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网上购险益处多

有疾病史的老年客户购险和保险中断的情况下,我们就需要代理商的帮助。在其他情况下,网上购险价格低廉,且同样能为我们提供帮助。

Karan Chopra是HDFCErgo保险有限公司的零售主任,他表示,有七分之一,或14%的私家车保险都是通过网上进行续保的。然而,公司销售出去的所有类别保险单,通过网上购险和续保的比例仅占3%。

Karan Chopra认为部分原因是由于网上保险销售流程还不够简洁,但是网上续保流程则较为简单。这也解释了为什么选择通过代理商或银行购险的客户更倾向于网上续保。

所有网络销售的保险单中,汽车险、健康险、定期人寿险和人身意外伤害险比其他传统保险类别所占比例高,因为购买其他传统保险的客户需要代理商的帮助。

波士顿咨询公司和谷歌的一项近期调查显示,线上购险的客户比例较去年有了稳步提升。购买健康保险的人数比例由2012年的13%增长到19%;汽车保险则由13%增长到16%。报告还表示,尽管如此,线上保险的销售份额所占比例依旧较低,仅占全部销售份额的2%。

网络购险中,保险类别不同,所能节约的成本也不同,比如人寿险大概可节约总花费15%至20%,而非人寿保险则为20%至30%。

选择网上购险的时机

Policybazaar.com的首席执行官Yashish Dahiya表示,不论年龄及保险种类,客户选择网上购险都是个不错的选择,因为相较于线下购险,它价格低廉且操作透明。当然,特殊情况及针对年龄较高的年龄组客户除外。

比如说,如果你不满25周岁,且经济独立,那么网上购险就十分简单易行。但是,如果你年龄超过45周岁,申请购买长期保险或者网上健康保险则比较困难。因为对于保险公司而言,客户年岁已高,极有可能身体有恙,有可能为保险公司带来更大风险,因此这类客户的网上购险申请通过率常常不高。或者,这类客户肯缴纳更高的保险费。所以,如果你属于这类消费者,求助代理商也许是个明智的选择。代理商会根据你的年龄及收入状况,告知你应该缴纳多少保险费,并根据额外条款和疾病保险范围,告诉你应当选择哪家公司。

荷兰全球人寿保险公司销售主任Harshal Shah称:"在线保险专门针对熟悉网络,或者是能够利用互联网进行搜索,并自助网上购险的客户提供服务。也就是说,专为那些无需帮助的客户而设。"

代理商可以代理完成所有文书工作,客户只需要签字,Dahiya对此表示赞同。但是,整个过程可能会出现重大失误,影响客户获取索赔。Dahiya表示:"购险需要有代理商的帮助只是人们传统观念而已。个人完全有能力独立购险,只是需要花费一些时间、需要自己考虑而已。"

如果保险中断,你需要续保,这时候,你可能会需要代理商的帮助。例如,你错过了人寿保险的缴费期限,保险失效。有时候,公司就会要求你再次体检。这种情况下,你可能就会需要代理商的帮助。

Dahiya说:"大部分通过代理商(例如policybazaar)卖出的保险单都会经过网上流程,但是有些流程则无法网上完成。比如说,保险中断的情况。这些就需要线下完成,且在这种情况下,我们都充当客户和特定的保险公司的中间人,帮助客户完成整个流程。"

线上帮助

Policybazaar为客户提供热线、在线聊天和邮件服务,旨在满足客户需求,让他们知道自己的保险需求,应当购买何种保险,以做出最佳选择,并完成文件申请。

Dahiya表示,人们也许会对在线平台提供的服务持怀疑态度,因为缺少真人的面对面交流。这也只是人们的一个想法,而这个想法目前正逐步消除。保险公司同样也为客户在线购险提供了设计精美的客户服务界面。

荷兰全球人寿保险公司的Shah表示:"代理商提供的建议对于购买复杂保险则十分有帮助。而在线购买简单类别保险的话,费用明确,客户完全可以个人做出决定。他们有时候会需要一些说明,正好,我们提供了服务渠道,例如远程协助、热线电话及邮件帮助等。同样,我们还保证客户可获取索赔的真实数据,及购买其他保险类别的客户评论。

