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November 22, 2004

Online Bidding Firms Seek Bounce From Insurance Industry's Bid-Rigging Scanda

Customers in search of cheap airfare, antiques or a stock trade can scan the Web for good deals. But when it comes time for companies to buy group insurance policies, they've largely been beholden to brokers using fax, e-mail and the telephone to track down the best bargain. Some industry analysts say an ongoing insurance bid-rigging scandal -- combined with rising health care costs -- will build demand for online bidding on insurance policies.

"This is really about putting the tools into the hands of decision-makers and returning the broker to the role of a trusted adviser, rather than someone who's just placing the money or making the purchase order for you," said Rebecca Wettemann, vice president of research at Nucleus Research, which advises companies on financial and technology issues.

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Posted by Tom Troceen