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Small-business insurers that are not interested or ready to try selling coverage directly to consumers over the web need to raise the value and enhance the services offered by their traditional agency channel to avoid losing market share to a growing number of online competitors.

Indeed, while some carriers may decide to delay a move online or decline the opportunity to bypass their agents, that doesn’t mean they can afford to stick their heads in the sand and ignore direct carriers making a play for increasingly web-savvy buyers. That was a key takeaway from a recent study by the Deloitte Center for Financial Services, “Small-business insurance in transition: Agents difficult to displace, but direct sellers challenge status quo.”

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