Buying Term Insurance – Online vs Offline process

A term insurance policy is the simplest type of life coverage that pays the sum insured when the policyholder dies during the policy’s term. Due to its simplicity, many people look to buy the best term plan available as soon as they can. Where the life insurance industry has traditionally been an offline-centric business, the simple nature of the product has created a huge increase in online sales of term insurance plans, especially since the spread of COVID-19.

COVID-19 has strengthened the need for insurance and more importantly the contactless procurement process in people’s minds. With increased risk awareness, there is a clear shift in consumer needs towards buying insurance. People have realized the importance of buying insurance against the various risks of life.

Individuals can still purchase a term plan through an agent or through another offline channel. But the online way of buying insurance is becoming increasingly popular. Most insurance companies still offer their policies through both channels. Hence, it is up to you to decide which one you want to make the purchase through.

Comparing online and offline ways of buying term insurance

As mentioned above, term plans are available to be purchased online and offline. However, the availability of these two methods is precisely what confuses many people about buying term insurance. Here are few points of comparison between the two to help you make an informed choice.

  • Cost of purchase

A term insurance policy purchased online is much cheaper than buying a policy offline. The price difference is between 30% and 50%. By purchasing a policy online, you will be getting rid of the surcharges that often come with purchasing term insurance. These charges are mainly to pay your agent his commission for his services. These services include policy activation, premium deposit, coordination of medical check-ups, etc. In purchasing term insurance online, you will do all these things yourself from the comfort of your own home. So there is no need to pay any commission to anyone.

  • Transparency

Buying a term policy is not something you do on a regular basis. After you purchase the policy, you only pay the premiums each year and continue the coverage. Therefore, among many other things, you are less likely to know the exact coverage and terms and conditions of coverage. When making an offline purchase, your insurance agent may or may not share this information with you or provide you with incorrect information. This will mislead you that the policy is different from what it actually is. All the details of the policy are available on the insurance provider’s website when making an online purchase. This means that you have all the information you need to make a smart buying decision.

  • Comparison

The general rule of thumb for buying any type of insurance is to compare different policies. This is important to find out which policy best suits your needs. When shopping offline, you may not have a lot of options to compare with. Even if you do, it is very difficult to compare them. There is a lot of information that you need to understand and process to make a beneficial comparison. This information includes prices, term insurance benefits, terms & conditions, etc. Therefore, it is best to buy plans online where you can get all the information about different policies on the same screen for comparison.

  • Flexibility

Buying offline means you have to do as your agent and insurance provider tell you. Purchasing when they ask you, paying the premium they determine for you, and sometimes accepting the coverage they offer. This means you will not have the opportunity to choose your type of policy. On the other hand, buying online can give you control over the process. You decide your coverage, your policy, and can buy wherever and whenever you want. Also, once you purchase the policy online, you will receive the documents immediately.


While the offline process of buying a policy has its own set of advantages, the choice to buy term plan online is the smarter one. It is less tedious and gives you better after-sales service. Hence, if you are comfortable navigating the digital space, you should determine your ideal coverage with a term insurance premium calculator and buy a policy online.

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