online term insurance plans a cost-effective option for individuals who are looking for maximum coverage at an affordable price. Moreover, online term insurance plans also offer the flexibility to choose the sum assured or coverage amount, which allows policyholders to customize their coverage based on their needs and budget.

Convenience

Another advantage of online term insurance plans is the convenience they offer. Unlike traditional life insurance plans that require extensive paperwork, medical examinations, and in-person meetings with insurance agents, online term insurance plans can be easily purchased and managed online. Policyholders can compare different plans, calculate premiums, and make informed decisions from the comfort of their own homes. The online application process is simple, quick, and hassle-free, allowing policyholders to get coverage without any unnecessary delays.

Flexibility

Online term insurance plans provide policyholders with flexibility in various aspects. Firstly, policyholders can choose the term of the insurance plan based on their specific needs, such as until their retirement age or until their children become financially independent. This flexibility allows policyholders to align their coverage with their financial goals and obligations. Additionally, policyholders can also choose to add riders or additional benefits to their online terms insurance plans, such as accidental death benefit, critical illness rider, or waiver of premium rider, to enhance their coverage as per their requirements.

Transparency

Online term insurance plans offer transparency in terms of policy features, benefits, and premiums. Policyholders can easily access and compare different plans offered by various insurance companies, read the policy documents, and understand the terms and conditions before making a purchase decision. This transparency helps policyholders make an informed choice and avoid any surprises or hidden costs later on. Additionally, online term insurance plans also provide an online calculator that allows policyholders to calculate the premiums based on their age, coverage amount, and term, giving them a clear understanding of the costs involved.

High Coverage Amount

Online term insurance plans generally offer a higher coverage amount compared to other types of life insurance plans. This means that policyholders can secure a significant amount of financial protection for their loved ones at a relatively lower premium cost. This high coverage amount can help policyholders ensure that their family’s financial needs, such as mortgage payments, children’s education, and everyday expenses, are taken care of in case of their unfortunate demise, providing them with peace of mind.

No Commission or Brokerage Charges

Another benefit of online term insurance plans is that they do not involve any commission or brokerage charges. In traditional life insurance plans, a significant portion of the premium paid by the policyholder is used as commission or brokerage for the insurance agent or broker. However, in online term insurance plans, since the policy is purchased directly from the insurance company’s website, there are no intermediaries involved, and the entire premium paid goes towards the coverage amount, making it a more cost-effective option.

Offline Term Insurance Plans

Offline term insurance plans are traditional life insurance policies that provide coverage for a specific term or period. They are called “offline” because they are typically purchased through insurance agents or brokers rather than online or through digital platforms. These plans offer a fixed sum assured, which is paid to the nominee in the event of the policyholder’s death during the term of the policy. If the policyholder survives the term, there is no maturity benefit or payout, making it a pure protection plan.

Benefits of Offline Term Insurance Plan

There are several compelling reasons why offline term insurance plans continue to offer significant benefits to policyholders. Offline term insurance plans, also known as traditional term insurance plans, are policies that are purchased directly from an insurance company or through an insurance agent without using any online platforms or digital mediums. Here are some of the benefits of offline term insurance plans:

Personalized Assistance

One of the significant advantages of purchasing an offline term insurance plan is the personalized assistance provided by an insurance agent. An insurance agent can guide you through the entire process of selecting the right term insurance plan that suits your needs and budget. They can help you understand the various features and riders available, explain the terms and conditions in detail, and answer any questions or concerns you may have. This personalized assistance ensures that you make an informed decision and select a term insurance plan that best aligns with your financial goals and protection needs.

Customization Options

Offline term insurance plans often offer more customization options compared to online plans. Insurance agents can tailor the policy to meet your specific requirements by adding riders or additional coverage options. For example, you can opt for riders such as critical illness cover, accidental death benefit, disability cover, and more to enhance the protection offered by the term insurance plan. Insurance agents can help you understand the riders available and recommend the ones that are suitable for your unique needs, ensuring that you get a comprehensive term insurance plan that provides adequate coverage.

Flexibility in Premium Payment

Offline-term insurance plans may provide more flexibility in premium payment options. Online plans usually require premium payments to be made online through digital platforms. However, offline plans may allow you to pay premiums through various modes such as cash, cheque, or demand draft, giving you more flexibility in choosing a payment mode that is convenient for you. This can be especially beneficial for those who prefer to make premium payments through traditional methods or may not have easy access to online payment options.

