Boston -  A new research report from financial research and consulting firm Celent predicts that online sales of insurance will double by 2011.  Titled "Online Insurance Sales and Marketing: What's Happening and What's Next" the report projects that the Web will play a increasingly prominent role in personal insurance purchases.

The report delineates between sales influenced by the Web, those initiated online and 100% or "pure" online sales. While pure online sales currently account for less than 10% of sales, even in the relatively robust personal auto segment, they are growing, Celent says. "While 100% online sales are unlikely to exceed 30% in any area, the Web will be a major influencer for nearly all sales within five years," says Matthew Josefowicz, managing director of Celent's insurance group and coauthor of the report.

Another finding in the report stresses the importance of search engine optimization and notes that search engines like Google and Yahoo! are critical channels for insurers that cannot afford massive consumer marketing campaigns to drive shoppers directly to their sites.

Source: Celent

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