线上保险零售事业正如日中天,越来越多的公司也在竞相推出创新产品。保险公司的产品设计都以客户为核心,并努力简化购买流程,例如和银行的无缝对接,取消担保程序等等。

安联保险集团的市场管理主任Rituraj Bhattacharya表示,定期产品比其他在线产品更加火爆,当然,分红型银行保险产品及非分红型银行保险产品的咨询量也有所增加。安联保险集团近期就传统保险类别推出了新保证,例如在线渠道的Save Assure和Invest Assure。

为帮助客户决定投保金额、选择正确的保险类别,安联保险集团在提供即时聊天服务,现场解答客户的产品询问的同时,还设立24小时全天候呼叫中心,指导客户进行线上购险。为帮助客户完成表格填写,公司还在网站上陈列了简单的图表指示,包括FAQ和福利图样。

除了通过邮件提供帮助之外,公司还使用Facebook和Twitter同客户进行交流。

量体裁衣

营销及直销主任Rishi Piparaiya称,公司还推出了网上专卖产品。例如Aviva人寿保险公司就推出了五项网上专卖产品,以迎合人们对安全、健康和投资的需求。

Rishi Piparaiya还说:"在过去两年间,我们为重大疾病和投保计划推出了特别产品,并提供与高端产品同水平的回报,该产品类别大受欢迎。去年,我们同样还推出了延期支付的在线投保计划。近期,我们还推出了在线Ulip(联保保险计划)。"

Aviva还设有协助小组(通过在线即时聊天、回拨及邮件等渠道),帮助客户完成投保流程。Piparaiya称:"在线购险的好处是它十分便捷、价格低廉、无需中介。客户可以仔细考虑自己的需求,在网上进行产品对比,并购买产品。在网上购险的客户都清楚地了解自己所购保险,根据所需购险。因此,在网上购险的客户进行续保的比率都十分稳定。"事实上,95%以上的网上购险客户每年都会进行续保。

节约成本

Dahiya表示客户选择线上或线下购险的花费差距十分大。一个29岁不抽烟的男性从线上购买一份简单的Aviva定期人寿保险只需6694卢比。而线下则需要9157卢比。甚至对保险公司而言,网上渠道也为他们节省了一大笔开支,因为无需代理商和中介的参与。花费仅为开通线上渠道和技术投资。Aviva的员工Shah表示,线上保险可以最多便宜50%。

所以,如果你熟知网络,并且愿意进行检索,加之线上也会为您提供即时帮助,选择线上购险不失为一种明智之举。

Having an agent can help in the case of older consumers with pre-existing diseases or if there is a break in policy. Otherwise, online is cheaper and there is help, too.

Karan Chopra, head, retail sales, HDFC Ergo General Insurance Company, says one in every seven, or 14 per cent, of private car insurance policies are renewed online. However, of all insurance policies sold by the company, only three per cent are bought or renewed online.

He says this is partly because more effort is required for a sales process, while renewal is easier online. That is why customers who buy through an agent or banks also prefer to renew online.

Among the policies sold online, those for motor, health, term life insurance and personal accident covers sold more than traditional plans, for which the consumer might require some help from an agent.

A recent report by The Boston Consulting Group and Google said the percentage of customers purchasing insurance policies online had gone up steadily over last year. Health insurance buyers had increased from 13 per cent in 2012 to 19 per cent; motor insurance also went up from 13 per cent in 2012 to 16 per cent. Still, the share of digital sales continues to be low, at only two per cent, the report said.

Yet, the potential savings in total costs with life insurance was 15-20 per cent, it said; with non-life, 20-30 per cent.

When to buy online

Yashish Dahiya, chief executive officer (CEO), Policybazaar.com, says buying insurance online makes sense for a consumer, irrespective of age or product - purchasing online is cheaper and more transparent than offline. However, an exception can be in special cases or if the consumer is in a high age bracket.

For instance, if you are less than 25 years of age and have no dependents, then it is very easy to buy any plan online. But if above 45 years, buying a term plan or health insurance online could be more difficult. Such customers are usually considered riskier by companies due to their age or because they might have some ailments. Hence, chances of the policy getting rejected are higher. Or, such customers may be charged a higher premium. So, if you are in such a category, it is advisable to take the help of an agent. Who can then advise you on how much premium you can afford, given your age and income, and which company to choose from, depending on the exclusions and diseases covered.

