The rise and fall of San Francisco-based eCoverage Inc. isn't the only dot- com whose demise has surprised industry experts.In late April, Chicago-based Iwix.net, the first independent business-to- business online marketplace to link agents and brokers with specialty insurance carriers, ceased operations after failing to raise additional funding.

Following on the heels of this disclosure was the announcement in late May that eWausau.com, a Web operation launched by Wausau, Wis.-based Wausau Insurance Co., was planning to discontinue service by the end of the year. eWausau.com was more than a Web site-it was a separate business unit dedicated to serving small-business owners seeking business owners policies, workers compensation insurance and other like products.

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