Pros and Cons of Buying Health Insurance Online


Jul 05 2023


In the last few years, digitisation has disrupted many sectors. Insurance is no exception to this trend. The adoption of digital services in insurance has increased a lot. Digitization is beneficial for the insurance company as well as the customers. It helps the insurance company to expand its reach and reduce costs. It enables the customer to purchase and avail of insurance policy services at the click of a button. ManipalCigna Health Insurance Company has also adopted digitisation for selling, renewing, and servicing health insurance plans. Let us discuss the pros and cons of buying health insurance online.

Pros of buying health insurance plans online

There are many pros of purchasing health insurance plans online. Some of these include the following:

1) Wide availability of options

On the ManipalCigna website, you can check the various products offered under different categories. These categories include hospitalization cover for individuals and families, personal accident cover, critical illness cover, daily hospital cash plan, riders, etc.

Within each category, you can check the details of various plans offered. Within specific plans, you can check the plan variants and their distinguishing features. The add-on options allow you to customize the plan as per need. With the details of every policy, the optionally available riders will be displayed.

With the online option, you can access information on all the products offered, customization options, etc.

2) Easy comparison

Once you have all the information about the various plans available, the next step will be to compare them. It is easy to compare plans online as follows:

a) Comparison of different variants of the same product.

b) Comparison of different plans offered by the same insurance company on the insurance company’s website.

c) Comparison of different plans offered by different insurance companies on an insurance comparison portal[GG1] .

You can compare various health insurance plans based on parameters such as:

a) Company-specific parameters like the size of the hospital network, claim settlement process and time taken, reviews, overall company track record, etc.

b) Plan specific parameters like premium, waiting period, restoration benefit, room rent limits, availability of annual health check-ups, co-payment clause, no-claim bonus, guidance on healthy lifestyle, reward points for a healthy lifestyle, etc.

With the online option, getting all the above comparison data at the click of a button is easy. The online comparison feature lets you choose a health insurance plan that best suits your needs.

3) Policy brochure and wording can be checked

On the ManipalCigna website, you can download the brochure from the product page and check the policy feature and benefits. From the "Download" section, you can get the policy's detailed terms and conditions.

The brochure will give you an overview of the policy features. The terms and conditions PDF will provide details of the clauses attached to each feature. It is always advisable to read the detailed terms and conditions before to avoid any misunderstandings after purchasing the policy.

4) Instant quotation

You have compared the various plans, checked the policy brochure and the detailed terms and conditions. If you have zeroed in on a plan that suits your needs, you can generate a quotation instantly on the ManipalCigna website. For example, whether you are looking for an Rs. 5 lakh health insurance cover or Rs. 1 crore health insurance cover, you can fill in the details and generate the quote.

5) Instant form filling and documentation

You have finalised the policy, checked the terms, generated the quote and are to buy. The online option allows you to proceed ahead with the buy transaction. You can fill in the details, such as personal details, address, professional details, your health history, family health history, habits (if any), etc.

The online application process guides you step-by-step if you get stuck anywhere. For the Know Your Customer (KYC) purpose, you can upload soft copies of your photograph, identity proof and address proof online. 

6) Discount on premium

When you buy a policy directly from a health insurance company's website, the company doesn't need to pay a commission to an intermediary health insurance agent. Also, it saves the company some operational costs, and there is less paperwork. The company may pass on all of these savings to you in the form of a discount on the premium for an online health plan purchase.

7) Multiple payment options

When you purchase a health insurance plan online, you get a wide variety of payment options. Some of these include:

a) Debit/credit cards

b) Internet banking

c) Wallets

d) UPI, etc.

If the premium amount is above a specified amount, some banks give you the EMI option for payment through credit cards.

8) Instant policy issuance

There may be some policies where no medical test is required, and no further underwriting is required. In such cases, once the individual submits the duly filled proposal form online and pays the premium, the policy document is issued instantly. You can go through the policy details and sit back and relax.

9) Policy details can be accessed 24/7

Once you have purchased the policy, register on the ManipalCigna website. You can enter the policy number and create a login id and password. Using these details, you can log in to the dashboard and access all the policy details 24/7.

You can initiate the policy servicing request online if you need to make any changes. You can pay the renewal premium from the dashboard. You can download the payment receipt and tax certificate from your dashboard.

10) Convenient and saves time

The online option makes the entire policy purchase, renewal premium payment, and policy servicing process easy and convenient to manage. It brings these things to your fingertips, and you can complete them through the ManipalCigna website or app. You can do these things at any time from the comfort of your home. It saves you time by eliminating the need to visit the insurance company's branch office.

Cons of buying health insurance plans online

In the earlier section, we discussed the many pros of buying health insurance plans online. There are a few cons of purchasing health insurance plans online. If the buyer has little to no information about health insurance, they will find the online information overwhelming. They will need help to identify the plan that suits their need.

In such a scenario, it is recommended that they approach a ManipalCigna expert. They will analyze your need and recommend the most appropriate health insurance plan.

For a policy that you have bought online from the insurer’s website; at the time of claim, you will have to do all the paperwork and other processing on your own. However, for a policy bought offline through an insurance agent, you can take the help of the agent to file the claim and further processing and follow-up. While cashless claims are relatively easy to handle, the agent’s assistance is important when the claim is on a reimbursement basis.

Apart from the above two points, there aren't other significant cons of buying health insurance plans online.

Buy online to save time, effort, and money

We have seen how the pros of buying health insurance plans online far outweigh the cons. For online purchases, you get a wide variety of options, compare different products, check brochures for policy features and benefits, etc. If you find a plan that suits your need, generate an instant quote, fill out the proposal form, pay the premium with one of the many payment options, and complete the process. The discount on premium is the icing on the cake. Thus, you can buy health insurance online to save time, effort, and money.