"An online policy is meant for those who are internet-savvy and can do some research and purchase on their own. It is for those not needing assistance,'' says Harshal Shah, director-marketing at AEGON Religare Life Insurance.

Dahiya agrees an agent might do all your paperwork and all you need do is sign. But there can be major cases of misrepresentation, affecting your chances of claiming. "It is just a perception that insurance requires assistance from an agent. Individuals can very much do this by themselves. It just requires a little time and consideration on their part," he says.

Sometimes, you might need an agent's help when there is a break in a policy and you need to revive it. If, for instance, you have missed paying your life insurance policy's premium and the policy has lapsed. Sometimes, the company may ask you to undergo a medical test again when you want to revive the policy. In such cases, you might need an agent's help.

"Most policies sold through intermediaries like policybazaar come under online but some processes cannot be conducted online. An example is a case when there is a break in insurance policy. These are offline processes and in such scenarios, we assist by connecting the customer with the particular insurance company and help them go through the process," says Dahiya.

Online help

Policybazaar offers assistance to customers via phone calls, live chats or emails. These are in the form of helping them understand their insurance needs, the features of the products available, the best options and the documentation.

Dahiya says in terms of service, people might not trust online platforms because of the seeming lack of human interface. This is a perception and is being battled. Insurers are also placing dedicated desks for servicing consumers buying online.

Shah of Aegon Religare says, "Agents give advice and that is useful for complex products. For simple online products, where the value proposition is clear, the decision is largely the customer's. Having said that, they sometimes do need clarifications and we have assistance channels like 'tele-assist' or 'click2call', email assistance that is available for quick support. We are also ensuring customers get the real statistics around claims and get reviews from other buyers of the products."

With online retailing of insurance gaining momentum, more and more companies are trying to bring out innovative products. They are attempting to make products consumer-centric and convenient to buy through logistical advances at the back-end, like seamless integration with banks, ironing out underwriting processes and so on.

Rituraj Bhattacharya, head - market management, Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance, says while term plans are more popular than other products online, there has been an increase in the number of enquiries by customers for other products as well, in terms of participating and non-participating products. Bajaj Allianz Life, for instance, offers its recently launched traditional plans with a guarantee element like Save Assure and Invest Assure in the online channel.

To help customers decide the right sum assured or the right policy term, Bajaj Allianz offers facilities like live chat to discuss product queries on the spot and 24x7 call centre assistance to guide the customer through the website and buying process. To help customers fill the proposal form, the company also has on its website simple infographics, a list of frequently asked questions and benefit illustrations.

For communicating with customers, apart from email, companies also use digital tools such as Facebook and Twitter.

Segment-specific

Companies are also launching products exclusively for the online space. For instance, Aviva Life Insurance has five products exclusively developed for the online channel, catering to protection, health and investment needs, says Rishi Piparaiya, director, marketing & direct sales.

"Over the past two years, we have launched products for critical illness and term plans with return of premium products, all of which have been well received. Last year, we also launched an online term plan with deferred payouts, a first in the industry for the online space. We recently launched an online Ulip (unit-linked insurance plan),'' he says.

Aviva has an assistance team to help the customer through the process, using tools and channels like online real-time chat, callback options and emails. "The advantage of buying online is increased convenience, lower cost and no middleman involved. The customer can carefully assess his/her needs, compare the products at a comparison website and buy the product. Customers who buy policies online are aware and make need-based purchases; therefore, the persistency rate for policies bought online is much higher than the ones bought offline," says Piparaiya. "In fact, over 95 per cent of our customers who bought the policies online renew it year after year."

Saving in cost

There is a massive cost difference for consumers buying insurance policies online and offline, says Dahiya. A simple term insurance policy from Aviva bought online for a 29-years-old male non-smoker will cost Rs 6,694. The same policy if bought through offline channels can cost Rs 9,157. Even for the company, online channels are a huge savings, as there are no agents or intermediaries involved. Their cost is the investment made in the online channels and technology. Aviva's Shah says online policies can be up to 50 per cent cheaper.

So, if you are net-savvy and willing to do a bit of research, there is no reason why you should not buy insurance policies online, with assistance available online, too.


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