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Insurers and their intermediaries could be forgiven for presuming that since the products they sell are so often complex, opaque, and misunderstood, the expertise and sales skills of the industry’s agent-based distribution system preclude widespread disruption by new types of providers.

Unfortunately, evolving technological platforms are helping to turn that conventional wisdom on its head and threaten to render intermediaries irrelevant for many insurance transactions as consumers consider a host of new online shopping and purchase options already at their disposal or on the near horizon.

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