Insurance companies spent more than $20 billion this year on new technology. But which technologies are the most innovative and will have the greatest impact on carriers' success?The Internet won't replace agents or call centers, nor will it become the preferred method for purchasing insurance. But it certainly is becoming an integral part in carriers' efforts to market, support and sell insurance policies to customers, and to attract new policyholders.

It's not surprising, therefore, that four Internet categories ranked at the top of Insurance Networking's "Best of the Newest" survey, which asked industry experts to rank 18 technologies based on their impact on the industry and their level of innovation. The panel rated Internet security as the top insurance technology, followed by Internet delivery and intranets/extranets. Following closely in fourth place is Java, XML and other Web-programming languages (see chart, page 20).

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