Ease of Documentation

Offline-term insurance plan s often require physical documentation, which can be beneficial for those who prefer physical records or may not be comfortable with online document submissions. An insurance agent can assist you in completing the necessary paperwork, verifying the documents, and submitting them to the insurance company on your behalf. This can save you time and effort, as you do not need to upload or submit documents online, and the agent can take care of the entire documentation process.

Trust and Relationship Building

Purchasing an offline term insurance plan can help you build a trusted relationship with your insurance agent. An insurance agent can provide valuable guidance not only during the policy purchase process but also throughout the policy term. They can assist you with policy-related queries, help you with claims processing, and provide ongoing support and advice on managing your insurance portfolio. This trust and relationship building can be invaluable, as you have a dedicated person to turn to for any insurance-related needs or concerns.

Online Vs Offline Term Insurance Purchase - Which One is Better?

Purchasing term insurance is an essential step towards securing the financial future of your loved ones in case of any unforeseen circumstances. Term insurance provides a lump sum amount to your beneficiaries upon your demise, ensuring their financial stability even when you are not around. With advancements in technology, you now have the option to buy term insurance online or offline through traditional channels. We will now compare the pros and cons of online and offline term insurance purchases.

Aspect

Online Term Insurance Purchase

Offline Term Insurance Purchase

Convenience

It can be purchased anytime, anywhere, from the comfort of your home or office.

Requires visiting the insurance agent or branch during working hours, which may not always be convenient.

Time taken for Purchase

Quick and hassle-free. It can be completed within a few minutes.

It may take longer due to paperwork, form filling, and other formalities.

Availability of Options

Wide range of options from various insurers with detailed information available online for comparison.

Limited options, as you may have to rely on the information provided by the agent.

Transparency

Transparent pricing and features with online calculators and tools available for easy comparison.

Relies on the information provided by the agent, which may not always be transparent.

Flexibility

Allows you to customize the policy as per your needs and budget with flexible premium options.

It may have limited customization options as per the agent’s knowledge and expertise.

Premium Rates

Generally lower due to the absence of intermediaries and commissions.

May be higher due to the involvement of agents and their commissions.

Why Should You Buy Term Plan Online?

Traditionally, term plans were bought through insurance agents or brokers. However, with the advent of technology and the widespread use of the internet, buying term plans online has become increasingly popular. In this article, we will discuss why you should consider buying a term plan online.

Convenience and Ease of Comparison

Buying a term plan online offers unmatched convenience. You can easily browse through various insurance websites and compare different plans from the comfort of your home or office at any time of the day. You can access all the relevant information about the policy, such as coverage, premium, and policy term, online and make an informed decision based on your needs and budget.

Additionally, online platforms often provide comparison tools that allow you to compare multiple term plans side-by-side, making it easier to evaluate and choose the right plan for you. This saves you the hassle of physically visiting multiple insurance offices or meeting with agents, which can be time-consuming.

Lower Premiums

One of the significant advantages of buying a term plan online is that the premiums are generally lower compared to offline plans. This is because online platforms eliminate the need for intermediaries, such as agents or brokers, which reduces the overall administrative costs for the insurance company. As a result, online term plans are more cost-effective, and you can get higher coverage for the same premium amount compared to offline plans.

Flexibility and Customization

When you buy a term plan online, you have the flexibility to customize your policy as per your requirements. Most online platforms allow you to choose the coverage amount, policy term, and premium payment frequency according to your needs. You can also add riders, such as critical illness cover, accidental death benefit, or waiver of premium, to enhance your policy’s coverage.

Moreover, online term plans typically offer a wide range of options, including different policy terms, premium payment terms, and coverage amounts, which allow you to tailor the policy to suit your specific needs and financial goals.

Transparency and Quick Processing

Transparency is a crucial aspect of online term plans. Insurance companies provide all the necessary details of the policy, including coverage, premium, terms, and conditions, on their websites, making it easy for you to understand the policy before making a purchase. This transparency ensures that you are aware of what you are buying and helps in avoiding any surprises in the future.

Things to Look for While Purchasing a Term Plan

When it comes to financial planning, one of the most critical aspects is securing the future of your loved ones in case of any unforeseen events. A term plan is a type of life insurance policy that provides a pure risk cover without any savings or investment component. It ensures that your family is financially protected in case of your untimely demise. However, with a plethora of term plans available in the market, it is essential to carefully evaluate your options before making a purchase. Here are some crucial things to look for while purchasing a term plan.

