Is Purchasing Life Insurance Online a Safe, Legitimate Option?

by Clem Adamson on June 24, 2010

It is an inevitable fact there will always be someone, somewhere who wants to do the bare minimum in order to get the maximum. Generally this is the motivating factors behind many illegal operations including online scams. When it comes to some consumer purchasing needs however, the Internet simply makes it easier to complete transactions from the comfort of your computer. Can something like buying life insurance online be performed safely without worry of being taken advantage of? Read on to learn more about what to be on the lookout for, and some best practices you’ll want demonstrated by your life insurance provider.

Though it may seem obvious, take nothing for granted. Does the company you’re looking at have a legitimate online presence? Do they have a website which clearly represents the name they officially do business under?

A fairly easy tactic that online criminals often employ is making copies of actual insurance company websites and then publishing this new site with a web address that is not the name of the business. Just because a site looks familiar and may have much of the functionality, look and feel of true, legitimate sites, does not automatically make it the place to do your online life insurance shopping.

If you are in doubt because of a website’s URL (web address), take a few moments to do some easy research. Copy the website’s address and do what is referred to as a domain name search. Go to your favorite registrar (company that allows you to register and pay for domain names) and see who owns that URL. In technical terms you are doing a “WHOIS” search to discover the officially registered owner of that name.

Legitimate companies will make it very clear they own the domain name. Shady characters tend to hide behind privacy services which do not reveal the actual owner’s names. You’re considering entering into a long term financial arrangement with your life insurance provider. You do not want to learn that any amount of premiums you have paid have been for naught due to a bogus company claiming to be your insurer.

Online technology is such today that you can and should expect a company to be able to take your information and provide you with a quote in real time right from their website. There may be special icons which appear in your web browser that indicates additional layers of security are being employed.

Don’t worry! This is a good thing. While not having some of these advanced capabilities should not necessarily disqualify you from choosing a particular company online, the very best, most reputable companies all realize the value to you and respect for your time by investing in online security.

It should go without saying that you’ll want to look for ways to get in contact with your life insurance company that do not include online technologies. If you are unable to find a toll free telephone number, a real world street address, and names and individual email addresses of actual people that work for the company, ask yourself why? Why would a legitimate company want to hide themselves from their paying customers or interested, potential clients?

A final aspect to be on the lookout is information. A website makes it incredibly easy to provide you with all the knowledge you might ever need to know as you make a decision about purchasing life insurance online. If the company whose website you’re visiting has only a few pages and simply requests you send them your name and email or phone number to get the “details”, again, ask yourself why.

Setting up database driven websites is relatively easy, cheap, and a fine way for a legitimate company to provide you with information 24 hours a day.

These are but a few things to look for online when considering your new life insurance online company. Don’t be afraid to ask these and other hard questions.

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