Once upon a time obtaining an insurance quote would involve ringing around or meeting with potential providers and filling out paperwork. Now, like so many other parts of the retail and services sectors, insurance quoting is increasingly moving online in a world of e-commerce. But how do you continue to make sure you are getting the best, tailored solutions while maintaining your privacy in this new environment?

There is no doubting the convenience of being able to do business online, especially in our current environment where COVID-19 restrictions on movement and economic activity have significantly curtailed opportunities to deal with service providers face to face. 

However, there is also a real risk in this approach where expert advice is required to ensure you get the best and most appropriate solution for your personal requirements. This risk is particularly evident where the long-term implications of getting the decision wrong, based on poor or scant advice, are so significant – for example with life or income protection insurance.

There are real advantages to online insurance quoting. The first, and most obvious, is that with the proliferation of “comparison” sites these days, it’s the easiest way to undertake a price comparison between products. Online quotes are also quick and convenient and, if it’s a simple quote you’re looking for, can be a very effective means of accessing insurance. Further, some of the comparison sites will provide ratings of the various products based on customer input, further assisting your decision making.

However, it is quite possible that a review of the fine print for any product might reveal that you are not comparing apples with apples. Most of us don’t have the time or the financial or legal literacy to trawl through the fine print and work out which product will deliver the best value. And if, like a life or income protection insurance policy, it is part of the long-term financial strategy for you and your family, a comparison website may simply not provide enough information for you to make the best, tailored decision. Also, these sites will often represent a limited number of insurers. 

One alternative which still provides some degree of personalisation is the approach of centralised online enquiries. With this process, you lodge your information online and it is reviewed by a broker who will come back to you with a proposed approach. While you won’t get an instant reply like an online quoting platform, it is likely that you will get presented with a policy option which is more carefully tailored to your exact requirements.

If you are in the market for some form of income protection insurance, it makes sense to talk to an expert broker that can provide you with clear, tailored advice that is informed by your personal circumstances. Whether or not you use an online platform to start the process, it is imperative that for the future peace of mind for you and your family that your income protection insurance will stand up when it’s needed.