What do you think is the biggest gift the Internet has given busy folks everywhere? It is, without a doubt, the ability to shop for almost anything you need online. And, millennials are actively leading in ditching the traditional modes of shopping at brick and mortar stores. According to a 2016 UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper report, millennials made more than 50% of their purchases online that year.
The increased penetration of smartphones has arguably fuelled the growth of online shopping. The report added that 40% of the purchases were made via a mobile device.
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Rise in Online Sales of Travel Insurance
With digital commerce maturing, shoppers are also evolving at a fast pace. They are constantly learning how to select products and retailers across various channels with fluidity. In fact, rising from 1.66 billion global digital buyers in 2016, more than 2.14 billion people worldwide are expected to buy goods and services online in 2021, according to Statista.
The sale of travel insurance via online channels will be a major contributor to this growth. The standard benefits of shopping online, such as avoiding traffic, easy price comparison and access to better discounts, is the major reason people are buying almost everything, even travel insurance, online.
People are able to find all the necessary information on the insurer’s website. This helps them make an informed choice, without being pushed by an agent or middleman, who might be looking after their own interests than that of the policy holder.
However, buying travel insurance online is not as safe as it might appear. Here are a few things you need to take care of when buying travel insurance online.
Not Everything on the Internet is True
To know more about the product they intend to buy, people often read product reviews, feedback, testimonials on the insurer’s website or visit forums. However, they are might not be aware that many of the postings and comments are fake and made by agents or brokers themselves, using different names. It is wise to dig deeper and analyse the product on your own, instead of blindly trusting what’s written on an agent’s or insurer’s website.
If you are a first time traveller to the US, my advice would be to follow feedback from reliable sources or use the recommendations of family members or close friends.
Compare Products, Not Companies
At present there are many companies selling travel insurance, such as SevenCorners, Sirius International, Lloyds and more. Most of them have been in the market for years now. No doubt, the products and services are crafted as a result of their immense experience. I would advise you to shift your focus to the knowledge, experience and track record of the company from which you intend to buy the insurance, since it is the services offered by the company that makes an insurance product good or bad.
Know What’s Covered and What Isn’t
This one is really important, since it is one mistake that is commonly made by buyers. The first step to buying travel insurance is to focus on your need for coverage, since not every benefit is meant for every traveller. For this, you need to analyze the nature of your travel to know the kind of risks you might face and then decide on the type of plan, limited or comprehensive, that you will require. It is really important to keep track of the increase in costs with increasing coverage too.
When you have finalized the type of plan you need, compare the best plans for their benefits and costs and find a suitable plan for yourself. Lastly, give some time to reading the policy document, its terms and conditions and even the fine print to make an informed decision. Don’t hesitate to contact the insurer if you have any questions. Buy the plan only after you are completely sure.