Will you click on an ad on your favourite e-commerce site to buy insurance?

They are trying hard to change your habit.

You click on random ads on popular e-commerce portals that entice you on the social media but are careful enough to sift through the clutter and succeed in not clicking on that insurance ad.

This may soon come to an end. Your favourite online shopping website could start selling insurance products and offer policies based on your browsing history.

But will you buy it?

E-commerce has been a distribution channel that has been left largely unexplored by insurance companies. This is due to the fact that the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) does not allow these firms to be distribution agents of products. While there are talks of e-commerce companies being allowed in this space, no final decision has been taken yet.

Meanwhile, insurance companies are putting the nuts and bolts of product development in place. The emphasis here will be on simple and niche products that suit a person’s needs.

For instance, if you have been looking for baby clothes or toys, the algorithm would presume that you are a new parent and it would be good to suggest you a child plan.

Similarly, if you are searching for trekking equipment then you will be tagged as an adventurous person who must have a personal accident plan.

Likewise, if you are buying too many household items, you may be suggested a home contents insurance plan.

As much as you hate insurance companies and their pestering, this could be a good way for them to target prospective customers. Since e-commerce sites are the most frequented by young users which are the most likely target-customers of these insurers, this could prove to be a good medium to offer specialised products.

Probably if you are serious enough about an activity like mountaineering or love travelling, spending a few hundred rupees more to buy a relevant insurance product from the same site wouldn’t be a bad option.

However, the house stands divided on whether this endeavour will get more customers or rather dissuade users from these sites depending on whether a product is being pushed on you and you don’t aspire for such service.

Until a well-rounded and tightly priced product is able to catch the attention of a customer at the right time, it could prove to be counter-productive if insurance is sold this way.

Not long ago, members of the public down-rated and deleted an e-commerce portal’s application to show anger towards a Bollywood actor for some comments he made.

Using popular digital platforms to sell insurance looks like a move that needs to be well calculated if one wants to avoid repercussions.moneycontrol