The Internet is the preferred vehicle of choice among auto insurance shoppers. But some big-name insurers' Web sites aren't designed to entice consumers on the information highway.That's the conclusion drawn by two separate reports, one benchmarking key features and offerings from 14 auto insurance providers, and the other measuring consumer satisfaction of 23 leading auto insurance providers' Web sites. The reports indicate that the leaders' are doing a good job of satisfying Web consumers' desire for quick, accurate quotes, online support for claims, and detailed product descriptions.

Other providers, however, aren't meeting Web shoppers' expectations, experts say. "An outside observer would not have a difficult time identifying the radical differences between how each site handles the rate-quote process," says Neil Markus, director of the insurance practice at Changes Sciences Group Inc., an Irvington, N.Y.-based benchmarking firm which recently released its second-quarter analysis of auto Web site offerings. "There's little agreement within the industry over how best to do this."

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