While buying a life insurance policy online is gaining popularity for the right reasons, it is also essential to be careful and not fall into a trap. Buying anything online, including insurance policies, exposes you to online frauds, which can dupe you of your money. Keep reading to know some of the online insurance frauds and how to avoid them.
Buying a life insurance policy online has many benefits, such as;
- You can get policies at more competitive prices.
- You can evaluate and decide from the comforts of your home.
- The policy is generated in real-time.
- You can decide on the type of policy without pesky salesmen hovering around your head.
While buying a life insurance policy online indeed has its benefits, it also exposes you to certain dangerous albeit manageable risks. We bring to you some of the common online life insurance frauds, followed by tips on protecting oneself from becoming a fraud victim.
- Identify and Avoid Bogus Insurance Websites
Bogus insurance websites are one of the most common frauds in the insurance sector. Check for such scamming sites and carefully avoid misspelt links, asking for credit card details, CVV number, or OTP. They also lure by offering freebies like – gold coins, free health checkups, add-on insurance, etc. These sites also generate hoax emails misleading the customers on the pretext of a lapsed policy, unpaid premiums, offering a handsome claim of a distant relative, etc.
It is recommended to only opt for trustworthy sites and buy directly from the insurance companies rather than relying on third-party sites, especially those that can’t be trusted. When visiting a site, look for SSL encryption. You can easily find that out by looking at the address bar. If you see a lock sign and a site with the HTTPS prefix, then it is a secure site. However, if you see a website with an open lock sign or an HTTP prefix, then it is best to avoid such a site
- Fraudulent Online Insurance Agencies
Amidst genuine insurance agencies, many fraudsters also operate to dupe people. Online scamming agents deal directly with clients, mailing them forged policy documents and swindling premium payments directly into their pockets. They may project a policy that never exists. Innocent people may never call up the company for many years until they come across some calamity, finally realizing that they have been duped of hard-earned premium and are falsely insured.
Always check the authenticity of the policy and ensure you receive the final policy directly through a registered email id of the insurance company that has provided you with the policy.
- Offer of Interest-Free Loan
Fraud insurance websites present the bait of interest-free or minimal interest loans. They extend an attractive offer of personal loans on buying an insurance plan and pay the upfront premium instead of loan EMI. The bait looks even more lucrative, with an attractive loan amount. Once the online policy is purchased in greed of the loan, the loan follow-up remains suspended for long.
It is best to stick to your plan when buying a life insurance policy. Avoid any add-on offers other than those that can help you get a discount on the premiums or increase your coverage.
Staying Vigilant of Online Insurance Scams – Tips
- When buying an online life insurance policy, research the insurer to be sure of its reliability. Reading customers’ reviews will also provide an insight into its reputability. Also, contact the insurance company and its executive to fortify their online provisions.
- Make the optimum benefit of the personal experience of your family or friends. Rely on their word-mouth referrals as this will never go wrong in finding the right insurance company.
- Do not divulge your sensitive personal data to anyone except trusted ones. Random people on the call or via any website. Safeguard your credit/debit card details, PAN card number, payment details, etc. from random people on the call or via any website.
- Do not click on random links sent via SMS, email, instant messaging, social media sites, or other unverified sites that promise a low-premium plan.
- Avoid using public computers and Internet networks when making your premium payments. In such a case, trust your mobile network more than an untrusted Wifi.
Online frauds are not something new. However, this should not scare you in any way, for the benefits of buying a life insurance plan far outweigh the risk. The trick is to educate yourself of the possible dangers and avoid them.