Insurance companies that sell policies online are walking a tight rope. The elimination of agent commissions is a high price to pay compared with the potential backlash from their bread-and-butter agent force.That explains why many traditional carriers still are hesitant to sell policies on their Web sites and instead have opted to beef up the customer service capabilities of their Web sites.

The Prudential Insurance Co. of America in August unveiled several new enhancements to its Prudential Online Account Access program, which was launched in March. The program enables customers of the Newark, N.J.-based carrier to view their consolidated account data covering life and property/casualty insurance, variable annuities and mutual funds.

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