In today’s busy fast paced world, technology can be a godsend. If you can transact online then that’s one less thing you need to worry about right? The size of the internet has grown so big that as at July 2014, the World Wide Web contains around 3.3 billion pages. We can do our banking online and according to Statistics New Zealand, half of kiwis have now shopped at least once online. Let’s face it: the internet provides us with convenience and flexibility. This is the way of the modern world if we want to keep pace.
There are some things though that possibly shouldn’t be transacted online. Examples include: buying clothes and personal insurance. Don’t get me wrong, there will always be people who can fit standard sizes, but remember – one size does not fit all. Have you had an occasion, shopping with a girlfriend who is the same size as you, where a particular garment will fit and suit one of you better than the other? Just because you fit a size 12 doesn’t mean you are exactly the same size. Some garments fit better than others.
The same applies to buying personal insurance. Yes there are advantages to buying online such as: the service is free, you choose what amount of insurance you want, the online domain is safe and secure, and you don’t need to leave your house to purchase. This just may be the ticket for someone whose personal circumstances are reasonably straight forward.
But what if your personal circumstances are more complicated? For example, you have kids, or you have a blended family, you have a mortgage or multiple mortgages over multiple properties? You can try and navigate your way through the online calculators to come up with a nominal figure but have you factored in these other complexities mentioned above?
The other issue is around product range. Most online quotes will provide you with the best priced quote, but the best price may not provide the best cover for you. For example, some medical policies provide cover for Medsafe and Pharmac medicines; others will only cover Pharmac medicines. Income Protection is also a complicated area that must be considered carefully. Should you take out an indemnity policy, an agreed value policy or a loss of earnings policy? What is the difference? How do the benefits compare across the different policies and insurance providers? Earning an income is our biggest asset and if you can’t work, you need to know you have the right cover in place.
This is where an adviser is your best option for those more complicated circumstances. Many advisers don’t charge an up-front fee because they receive commission from the insurance provider. A good adviser will also provide you with a couple of good options so you still get to choose which option suits you best. And ultimately, you still decide what you can and can’t afford. Dealing with an adviser is safe and secure. They need to put your interests first and protect your privacy. And if you can’t get to the adviser’s office, they can still meet you in your home or even use Skype – another great technological advancement!
Lastly, one other thing you may wish to consider is that should you decide to purchase insurance online and you need to make a claim, you will have to deal with the insurance company directly – this could potentially be challenging during a time where you may need to focus on recovery. An Adviser will liaise with the insurance company on your behalf so you don’t need to. It’s all part of the service.