Buying Health Insurance Online Vs Agent: Which Is Better?


In recent years, life has become increasingly unpredictable, whether it is the rising cost of treatment or the increasing health risks an individual is exposed to, making it essential for individuals to purchase insurance to secure their health. 

While the concept of health insurance, where an insurance provider bears any medical expenses paid by the policyholder if they are affected by covered risks, is simple, it has much more nuance when claiming settlement. This makes the purchase process often daunting whether you are a first-time buyer or not.  

Health Insurance Online Vs Agent

This has, however, changed in recent years. The digital space has witnessed further developments, and insurers are investing a lot of money into consumer research, user interface, user experience, and, more importantly, raising customer awareness. This has prompted more and more customers to check out their online portals to buy and compare insurance policies. 

This article will describe health insurance, the different ways to purchase insurance in India, and which is better for the customer. 

What is Health Insurance?

As discussed above, health insurance is a contract between an insurer and a policyholder. In this case, the insurer will bear the policyholder's medical expenses up to a particular sum insured, paid out after a claims process. 

Health insurance is a sub-specialisation of general insurance, which, as the name suggests, primarily covers medical expenses.

What are the different ways to purchase a policy in India?

There are several ways an individual can approach purchasing insurance in India. Here are four primary ways most people use to buy insurance. 

1. From an insurance agent

Purchasing health insurance from a health insurance agent is usually the most common way to buy insurance.

An agent assesses the needs of their prospective customers and uses their experience in

recommending the best policy for their needs. There are two types of agents: one is affiliated with the

insurer, while the second is independent and thus can lead to a differing experience.2.

2. Through a broker

Purchasing insurance from a broker is another way to buy insurance. They help compare plans from

different insurers offering their expertise and recommend an appropriate policy to their clients. 

3. Directly from the company

If you prefer a particular insurance provider or plan, purchasing insurance directly from them

online is a great option. 

4. Bancassurance 

In India, most leading insurers partner with banks to offer insurance to their customers. This is also the

case for group health insurance, where employers purchase a common plan under group health insurance

for their employees.

Which one is better for customers?

As someone looking to purchase insurance, there are numerous options you have access to, but as not everyone’s preferences and priorities are the same, is there no common answer for everyone’s needs? As each method offers different pros and cons, let us assess them, and you make the choice based on your preferences. 


Insurance Agent





An agent’s fee is considered a part of the premium amount and thus requires no additional expenses.

A broker charges a brokerage fee for assessing your needs and recommending plans on top of the policy cost. 

This is typically a cheaper option as this is sold directly by the insurer and thus might come at a more preferable price. 

This might be a valuable offering as an add-on to the general banking services and might be cheaper. 


Purchasing a policy from an agent is typically quite convenient. 

Purchasing a policy from a broker is generally convenient but might be time-consuming in some instances. 

Purchasing an insurance policy online is highly convenient as it can be done from the comfort of one’s home. 

This method provides the convenience of getting an insurance add-on and banking services. 


An agent’s recommendation is generally reliable and can benefit a prospective customer.

A broker's recommendation is typically highly reliable. 

Purchasing a policy directly from the insurer is generally very reliable and trustworthy. 

Getting a policy from Bancassurance is typically reliable as it carries the names of both the insurer and the bank. 


Although the purchase process with an agent has become a lot more convenient, it depends on the insurer’s digitisation and ease of purchase efforts. 

Purchasing a policy from an online broker might be simple and convenient, requiring no documentation, while an offline broker might require physical documents for verification. 

Purchasing a policy online requires no paperwork and is done entirely online. 

This method might require some additional documentation. 


While the IRDAI regulates an agent, individual agents might need more transparency. 

The IRDAI ensures that brokers function fairly and transparently.

The IRDAI ensures that insurers function fairly and transparently.

This method might not be as transparent as other methods. 


While it might be possible to compare the plans of a single or a few insurers, the comparison is limited.  

The broker compares the plans and policies of different insurers.

It is effortless to compare different plans and policies from any insurer online. 

It is typically not possible to compare between plans and policies under this method. 


In India, there are dozens of insurers and numerous ways to buy an insurance policy. Each of these methods has pros and cons, and an individual can refer to this table to assess the specific based on their needs and plan accordingly. So secure your and your loved one’s health today with the best insurance using a preferred method of choice.


Post a Comment

Post a Comment (0)