Picture this scenario: A MetLife home and auto policyholdervisits Amazon's site over a two-month period to purchase productsfor a newborn on the way, including food and clothing, a baby crib,stroller and wireless monitor. Before a Metlife's agent learns ofthis coming "life event," an Amazon call center agent, shoppingcart transitions in hand, offers the customer a life insurancepolicy through a partnering carrier, taking new business that, inyears past, would likely have gone to MetLife.

Sound far-fetched? Think again.

According to Glenn Wintrich a global director and principalconsultant of Innovation Services at Dell, Amazon has applied to sell insurance(both life and P&C) in 37 states. It's only a matter of time,he warns, before the tech titan clears some hurdles (regulatory,among others) and jumps into the arena, presenting a potentiallyformidable threat to the industry's long-establishedincumbents.

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