Demand for online medical insurance on the rise?
‘Medical card non-face to face sign up,’ is a current promotion for online insurance that may not be dismissed as a sales gimmick, as this pandemic has shown us that health emergencies can suddenly land on our doorstep.
“Worried about Covid-19? Fret not. You can now sign up (for a) medical card with instant approval without meeting your insurance agent,’ says the Facebook promotion under the Takaful Medical Plan.
Another one from Manulife says ‘For a limited time period from 24 March 2020 till the end of the MCO, we are able to cater to your insurance coverage with a non-face to face communication with your agent.’
Simple steps include online communication with agent, selfie with IC, with no signature required during the MCO, says the promotion from Manulife.
“We have seen some increase in demand for online products,’’ said Lucas Ooi, co-founder and head of insurance, Ringgitplus. Backed by good sales agents whom customers trust, this area of sales can be developed further especially in the current situation.
“Some insurers are training their agents to sell over the phone,’’ said Ooi.
Long term insurance is still mostly sold face to face between customers and agents; simple personal accident, motor and travel insurance are currently sold online.
“Customers can buy online but the process is not friendly. The entire eco system is designed to sell insurance face to face,’’ said Daniel Tan, agency manager of Evimero representing Allianz Life Insurance.
Hopefully, with the MCO, most insurers will develop online sales more aggressively.
“Yes, we can sign up people for medical plans online,’’ said an agent. “We can send them brochures first, then use phone calls, FaceTime, Zoom or video call to explain to them and answer their queries. When they are ready, they sign up through emails.’’
A clause on the duty of disclosure reminds applicants on the dangers of misrepresentation; subject to further investigation, the company reserves the right to decline claims on non-disclosure of pre-existing conditions.
While premiums for medical plans attached with life insurance are not cheap, depending on the age of the applicant, there are personal accident plans which cover infectious diseases.
A few companies have started online submissions some time back, and this trend is likely to catch on especially with the present health concerns.
Yap Leng Kuen had a respected career as a senior business editor and widely read columnist speaking plainly, for the leading local newspaper. She continues to write for The Star Online.
I am delighted to share her view points and insights, here.