Celent Communications presents an overview of the ways U.S. insurers are embracing the Web to reduce administrative costs and increase communications with shoppers, policy holders, and agents

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Boston: August 10, 2001 – According to Celent’s new report, US Insurance &
the Web: An Overview
, the Web will not lead to a disruptive revolution in insurance sales. However,
effective use of the Web for customer and agent communications is a critically important evolution for
insurance carriers.

The report includes the results of a survey conducted by Celent in July 2001 of the functionality
of Web sites of the top 100 carriers in both Life/Health (L/H) and Property/ Casualty (P/C) Insurance, as well
as the top 75 bank Web sites.

38% of the top 100 P/C carriers and 54% of the top 100 L/H carriers have already implemented
some type of Web-based agent extranet
, while 29% of the P/C carriers and 43% of the L/H carriers provide
some kind of policy holder account access.

“In the last year or so, the dominant perception of the Web in the insurance industry has
changed from that of a frightening challenge to established retail distribution channels to an enormous
opportunity for potential savings in time and money,” says Celent analyst Matthew Josefowicz, author of
the report. “Some carriers reported increased efficiencies as great as 90% on communication
with agents.
Carriers who are slow to implement Web-based communication systems for their agents and
customers will quickly find themselves at a competitive disadvantage.”

Celent expects the impact of direct consumer online sales in the next five years to be negligible
for the next five years compared to these cost savings. “The portals are serving an important marketing
function by providing product information to customers, but their business models are based on sales,”
Josefowicz says. “While some of the portals may survive as Online Agencies, we expect most of them to
disappear or be absorbed by larger companies that can leverage their marketing and technology values within
a larger context

Table of Contents
is available online.

Members of Celent Communication’s Personal eInsurance research services can download
the report electronically.