Coverage Amount

The primary purpose of a term plan is to provide a financial safety net for your family. Hence, the coverage amount, also known as the sum assured, should be adequate to meet your family’s future financial needs. Consider factors such as your current and future expenses, outstanding debts, and your family’s lifestyle to determine the ideal coverage amount. Avoid under-insuring or over-insuring yourself, as it may impact the effectiveness of the term plan.

Policy Tenure

The policy tenure refers to the duration for which the term plan provides coverage. It is important to choose a policy tenure that aligns with your financial goals and the time you expect your dependents to be financially self-sufficient. Longer policy tenures usually offer better premiums, but make sure you do not end up paying for coverage you may not need. Also, check if the policy allows you to extend the tenure or convert it into a whole life policy in the future.

Premiums

Premiums are the regular payments you need to make to keep the term plan active. Compare the premiums offered by different insurers and choose a plan that provides a balance between affordability and coverage. Remember that term plans with lower premiums may not always be the best option as they may have limitations in terms of coverage or add-ons. Be transparent about your health and lifestyle habits while disclosing information during the policy purchase to avoid any discrepancies in the future.

Riders and Add-ons

Riders are additional benefits that you can add to your term plan to enhance its coverage. Common riders include critical illness cover, accidental death benefit, waiver of premium, and disability cover. Evaluate the riders offered by different insurers and choose the ones that are relevant to your needs. However, keep in mind that riders come with an additional cost, so choose them wisely to avoid overpaying for unnecessary add-ons.

Claim Settlement Ratio

The claim settlement ratio is the percentage of claims settled by an insurance company against the total claims received. It is an essential parameter to assess the insurer’s reliability and ability to settle claims in a timely manner. Look for insurers with a high claim settlement ratio, as it indicates their commitment to honoring policyholders’ claims without any hassles.

Wrapping Up

The debate of online term insurance vs offline term insurance continues. If you are not confident enough about buying insurance online, you could do your research, compare policies, finalize the one you want to buy, and then maybe approach an agent. You will be more informed and will be able to make a better decisions. If you are confident about an online purchase, then it is ideal to go for it as it is hassle-free, convenient, has a minimal scope of error, and is cost-effective.

No matter which mode of purchase you choose, it is recommended to do your homework well, compare policies, read the fine print properly, ask as many questions as you want, and sign the papers only when you are completely sure and satisfied.

Key takeaways

  • An online term plan is a type of life insurance policy that is available for purchase online through insurance companies websites.
  • One of the most significant benefits of online term insurance plans is their affordability.
  • Online term insurance plans provide policyholders with flexibility in various aspects.
  • Offline term insurance plans are traditional life insurance policies that provide coverage for a specific term or period.
  • One of the significant advantages of purchasing an offline term insurance plan is the personalized assistance provided by an insurance agent.


1

What do I get by comparing term insurance online vs offline purchases?

Comparing term insurance online versus offline purchases can provide you with several benefits and help you make an informed decision based on your specific needs and preferences.



2

Is buying term insurance offline a bad thing?

No, buying term insurance offline is not necessarily a bad thing. It can have its advantages depending on the individual’s preference and circumstances.



3

Why is buying term insurance offline costlier than buying it online?

Buying term insurance offline can be costlier compared to buying it online due to several reasons:

  • Agent Commissions
  • Administrative Overhead
  • Operational Costs
  • Limited Comparison Option
  • No Middlemen
  • Online Automationo


4

Is there any difference between tax benefits you can avail of with online or offline term plans?

Yes, there may be differences in the tax benefits you can avail of with online and offline term plans, depending on the jurisdiction and the specific features of the plans.

- A Consumer Education Initiative series by Kotak Life

Amit Raje
Written By :
Amit Raje

Amit Raje is an experienced marketer who has worked in various Fintechs and leading Financial companies in India. With focused experience in Digital, Amit has pioneered multiple digital commerce in India. Now, close to two decades later, he is the vice president and head of the D2C business department. He masters the skill of strategic management, also being certified in it from IIMA. He has challenged his challenges and contributed his efforts in this journey of digital transformation.

Amit Raje
Reviewed By :
Prasad Pimple

Prasad Pimple has a decade-long experience in the Life insurance sector and as EVP, Kotak Life heads Digital Business. He is responsible for developing user friendly product journeys, creating consumer awareness and helping consumers in identifying need for life insurance solutions. He has 20+ years of experience in creating and building business verticals across Insurance, Telecom and Banking sectors

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