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Since the birth of the commercial insurance business in the late 1600s when shippers, brokers, and underwriters gathered at Lloyd’s Coffee House to the present day with brokers and underwriters gathering through the Web, effective networking has been an integral component to a successful sale and a satisfied client. Then as now, the expensive proposition of insuring business risk depended on the ability to establish trust, leverage expertise and relationships, and efficiently match risk to appetite.

In the modern world of commercial insurance, linking with the right people generally requires more effort than showing up at the local coffee shop, but the recent emergence of Web 2.0 technology offers an opportunity to make that vital personal interaction more efficient and effective.  While social media seems like it would be an obvious fit for insurance, industry executives have been reluctant to fully embrace social networking technologies, fearing privacy and security risk, and lost productivity. Their concerns are justified, at least in part; but when developed specifically for the insurance vertical and supported with the proper controls and information access, social networking technologies offer an opportunity for more effective and productive business activities between brokers and carriers.

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