Despite the slow economy and overall reductions in IT spending since 2000, U.S. insurance companies are continuing to increase their technology spending. That's according to a June report from Celent Communications, a Boston-based research and consulting firm.Budgets for 2002 are an average of 7% higher this year than last year-totaling $18 billion industrywide, according to the report, titled "IT Spending in U.S. Insurance."

Of that $18 billion, the 234 largest U.S. carriers (those with annual premiums more than $1 billion) account for $12.4 billion. The 931 mid-size carriers (with annual premiums between $100 million and $1 billion) are spending $4.3 billion (24% of the total). And the remaining 3,600 smaller U.S. carriers (with annual premiums under $100 million) account for 7% of the total IT spending, or $1.3 billion.

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