According to a recent study by consultant Deloitte, more than half of small businesses (52 percent) are now ready and willing to buy their insurance direct from a carrier over the Internet without an agent or broker.

Executive Summary

Even though they're not doing so now, 52 percent of small businesses are ready to buy commercial insurance online, with many seeking to replicate their positive online experiences on the personal side, according to new research by Deloitte. For those that won't buy commercial insurance online, the principal reason is that they don't trust insurance companies to deal with them fairly.

They are not buying it online now in great numbers in the United States for a number of reasons, including the lack of Web options. But they are interested, the study’s results suggest. Many of the most interested are people who have had good experiences buying their personal insurance coverages online and are ready to duplicate that for their businesses.

Those that have no interest in buying directly online say they do not trust insurance companies enough to buy without an agent.

Sam Friedman, research team leader at Deloitte’s Center for Financial Services who oversaw the study, says the study confirms that small commercial buyers are poised to behave a lot like personal lines customers, who increasingly are buying online.

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