Research online for Insurance made easy – HDFC Life Click2Insure

In recent times, one major area which is revolutionising industries is the emergence of digital economy. Consumers are spending a lot of time researching on the web before a decision is made to consume any service or product. While some consumers add on the Research Online Purchase Offline (ROPOFF) effect, the growing popularity of e-commerce portals is a testimony of the increasing Research Online Purchase Online (ROPON) effect. In a market research that was recently conducted by Social Times,it was revealed that 81% of all customers conduct research online before making any purchasing decision. And this holds true for all category of products and services, like consumer durables, banking services, fashion, tourism, etc. Insurance, therefore is yet another area which consumers search online extensively for information before taking a call.

The benefits of online research for any product or service is many fold. In the context of the Internet, any information search in a domain is the process of collection of links, domain names, direct and indirect information, user reviews and web pages that contain texts, images, and audio/video files stored in hypertext formats. The process of information search through online research delineates the interaction between the consumer and the industry suppliers, such that the Internet plays a facilitating and mediating role in the consumer’s decision making into a more informed choice. With the increasing importance of the use of the Internet for research purposes, more attention has been directed to the analysis of the shopping objective, with an emphasis on the mediating role of specific Internet technologies (e.g., search engines, web 2.0, social media) in representing the problem being explored within a service oriented setting. Consumer responses in terms of user stories and reviews also facilitate to the purchase decision making process.

So why is this research needed for insurance buyers? Buying insurance is not an easy task. There is a lot of decision making which is required, which often becomes very difficult. What are the criteria for choosing the right insurance plan? How should we prioritize between the available options? These things often become even more complicated as one ventures to do some preliminary research online. We realize as we venture that insurance is indeed a complicated domain and requires a lot more attention than we had previously thought.

When we make a purchase online, say for a mobile phone or a laptop, wonder how much we research online before buying it? So why not do the same for purchasing our insurance plans? Nobody can better relate to the information sought for by us, than ourselves, provided we get some initial support to understand how the domain of insurance works. Check out this video, to understand it better:

Since buying insurance online is easier, convenient and cheaper, increasingly consumers are moving towards researching online before buying any insurance. There are numerous examples in the Insurance domain where information search and online research is facilitated by the service provider so that the customer can make an informed choice based on individual needs.

This is where HDFC Life provides a service that is hugely different from other platforms. HDFC Life has brought out a customized offering named Click to Insure, which can be tailor made to suit your needs. Further researching online is made easy using the support they provide by incorporating some of the best practices across other BFSI sectors. However this approach is one with a difference where the buyer is empowered into making the decision of buying the most suitable plan as follows through an innovative facility for information search and online research: namely Service Provided for Assisted Buying: Real time experts interact with the buyers through chat support, call support, and application support. The research is facilitated by the background information provided through these services. This helps to establish the real needs of the customer and a customized offering based on available plans helps to meet needs and match expectations.

We are witnessing a revolution in terms of empowering the customer. Service provided for assisted buying is one of the ways customers are empowered to do their research online before a purchase decision is made. Any research online helps to reduce transaction costs extensively, by reducing search time, costs of bad fit between need and purchase, and agency problems arising out of dependency on a third party. So why not research online, before you decide to invest in any insurance plan?

 

Author: Kar

Dr. Kar is in the Information Systems & Management area in one of the top QS Ranked universities of Asia/world. He has extensive experience in teaching, training, consultancy and research in Indian Institutes. He has published over 75 high impact research papers with hundreds of citations as per Google Scholar. He has also authored/edited a number of books. He is the Editor and Founder of Business Fundas. Note: The articles authored in this blog are his personal views and does not reflect that of his affiliations.