In the late 1990s and into 2000, several carriers and third-party providers began to recognize online calculator tools as invaluable in helping consumers perform needs analysis for life insurance."We have come to believe that few consumers have the patience or the understanding to spend a lot of time filling in forms to get the information they need," says Terry Burt, president of Canton, Mich.-based Interlinx LLC. Interlinx operates a Web site,, that provides dynamic marketing and pricing data on a stable of life insurance products from more than 150 carriers.

"Our needs calculator is a simple interest-adjusted cash flow analysis to get consumers to understand what life insurance is about and how to replace your income if you die," Burt says.

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