Carriers and agents have invested a significant amount of capital toward electronic interface initiatives that enable the two parties to improve their data-exchange efficiencies and overall operational competencies.But as they carry this out, consumers have been neglected, to the extent that many "lack faith in the quality of online customer service," says Madelyn Flannagan, vice president of education and research for Alexandria, Va.-based Independent Insurance Agents of America (IIAA).

Flannagan's remarks came in response to the release of IIAA's "2001 Future One Technology Study," which polled 900 consumers, 300 small-business insurance decision-makers, 35 large insurance carriers and an undisclosed number of independent agents.

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