As a consumer no matter what we intend to buy, we always turn into the researcher. We can all agree that we do a ton of fact-finding before we decide to purchase something. We read product descriptions, we compare prices, and we check reviews.

Truthfully it’s a common conscious buying behavior. Taking time is key. 

This week we take a closer look at some of the possible ways for someone who loves to research and obtain as much information as possible before deciding to buy.

At this point, you probably know the various prices and product features of all car insurance products in the market. So value such as claims supports, speed, and convenience is your highest priority followed by price and sales advice.

Buying insurance DIRECT from the insurance or Takaful branch

PRICE: GOOD

If you buy your insurance directly from the insurance company, you get 10% discount on your premium. This is great because it offers the lowest possible price for you from that particular insurance company.  If you buy the insurance from a Takaful company, you might even be entitled to a 15% rebate when you renew your motor insurance. This means next year, you can save up to 25% on your motor insurance.

SPEED & CONVENIENCE: BAD

To buy insurance from the insurance company directly, you need to find out where the nearest insurance branch is. This is less convenient than buying from Pos Malaysia because Pos Malaysia has more than 700 locations. Allianz Malaysia, one of the largest motor insurer has only 35 branches. You need to be careful when choosing a branch because some branches only sell Life insurance and not Motor Insurance. Also, you have to go out and buy yourself the insurance from the counter to get the 10% discount, because you need to show your IC. If you want to buy the road tax at the same time, you will also need to check fi the branch offers road tax renewal on the spot. Only a few branches have the machine to print out the road tax. We categorized the SPEED & CONVENIENCE BAD, because of those inconveniences.

SALES ADVICE: BAD

The disadvantage of buying from the insurance branch is that you need to have some knowledge of insurance to know which insurance company you want to buy from. So in advance, you need to know how good the insurance company is. Also, you need to know if the insurance company that you want to go, offers the right price for you. If you want to compare the insurance from different companies, you will need to go to each one of them to find out the price. With MyEG and Pos Malaysia, you can choose from different insurance companies at one location. When you go to the insurance branch, you can only choose from that insurance company.

If you want to research about the quality of the insurance company, you can read our article 2016 Malaysia Motor Insurance Award to find our ranking.

If you buy insurance at the insurance branch, you also need to check beforehand if they offer road tax renewal on the spot, as not all branches have the capability to issue road tax immediately.

CLAIMS SUPPORT: NEUTRAL

When you are involved in an accident, you can walk into the same insurance branch you purchased your insurance from to file a claim. You can speak with the person in charge face-to-face, so you can get help in making the claim. This is much better than having to wait on the line with the call center or waiting for an email response. Here you can just walk into the branch and find a person responsible for claims.

Buying insurance ONLINE DIRECT from the insurance/takaful branch

PRICE: GOOD

If you buy your insurance online direct from the insurance company, you get 10% discount on your premium. This is great because it offers the lowest possible price for you from that particular insurance company.  If you buy the insurance from a Takaful company, then you might even be entitled to 15% rebate, when you renew your motor insurance. This means next year, you can save up to 25% on your motor insurance.

You can find a list of insurance companies that offer insurance online in our article Advantages and Disadvantages of Buying Motor Insurance Online in Malaysia.

SPEED & CONVENIENCE: BAD

Similar to buying directly from the branch, the disadvantage of buying online direct is that you need to have some knowledge of insurance. You need to know which insurance company is the best for you and what insurance product to select.

If you buy insurance online, you will need to buy the road tax separately on your own. Most insurance companies do not combine the purchase of insurance with road tax like MyEG does.

SALES ADVICE: BAD

The quality of sales advice you get is similar to buying insurance from MyEG. You need to have some knowledge of insurance and know from which company you want to buy online from. Compared to insurance branches buying online is good and bad at the same time. It is good, because if you want to compare prices among companies, you do not need to go to each one of them physically instead you can do so online. It is bad however because you do not have a person that you can ask questions. You need to find the information on your own on the internet.

CLAIMS SUPPORT: NEUTRAL

Unlike buying your motor insurance online through MyEG, you still have insurance branches that you can go to. You can then speak to someone in person to get help with your insurance claim. We ranked it as NEUTRAL because in case the insurance company denies you the claim, you are on your own to figure things out. Insurance staff makes mistakes, so you want to have someone you can consult with.

Buying from full-time insurance/takaful agents

In our yearly survey to find the best motor insurance company in Malaysia, we found that Malaysians largely buy their insurance from an agent. In 2016, 34% of our survey respondents bought through an agent. You can read more about the award here. So we are curious to see how good the insurance agents are compared to the other channels.

PRICE: NEUTRAL

We have ranked buying from an insurance agent as neutral, because it really depends on how efficient your insurance agent is and how well you know him. If your insurance agent is a family member, then there might even be a chance that you will receive part of the commission back. On the other hand, it is not BAD like Pos Malaysia, because you pay for the extra service that a good agent is providing you.

SPEED & CONVENIENCE: GOOD

Buying from an insurance agent offers the best possible service you can get, especially if you choose a reliable agent. Picking the right agent is critical as they not only put your needs before theirs but can also help you in picking the right insurance product. Buying through an insurance agent also is the most convenient way of purchasing your insurance, because filling out all the necessary forms, payment, collection and delivery of road tax are all done through the agent.

When it comes to speed, not all insurance agents will be able to give you the road tax together with the insurance on the spot like Pos Malaysia or an insurance branch. However, some agents have their own Road Tax device from MyEG that allows them to issue the road tax. You can identify them by their MyEG sign at their office. Often times, the places are labeled as MyEG Kiosk.

SALES ADVICE: GOOD

Large agencies can represent more than one insurance company. These agents can help you compare prices among insurance companies to find the cheapest. This is important because with the motor detariffication starting July 1st, each insurance company will offer a different price for you. Read more about the Motor Detariffication in our article Malaysian Motor Detariffication.

CLAIMS SUPPORT: GOOD

Insurance agents play an important role in accidents. When you are involved in a road accident or if your car is stolen, a good insurance agent will be able to guide you what to do and what not to do. The agent will be able to advise what the insurance company will cover and pay for. A great agent will even fill out the claims form for you and collect all the necessary documents to file the claim with the insurance company.

Even though speed and convenience are bad when buying directly online from insurance and takaful branch, the claims support that each channel offer is quite neutral. On top of that the price that both channel offer is good.

At least you’ll know that you’ve paid a good price for a reasonable support and service after you have secured yourself a car insurance. The long-term value is what’s important.

Meanwhile, buying from a full-time insurance/takaful agent will guarantee you a good after-sales service. You’ve already done thorough research on the insurance product you want but knowing that your insurance agent has a good background, personality and positive attributes is an assurance that they will always have your back even after years of renewing your car insurance with him/her.

Explore other options in our 2017 Buying Guide for Motor Insurance/ Takaful and Road Tax in Malaysia.

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