Record disaster losses, new competitors and Internet-empowered consumers are all conspiring to force insurers to expand and perfect their mobile apps, social media outlets and websites to retain tech-savvy customers, according to a new study.

The “2012 North American Insurance eBusiness and Channel Strategy Trends” report from Forrester Research found that 97 percent of IT budget decision makers in the insurance industry thought of technology as critical to serve and support customers.

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