Direct Car Insurance: Is It An Affordable Option?

CAR INSURANCE is an inseparable part of buying a car. Whether you buy a luxury car or a hatchback, you need to get your newly-purchased possession insured under a car insurance policy. Back in the older days, the only way to get an insurance cover was through an agent. But today the options have increased as you can buy car insurance from agents, online insurance brokers as well as directly from the insurance company.

With multiple options come confusion making it difficult to select the most suitable way of buying car insurance. This article aims to help you decide whether you want to purchase direct car insurance, through an agent or buy four wheeler insurance from aggregator websites.

What is Direct Car Insurance?

A direct car insurance policy refers to purchasing a car insurance policy directly from the insurance company than through an insurance agent or a broker. The car owner directly contacts a motor insurance company and buys a car insurance policy instead of taking assistance from an insurance broker or an agent.

The process is quite similar to buying a car where you directly contact the authorized dealer of the car you want to buy. Today, it is even possible to buy a car online as several car manufacturers, such as Mahindra & Mahindra, Maruti Suzuki, Honda Motors, etc. allow people to choose & customize the car, pick a dealer near their residence and pay via multiple finance options online. Similarly, direct car insurance can also be purchased online from the motor insurance company’s website.

For example, if a car owner wants to buy insurance from Bharti AXA Car Insurance or Tata AIG Car Insurance, he will call their customer care number or visit their websites instead of buying four wheeler insurance from Policybazaar or an insurance agent.

How to Buy a Direct Car Insurance Policy?

A direct car insurance policy can be purchased online from the official website of the motor insurance company or by calling them over the telephone. As part of the procedure, the car owner will be required to provide the registration number of the car to the insurance company. The preferred coverage type, coverage amount, add-on covers, family member/ drivers using the vehicle, contact details etc. are to be specified as well to the insurer.

Based on the details provided by the car owner, the insurance company will share car insurance quotes with him. The car owner can select the most suitable policy and purchase it online or over the phone. Once he/she pays the premium amount, the insurance company will send the policy document.

Advantages of Buying Direct Car Insurance

If you buy direct car insurance, you will be able to enjoy the following advantages: 

  1. Greater Convenience

Buying four wheeler insurance directly from the insurance company comes with greater convenience and comfort. You can purchase direct car insurance any time from the comfort of your home. All you require an active net connection, a laptop or computer or to dial the insurer’s number on your phone. Moreover, the online purchase of car insurance also enables you to buy a policy in the middle of the night. All of these are possible without even stepping out of your house. 

  1. More Savings

When you buy a policy through an agent, the agent acts as a middleman between the car owner and the motor insurance company. This eventually leads to a higher insurance cost, adding to the agent’s commission. That’s why, more often than not, people prefer buying insurance from aggregator websites. Let’s say if you buy four wheeler insurance aggregator website or directly from the insurer, you eliminate any extra cost of an agent and thus, end up saving on the overall car insurance cost. 

  1. Get A Better Deal 

Often, an insurance company does not display all their car insurance plans on insurance brokers’ websites. The plans available with agents and brokers may be basic owing to its low pricing. On the other hand, exclusive deals on the insurer’s website may offer greater coverage at competitive rates and are available only to people who purchase directly insurance from their website. Thus, you may end up getting a better deal if you buy car insurance directly from the provider. 

  1. Prevents Fraud 

If you buy car insurance through an agent, you are at a greater risk of getting duped. The agent may sell you a car insurance policy by giving wrong information or only with half the information provided. As a result, you may get cheated easily. On the contrary, if you buy four wheeler insurance from an aggregator site or directly from an IRDAI registered insurance company, you can obtain all the information about different plans available with the insurer. This will enable you to buy your ideal car insurance policy without the fear of getting duped.

  1. Company Agents 

Just like personal agents, insurance companies and brokers also have company agents. Whenever you reach out to an insurance company, you can get in touch with their company agent. These agents have the same level of knowledge as a personal agent and will be able to explain to you a policy in the same way. Besides, you can trust a company agent as he will not cheat you or provide you with incomplete information about the plan. Thus, you can buy car insurance directly from the insurer with the guidance of the company’s agent.

 Disadvantages of Direct Car Insurance

Buying car insurance directly from the insurer is, however, not free from loopholes. You may end up facing the below drawbacks:

  1. Difficulty in Solving Policy-Related Queries

Buying car insurance directly may come with several confusing options. If you don’t understand insurance very well or are buying car insurance for the first time, you might easily get confused and not know what kind of coverage is best suited for your car. For instance, you may not know how much IDV is best for your car or should you buy passenger cover? In such situations, working with an agent may be easier and more beneficial as the person would be able to answer all your queries and help you find your ideal policy. Thus, buying car insurance directly from the insurer may not be an ideal method for first-time and amateur car owners. 

  1. Paying for Unnecessary Cover

 While buying direct car insurance, you may end up paying for unnecessary covers that you may not even need for your car. These unnecessary covers may add up to your car insurance premium. But if you are buying car insurance through an agent, he will remove any unnecessary covers that your car doesn’t need and help you reduce your overall car insurance cost. 

  1. End Up Buying Unsuitable Coverage 

If you are buying direct car insurance, you may miss reading the terms and conditions of a plan in detail. By doing so, you may buy a car insurance policy that may not be the best for you. However, if you are buying car insurance through an agent, he will explain to you the nitty-gritty of an insurance plan in detail and help you find a car insurance policy as per your expectation. 

  1. Bombarded with Promotional Messages/ Calls

 To buy direct car insurance, you will have to provide your contact details, inclusive of your phone number and email Id to the insurance company. This may lead to your insurance company bombarding you with innumerable promotional calls and mailers. But if you buy insurance through an agent, your contact details are safe as he will not call you repeatedly or try to sell you other insurance products. 

  1. Miss Out on Special Offers

Insurance agents gain a lot of experience over time and understand different aspects of car insurance completely. As a result, they may be able to guide you to the exact opportunity of saving on your insurance premium. But if you are buying direct car insurance, you may miss out on such potential offers due to a lack of product knowledge and may end up paying more.

Is Direct Car Insurance More Affordable?

 There is no guaranteed proof to show that car insurance bought directly from the insurer is more affordable than buying it from a broker or via an agent. While some people find direct car insurance more cost-effective, others may find the best car insurance deals with insurance agents and brokers. Some find it beneficial to save on premium by eliminating the middlemen cost and buying four wheeler insurance from aggregators or directly from the insurer, while some people feel more comfortable when an agent helps them to avail potential savings on premiums. Thus, the affordability of direct car insurance varies from one person’s opinion to another.

In a Nutshell

Direct car insurance is a faster and more convenient way of buying insurance for your vehicle directly from the insurance company. All motor insurance companies in India offer the option of buying direct car insurance policies. However, the affordability of direct car insurance is an individual opinion as some people may find it more affordable than buying four wheeler insurance from an agent or a broker.

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