The last three months of this financial year are likely to see a lot of buying and selling of insurance, as companies offer an array of online products.
While only pure-term products were on offer in the initial phases, insurance companies are now offering unit-linked and return-of-premium products online as well.
January to March is considered to be an active period, as a lot of people tend to invest during this time to save on taxes before filing their returns for the next financial year.
Online insurance products are consideredcustomer-friendly and cheaper to buy. A few clicks of the mouse and a policy is finalised. As no agents are involved, a policyholder is not required to pay additional commission from the premiums. If there is a hitch while purchasing the product online, there are customer care executives to help customers complete the transaction.
The competition has also intensified in the online term insurance space with the premium for a Rs 1 crore pure-term cover coming down as low as Rs 5,500 a year. With severallife insurance players entering this space, experts say the price war is likely to continue, benefiting the customer.
AEGON Religare Life Insurance has announced the launch of two plans for its online platform — AEGON Religare iMaximize Insurance Plan, a unit-linked protection plan available as a single premium payment plan, as well as a regular premium payment plan, and AEGON Religare iReturn Insurance Plan, a return-of-premium term plan. Both are available exclusively online and can be bought within 10-12 minutes by visiting their website.
Yateesh Srivastava, chief operating officer, said they get about 20 per cent of their overall business from the online channel. He added that the online space continues to grow for the insurance sector with more and more customers turning to the internet for either information or actual purchase.
Other insurers have also launched products at competitive prices. Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance launched Edelweiss Tokio Life — MyLife+, an online term plan with a choice of payout options, riders and for longer term period. The minimum entry age for the policy is 18 years and the product offers two death benefit options: lump-sum benefit option and income benefit option.
One can choose between a combination of both the options as well, depending on the family’s need, level of financial literacy and stage of life.
India’s largest insurance company Life Insurance Corporation of India launched its much awaited online term insurance plan in May 2014. This was a regular premium paying pure protection plan and had two categories of premium rates aggregate and for non-smokers.
Compared to earlier online plans, the newer plans also have a wider age-bracket coverage. Tata AIA Life Insurance iRaksha Supreme Term insurance plan, for instance, has a maturity age of 80 years. For those who opt for high-level of protection, they offer a high-protection discount.
Unit-linked insurance plan have also made a come-back in the market owing to better performance of the stock markets over the past three quarters. HDFC Life was an early mover in this space and had launched an online unit-linked insurance plan, HDFC Click 2 Invest.
This plan invested 100 per cent of the premium and only charges fund management fee (1.35 per cent) and a risk premium for mortality cover.