Selecting a Group Health Insurance Policy at affordable rates can be tough especially with a large variety of options available to do so. Also, when you have multiple options even to buy the policy, it is easy to get lost and feel exasperated.

However, breaking down the options as per their own advantages and disadvantages should make things easier to navigate.

Group Medi Claim

Ways You Can Buy Insurance

As of now, there are two primary ways to get insured, whether you are corporate or individual:

  1. Traditional mode (offline, lot of paperwork)
  2. Online Insurance (less paperwork)

Whichever way you wish to buy the insurance, you are sure to get in touch with either of the following two people:

  • Insurance Agents
  • Insurance Brokers

The difference between Agents and Brokers is as follows:

Agents Brokers
Associated with only one Insurer Linked to multiple insurers
Usually individual Usually a firm or Pvt. Ltd. company
Can offer all products from one insurer Can provide Products from Multiple Insurers

These differences might sound basic, but make all the difference in the way an insurance product is provided to you and the post purchase services you can avail.

Buying Insurance Through Agents

Since individual agents are associated with one insurer, they can offer products from that insurer only. By license, they cannot associate with another insurer while working for one. Thus, whenever you contact an insurer directly, you end up dealing with one of their agents for most of the services (pre-purchase) and queries.

“For example: If Ravi Sharan is associated with HDFC Ergo for providing group health insurance policy to corporates, he cannot associate with ICICI Lombard for the same. However, he can obtain separate licenses for offering other general insurance products from ICICI Lombard, such as home insurance and marine insurance, etc. He can also associate with a life insurer to provide life insurance products.

In this case, he’ll be called a composite agent. But he still cannot offer group health policies from two different insurers.”

Therefore, through an agent, you will only get information on the Group Mediclaim afforded by any one insurer.

Buying Insurance Through Broker

Insurance Broker, by the definition of Insurance Regulatory & Development Authority (IRDA Insurance Brokers) Regulations, 2002, a licensed party to provide insurance advisory services to the clients.

With this basic premise, the broker must associate with multiple insurers to offer the best to their clients.

There are three types of brokers defined under regulations:

  • Direct Broker
  • Reinsurance Broker
  • Composite Broker (combination of the first two)

While reinsurance brokers are only associated with reinsurance services, direct and composite brokers are our main concern here. These two are liable to offer insurance products and management services to corporates and individuals seeking to insure their risk.

Who is Better for Your Buying Decision?

Now that we have some understanding of the two terms let’s have a look at the conditions we will have to face while dealing with both parties:

Tasks Insurance Agent Insurance Broker
Product Research
  • Self-Research.
  • Read policy features online
  • Meet multiple agents
  • Get quotes and features from each
  • Compare yourself
  • Broker will first understand your needs
  • Give multiple quotes with features &
  • Explain and compare multiple products for you
Navigation
  • Paperwork will be completed by the agent who will be working as a conduit
  • Insurance premium will be paid directly to the insurer through agent
  • After purchase, you deal with the relationship manager assigned to your policy
  • The broker will act as your business representative when he lays out your business requirements in front of insurers.
  • The broker is responsible for renewal reminders.
  • Broker resolves any queries and issues including claims
Expertise
  • You need to have some prior knowledge about insurance to understand the financial and other aspects of the plan.
  • Even if you have a basic understanding, you might not be able to remain updated about the latest insurance schemes in the market or some special provisions which are often not listed online by insurers but which might be of your benefit.
  • Decide Sum Insured by Your Expertise for group mediclaim or term covers
  • Some preferred insurers might not sell directly
  • Since the broker will have the expertise and the knowledge about a variety of policies and their unique features, he will be able to assist you in choosing the plan suited to your requirement quickly.
  • Expected to work in afiduciary capacity for the client.
  • Follow industry best practices in Sum Insured decision for group mediclaim, etc.
Special benefits
  • Customization can become difficult if you are not aware of what can be availed as a special provision.
  • A broker has been in contact with thesimilar line of businesses. So, he can suggest the best industry practices.
Claim settlement
  • In thecase of settling claims, you will be responsible for fulfilling all the requirements (inform the insurer intime, etc.) for claim settlement.
  • You can contact the broker who will guide you through the claim settlement procedure.

From the above factors, for most business owners, it is feasible to avail a policy through the broker rather than becoming the insurance experts themselves. Many brokers have taken the online route for providing their services, which is more convenient and faster way of servicing clients.

Online insurance brokers and advisors like SecureNow are breaking new boundaries in client servicing and insurance advisory for corporates and individuals with their offerings. Clearly, it’s an easy decision to contact an online insurance advisor for your insurance needs.