Although insurers may be tempted to offer the full gamut of banking products and services, there are a finite number of products and services that consumers will acquire-with confidence-from insurance companies, industry observers say."A certificate of deposit (CD) with a locally available rate is very attractive," says Mark Walker, group vice president, financial services business team leader, at Walker Information Inc., an Indianapolis-based firm specializing in customer loyalty.

"A large number of people choose mortgage providers that they have little knowledge of, so there's no reason to think they would be adverse to buying a mortgage from an insurance agent," he says. "As long as the insurer can provide ease of application and a competitive rate, they have a shot."

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