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You don’t have to tell insurance brokers that it’s a time of unprecedented change in the industry. Between the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, health care exchanges and changes to Medicare, brokers are seeing a wholesale transformation in the way they do business.

But many brokers are so focused on the revolution unfolding in front of them that they’re missing a smaller, quieter revolution that’s been happening behind their backs for years. In less than two decades, the Internet has gone from an entertaining distraction to a vital business tool. These days, if you’re not connected, you’re not relevant—and you’re not reaching clients and potential clients.

“Brokers have to be on the web, period,” says Rick Krout, sales executive at Warner Pacific in Denver. “With the new PPACA rules coming down, with the exchanges and things like that, it’s all going to be Internet. So these brokers that have maybe shied away from getting their emails and websites, now they’re going to have to get on the web.”

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