Darwin's theory of natural selection proclaims that the strong species will thrive, while the weak will vanish. It's not unlike carriers' Web sites, where the best ones may have the inside track on survival.In the mid-1990s, when insurance carriers were developing corporate Web sites, many discovered they could do little wrong in the eyes of their online constituency-particularly casual users with modest expectations.

Most carriers basked in the glow of an investment that by most accounts was simple to maintain and easily attracted visitors. But the electronic honeymoon appears to be over. Industry analysts, consumers, investors and business affiliates all declare that there's growing pressure on carriers to raise the bar and develop next-generation Internet programs.

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