Layton Christensen's best-selling book, "The Innovator's Dilemma," discusses how business leaders at large companies have usually underestimated the long-term impact of disruptive technologies. This trait certainly applies to insurance and the Internet.Insurers' unsuccessful efforts of using the Internet as a lead-referral channel in the late 1990s have soured senior executives' current perception of the Internet. However, recent successes by companies, such as John Hancock's strategy to sell term life insurance online and innovations by some property/casualty carriers in claims processing, is beginning to turn the tide. By 2005, maturing Web services technologies and data intermediaries will become key business drivers for carriers.

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