This article was first published by Insurance Market
Have you ever found yourself buying an insurance product from a financial advisor and only to realise, after buying it, that you don’t even know what is it that you have just bought? Or perhaps, you and your family members have bought insurance policies many years ago and have been paying your annual premiums faithfully without even knowing what you are paying for or whether the insurance policies are still suitable for you. Insurance Market will help you to understand why you should compare insurance policies before buying them.
The case for comparing insurance
The first thing to understand about insurance is that more often than not, the financial advisors that we meet are representatives of a particular insurance company. They can also be from a commercial bank that has a tie-up with an insurance company.
What that means is that we can expect these advisors to be recommending us products that are offered by the companies that they represent. But if that is the case, how would we know if what they are recommending is better than the other options available out there?
Using independent financial advisors
The alternative would be to seek advice from an Independent Financial Advisor, also known as an IFA. IFAs do not represent any one particular insurance company and are able to recommend financial products from various insurance companies. As such, some people rely on them for insurance comparison.
However, insurance comparison is a tricky business. Despite the outward appearance of similarities between insurance policies, details usually vary once you start looking deeper into the policy.
For example, a group of friends who are travelling overseas and have their holiday disrupted may find their travel claims differs widely, depending on the insurance product they bought. This is an example of how even simple products like Travel Insurance could be different from one company to another.
With so many factors such as coverage, premiums and conditions differing from one insurance product to another, most people would just rely on the recommendations from their IFA. Without necessarily understanding what they have bought, it makes the process of insurance advisory opaque.
Would the internet provide more transparency for information on insurance?
The internet has revolutionised major sectors around the world. For example, we get our news today from media outlets all around the world, not just from our traditional local media. When planning for a holiday, where you travel to, stay in, and eat at can be researched, compared and booked online. We no longer need to go to travel agents anymore.
The same change can happen to the insurance market. In fact, this happened In regions such as Europe, Australia and the USA. This development of the Internet has empowered the consumers. People can now search online for the information that they need.
Simply being able to search for information about insurance isn’t enough by itself. Yes, we can gather additional information about the policies that our financial advisors may have missed out or omitted, but that is not enough. What is more impactful is the ability to compare and even buy insurance online directly.
For example, Insurance Market allows you to compare different types of insurance policies across different companies at the click of a mouse. To help consumers choose the right insurance policies for themselves, it even rates the insurance policies using its own proprietary system.
The system also gives consumers the flexibility to rank insurance policies based on what is important to them. That means if you are buying a Travel Insurance and feel that personal accident coverage is of high importance to you while a trip delay is of a low importance, you can adjust these criteria so that the right recommendations based on your personal preference would be given to you. And you can do all these from the comfort of your home, with the click of a mouse.
Advantages of buying insurance online
The advantages of buying insurance online can be summed up in the following.
The ability to compare insurance products across different companies. These include ensuring that you get the best insurance premiums for any given coverage received.
By making the effort to compare different insurance products available, we are able to gain a better understanding of the product that we eventually purchase. We would know the extent of the coverage that we have bought which would be helpful in the future when we need to make a claim or consider a policy that may have coverage that overlaps with our existing policy.
Flexibility & Convenience:
By adjusting the parameters available, we are able to tailor the recommendations made to us based on our personal preference. This allows us to quickly determine which are the best policies available based on our personal needs. And we can do all these research, comparison and purchase from the convenience of our home, without any time pressure.
Try it out yourself
If you have never tried purchasing insurance online before, perhaps it is time for you to give this a try. You can start with something small and simple, such as a Travel Insurance policy for your next overseas trip. The experience and convenience might just be an unexpected pleasant surprise.
Insurance Market is a Singapore based online insurance broker that aims to help people find, compare and buy the best insurance policies online. Visit them today to get the best insurance policies. To stay in touch with their latest articles and travel insurance promotions, follow them on Facebook.