Health insurance is an agreement between the insurance company and the insured customer in which the insurance company agrees to pay a certain amount to the insured customer in case of hospitalization due to any illness or disease in return for a nominal amount known as premium. The insurance company employs different insurance intermediaries to sell the health insurance policies such as insurance brokers, individual agents, banks, web aggregators, direct call centers of the insurance company etc. There are different advantages of buying a health insurance policy from different insurance intermediaries which is explained below.
Insurance broker is a type of insurance intermediary authorized by the insurance company to sell the health insurance policies on its behalf. Here are the advantages of buying a health insurance policy from an insurance broker.
Insurance brokers know in and out of the health insurance policies of different insurance companies and can advise the customers accordingly. They would do research and diligence on all the health insurance policies available in the market which saves the time and energy of the customer. All you have to do is state your requirement in a health insurance policy to the insurance broker and the best health insurance policy would be suggested by the insurance broker.
Insurance brokers are permitted to deal with multiple insurance companies by the insurance regulatory and development authority of India, IRDA. This means that the insurance brokers can tie-up with all the insurance companies offering health insurance and can provide the health insurance quotes from multiple insurance companies to the customer. Multiple quotes means multiple options for customers to choose from. Having multiple options leads to comparison and selecting the best one from the lot.
Insurance brokers are good at negotiating the price with the insurance companies as they have the business potential to offer to the insurance companies. If you plan to take a group health insurance policy, then the insurance brokers can negotiate hard with the insurance companies on your behalf to reduce the premium payable thereby saving your hard earned money.
Insurance brokers are the only insurance intermediaries who are legally liable for the deficiency in services provided by them to their customers. Insurance brokers can be sued by the customers for suggesting wrong insurance policies which is considered as deficiency in services.
Individual agents are the individuals who are permitted to sell the health insurance policies on behalf of the insurance companies. For any insurance company individual agents form a considerable force and generate highest revenue when compared to other insurance intermediaries. There are certain advantages of buying a health insurance policy from an individual agent which are mentioned below
Insurance agents are available even in the remotest areas where the other insurance intermediaries would not be available. In addition to this insurance agents would be well known to the people of the area and can have access to the insurance through the individual agent available in their area.
Health insurance is sold mainly on the trust factor as it is an intangible product. Insurance is not tangible which means that there would be no product to show to customers or give a demo while making the sale of insurance. Health insurance is a service which can be experienced mostly at the time of claim. People trust people more than they trust machines and this is the advantage of individual agents and the reason for agents becoming a huge force in the insurance industry when compared to other insurance intermediaries.
Bank is a financial institution that deals with lending of money, accepting deposits and other third party services such as insurance, mutual funds etc. There are certain advantages in purchasing a health insurance policy from the bank as mentioned below
Banks have the advantage of providing all the financial services at a single place which means that the customers need not have to visit different offices for different financial needs. Health insurance policies are available in the banks as banks are tied-up with insurance companies. These insurance companies offer their services to the customers of a bank. Customers can contact the bank staff in case of any claim related query which would be resolved immediately as there would be more than one service point for the customer.
Banks can tie-up with up to 3 health insurance companies, 3 general insurance companies and 3 life insurance companies. This simply means that the customer can have multiple options to take health insurance policy as the bank can provide quotes from multiple insurance companies even though the number of quotes that bank can provide would be less than that of an insurance broker.
Insurance web aggregators are the insurance intermediaries which collect, analyze, compile and provide information of different health insurance policies of different insurance companies. Web aggregators operate entirely online and the entire process of health insurance sale is done online without the need to meet offline. Below are the advantages of taking a health insurance policy from insurance web aggregators
Insurance web aggregators save time and energy of the customer by allowing them to take the health insurance policy online. There would be no need to visit the insurance office to fill the proposal form or any other details and then get the health insurance policy. All the formalities can be done by sitting at home or office and the health insurance policy would reach the address of the customer without sweating much.
Insurance web aggregators provide the insurance instantly in most of the cases such as motor insurance. In the case of health insurance , web aggregators do the research and provide comparisons of health insurance policies of different insurance companies on their website. Here the customer would be benefitted as the research is done by the web aggregator and is also displayed on their website. All the customer has to do is give basic details which are required for a health insurance policy and make the purchase.
Insurance companies also sell their health insurance policies directly on their website online acting as an intermediary to themselves without paying any commission. There are certain advantages of purchasing a health insurance policy directly from the insurance company which are listed below
Insurance companies usually pay a percentage of the premium amount of the health insurance policy as commission to the insurance intermediaries. In case of direct website sale by the insurance company, the commission would not be paid and the same would be passed to the customer in the form of reduction in premium. Customers purchasing a health insurance policy from the website of the insurance company can avail 5-10% discount on the premium.
The other advantage of purchasing directly from the insurance company is that the customer would be dealing directly with the insurance company representative through the call center of the insurance company which eliminates the need for any intermediary. The customer can get the required information directly from the insurance company and decide on making a purchase decision.