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Nov 16 2011 5:06PM
Online insurance platform will offer products customised for individuals

India is growing, no one can doubt that. In 1998, there were just 25,000 internet users. In a little over 10 years, by 2010, this number has grown exponentially to more than 100 million users. We are already the third-largest (behind China and the US) when it comes to internet marketing in terms of users.Considering only 9% of the population is online, there is still a lot of untapped potential in this sector.This growth in internet usage has led to the emergence of various online trends in India. E-Commerce is one of the biggest growing segments in the online space.The comfort level for conducting financial transactions online has been increasing steadily and the impact of this can be seen even on the online platform for insurance. Online term plans have been riding this wave for the past year, with many life insurance players focusing their energies on online term products. However, if we look beyond life insurance, there are plenty of advantages for customers to opt for the online medium for non-life insurance products such as motor, travel and health. While term insurance is undoubtedly a major contributor to the growth of the online insurance platform, it was not the first insurance product to be offered online. General insurance has been using the online medium over the past few years to provide a host of additional benefits when compared with the traditional offline medium.The process of buying insurance online is simpler than the offline medium as the form can be filled easily at your convenience. There may be certain instances where there are offline processes involved, but the overall procedure is considerably simpler and faster. In the offline model, there are typically standard proposal forms.The online platform gives insurance providers the opportunity to offer smart-logic-driven proposal forms for customers. These forms populate questions on the basis of customer demographic/profile or answers to previous questions. This also enables the process to be simplified and made more intuitive as questions presented to customers are relevant to their specific case and hence the chances of questions being missed out are reduced.In the general insurance space, some players offer innovative health, motor and travel insurance products that provide a host of benefits for customers purchasing the products online. For example, in motor insurance, the online platform offers some distinct advantages like instant issuance of policies, quick and easy purchase, product customisation, etc, options which may not be available when buying through the traditional channels.Similarly, there is the benefit of easy accessibility - all you need is a computer with an internet connection and you have the solution to all your insurance needs. As a customer you also can access instant online help and get your queries resolved in real time. The insurance premium is also system generated, thus removing any instances of human error and also reducing the time taken to calculate premiums. Customers can also expect premiums of online insurance products to reduce further, thus making it more affordable.Distribution costs reduce for companies and this enables companies to pass this benefit to the customer. Overall, in addition to these benefits, one of the biggest advantages of the online platform is the fact that since the customers are completing the purchase themselves, it becomes necessary for them to understand the product and be fully informed of the details and features of their insurance policy. This ensures that customers purchase the product that best suits their needs.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
     
 
     
 
 
 
 
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