Buying insurance is getting easier and more accessible. But still, it’s hard for first-time buyers to pick the right method and buy a suitable policy. There are two ways for us to buy insurance: Online or from a broker. But which is the better way? Let’s find out.
How to buy insurance online?
Nowadays, going online to buy insurance is very easy. You can either search for information on the Internet yourself or ask for consultancy from brokers.
There are some criteria that you need to take into consideration, such as qualification, behavior, prices, and reputation. Lots of websites on the Internet will help you to compare premiums and coverages. Another more exciting way is to read testimonials or product reviews from previous buyers.
Most companies provide you with a form to fill in your information. This may include your age, profession, annual income, etc. Your job is to fill all the gaps and send the form back to the insurer. Usually, it will take them several days to send the result back to you. If approved, you will need to pay for the premium in advance before the policy is actually in force. Bank transfer is more convenient than a direct payment. Thus, having a credit card is essential.
Note: On buying life insurance, we advise you to be honest and sincere. Some people may hide that they are smokers because the premium for a smoking person is usually higher than usual. However, if the insurer later finds out the truth, your application will be rejected. In case you have paid the premium, your policy will become void. Thus, always bear in mind that honesty is the best policy.
You should buy insurance online if:
- You want to connect directly to the company instead of relying on the agent. Buying insurance online gives you opportunities to work directly with the insurer. Any information relating to your contract will be sent to you foremost.
- You don’t want to pay commission for agents. Hiring a broker or buying through an agent usually makes costs higher. Some insurance companies do not allow their agents to get commissions when the business process doesn’t go well. Thus, some agents will overcharge customers who don’t know anything.
How to buy insurance online from a broker?
Consulting an agent might be a good option if you need a person to share information directly. In this case, the agent acts both as a consultant and a seller. Generally, captive agents and independent agents are the most popular choices. An independent can present many different companies, while captive agents cannot sell insurance for more than one company.
To buy insurance, in this case, of course, choosing an agent is the first step. Finding an agent is not too difficult if people around you have already bought insurance. If not, you can search for top insurance agents on the Internet and select a suitable one.
As you can reach out to one, you need to discuss your needs and demands with the broker. Based on your information, the broker will introduce to you the most suitable options. As you finish your payment, you will receive your insurance policy.
If you are considering buying insurance from an agent, we have some notes for you:
- Make sure that your chosen agent is prestigious and honest. Some “bad” agents may provide you with unclear or misleading information. In the worst case, you might be fooled by virtual agents.
- Check whether the agent is licensed or not. You might get into trouble if you deal with an unauthorized agent. Some insurance companies in Canada don’t partner with any agents. So, remember to check on the agent before making any transactions.
- Remember that agents are not brokers, but they can do the same things. An agent can sell insurance on behalf of the insurance company, so do the insurance brokers. The main role of brokers is helping customers access providers.
- Ask some questions to check the professionalism of agents. The question can be about their experience in the industry, companies that they have worked with, their customers, or types of insurance that they specialize in.
You should buy insurance from an agent or broker if:
- You want to be informed in a specific and in-depth way. An agent usually has extensive knowledge about insurance companies. In some cases, they might be local persons. So, they help you compare and choose the best suitable premiums quickly. In case you don’t understand some industry terminologies, they explain for you most easily, unlike websites.
- An agent is willing to support you if you want to change anything about your policies or take action against the insurance company. They will act on your behalf to connect to the company. When an accident occurs, and you want to ask insurance companies to pay compensation, for example, you can do so through the agent.
- A professional agent is like your friend. They will listen and understand what you need most, unlike online. In the long term, both customers and agents will become more familiar. You may find it easier to talk and discuss with them your problems.
Which one is better?
The answer depends on your needs and demands. For those who want to stay independent of agents and brokers, buying insurance online deems it a suitable choice. However, one shortcoming of this is that you may have to go through all the procedures yourself. Should any problem arise, you need to work with your insurer in person.
On the other hand, for those who need guidance and support from middlemen, a professional agent or broker is preferable. They have experience in the market and will stand by you throughout the whole process.