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Buying Term Insurance Online vs An Agent

Janhavi Shinde Janhavi Shinde 08 June 2017

What do you feel is a better way of buying a term insurance policy? Through an insurance agent or online? Find out which one wins the race in today’s advanced world!

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Last week I overheard a telephonic conversation of a colleague talking to an insurance agent.

Guptaji (my colleague) to some Mishraji (insurance agent) on an interesting gupshup.

Gupta – ‘Maine bohot socha, term insurance toh bohot hi zaruri hai. Toh aap Saturday shaam ko 5 baje ghar aa jayiyega. Aage ki formality kar lete hai!’

Mishra – ‘Ji bilkool. Milte hai 5 baje Saturday ko.’

I heard and I asked myself, really?

Tsk tsk..

Really! Do such people still exist even in today’s world? Where one has the privilege and convenience to buy stuff online, and yet prefer to run behind the traditional agents for insurance!

My take on this – “Gupta, you are tech savvy, you shop for your wife online. Then why do you depend on these traditional insurance agents to buy a term insurance plan?”

Let’s discuss who wins the race – The Insurance agent or the Online Platform …

Our Traditional Insurance Agent…

If you buy a term insurance plan from an insurance agent who may be your friend, or a friend’s friend or a relative, the process is too traditional.

Though the method is good, it certainly is far from being great! It is slow and cumbersome and would usually make you run from pillar to post.

Buying from an insurance agent was good enough during our parents and grandparents days, when there was no availability of Internet. The payments used to be in cash and cheque. Which otherwise could have been used for emergency purposes. Those days’ running behind an insurance agent was good. But, today, insurance agents may try to force you to buy a particular policy. You can’t compare different policies and narrow down your search on a cheapest and the most customized one. Besides, you may not even know the hidden terms and conditions of a term insurance policy simply because, not always will an insurance agent disclose the facts! Buying a term insurance policy from an insurance agent would limit you from checking the reviews about the product you plan of buying.

Online vs Insurance Agent

Fortunately, India has become a net-savvy country. The growth of e-commerce field, especially the insurance sector, has stepped up its game and brought its services online.

But, we Indians believe in the concept of touch-and-buy, and therefore this sudden change in this online purchase is not easily welcomed.

There are people who know the benefits of buying a term insurance plan online .

But, there are more like Guptaji who yet have to explore the super power of buying insurance online. Let’s look at more reasons to go the online way, look no further! Mentioned below are some ways that would make buying a term insurance policy online a benefit:

Interaction with the Brand

Online - Buying a term insurance plan online, would help you interact with the Brand immediately. You have a complete access to the company. You get the first-hand information about the product and the company. You can compare quotes, policies, check reviews online from different consumers and then make a finest decision whether to opt for a particular policy or not! Besides, there is no or little room for frauds.

Insurance agent – If you buy a term plan from an insurance agent, you won’t be able to interact with the brand directly. Besides, chances of misselling is high. The company details are not accessible easily and you are at the mercy of the insurance agent.

If you visit, you are accessible to compare quotes of different insurers under one roof, letting you choose the best term insurance policy for you!


Online – When you buy term insurance plan online the costs such as distribution, paperwork and commission are all saved by the insurance companies. These benefits are further passed on to the customers by reducing the premium costs. This is how you end up getting lower premium.

Insurance agent – Buying term insurance through an insurance agent involves commission and other intermediary costs. This makes the premiums more costly. Besides, running behind an insurance agent becomes another headache, which is filling up lengthy insurance forms and other formalities.

Claim settlement ratio

Online – When you buy a term insurance policy online, you have an access to see the claim settlement ratio of the insurance company from whom you wish to buy. Claim settlement ratio is the financial standing and the capacity to settle the number of claims. This would give you an idea about how sound the insurance company is.

Insurance agent – It might be possible that the insurance agent would not give you details of the latest claim settlement ratio. This might lead you into trouble by opting for a company, which is in-solvent.

Safer payments

Online – When you make a policy payment online, via a debit card, a credit card or through net banking, your payments are passed through a secured payment gateway. Your transactions can be tracked easily. So, there are lesser chances of fraudulent transactions.

Insurance agent – Your agent would either handle premium payments by cash or a cheque. The cheque payment would take at least 2 to 3 working days to get honored. This in turn would delay the process of policy issuance on time. Besides, there are chances of frauds too.

Sum Assured

Online – When you buy a term insurance online, you get to see the different sum assured’s available. Right from 10 lakh sum assured to the highest 5 crore sum assured, it would be your choice to select the one as per your requirement.

Insurance agent- Your insurance agent would not tell you the different sum assured available. You might just zero on the lowest sum assured, as advised by your agent.

Convenience of buying

Online– There is less physical movement if you go online to buy a term insurance plan. The process of buying the plan through the insurance company is lengthier. For instance, if you visit any branch of an insurance company to buy a plan, you will have to fill the form physically, which further travels to the local hubs, and then is sent for underwriting. At underwriting, there would be a decision taken, whether the policy should be approved or denied. This entire process involves a lot of cost, which is saved when you buy online.

Insurance agent– You have to physically visit the insurance agent. Fill up those lengthy forms and wait for your policy to get issued. This process is time-consuming.


Online – If you buy the term plan online, you have an access to view the list of inclusions and as well as exclusions. So, there are no chances of getting a product miss-sold.

Insurance agent– Your agent might hide things from you. For instance, suicide is covered only after a year from the time you buy the policy. But, not always will you get a clear cut picture of such from the agent.

Why Buying Life Insurance Online is a Good Idea?

Here are the number of awesome reasons to buy term insurance online:

  • You know what you are buying
  • You know the life coverage amount
  • You can compare online to see different features offered by various insurance companies
  • You can compare the claim settlement ratio of different insurers
  • Convenience of buying
  • Secured premium payment
  • You are saved from misselling
  • You save lot of money

Bottom Line:

Buying a term insurance plan online is hassle-free, super-fast with 24*7 accessibility. Not only this, but be rest assured that you would get the policy document at your doorstep with a soft-copy within seconds in your mailbox!

So, why rely on this insurance friend like Mishraji. Embrace the new technology and buy a term insurance plan online. Because, it actually wins to rule the race in todays advanced world over the traditional insurance agents!

Janhavi Shinde
Written by Janhavi Shinde
Right from being a Flight Attendant to a Banker and now to a Content Writer, she has tasted success in all the fields. The kinda girl who loves pets and knows how to manage difficult people and events.