With the widespread use of the Internet, a growing number of organizations have developed Web sites to perform many functions, ranging from obtaining information to e-commerce. Still, U.S. corporations today make minimal use of the Internet for their commercial insurance or risk management needs. But a recent survey by the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP) forecasts a significant increase in Internet use in this area over the next two years.
AFP, formerly known as the Treasury Management Association (TMA), conducted the survey of its members to determine the role of the Internet in providing financial information, products and services. The survey’s objectives were to identify the types of institutions used by financial professionals for financial services, understand the emerging role of the Internet in providing those services and examine the impact of Y2K on a company’s access to capital and cash flow.
The survey was administered to TMA members during the week of October 11 through October 15, 1999. A total of 6,471 members were sent surveys via broadcast fax; 852 returned the forms, yielding a response rate of 13 percent.
A March follow-up survey supported the findings of the October survey, finding that only 12 percent or fewer of the respondents use the Internet to buy business insurance or risk management products. However, nearly half (49 percent) will use the Internet to buy primary property/casualty insurance in the next 12 months, and 64 percent plan to do so over the next two years.
For excess liability coverage, 45 percent say they would use the Internet a year from now, increasing to 59 percent in two years. Twenty-four percent predicted use of the Internet for reinsurance in one year and 38 percent in two years; and 43 percent will go online for alternative risk products in one year and 52 percent in two years.
Respondents ranked the largest barriers to buying and managing commercial property and casualty insurance online as their broker relationship (83 percent), security of the information (81 percent) and administration concerns (80 percent).
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