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The skill of successfully utilizing the Internet as distribution channel for non-life insurance products is examined by comparing the web site usability of three different types of insurance providers from the UK. A longestablished, traditional insurance company is benchmarked with a pure online insurer and a groceries retailer that diversified into online insurance. The study is conducted from the consumer’s perspective by using expert evaluation techniques and a grounded theory approach. The findings suggest that the newer types of insurance providers outperform the traditional type and therefore represent a significant competitive threat to the insurance industry as we know it today. The theoretical findings suggest that frameworks for analysing web site usability are highly sensitive to context, and in the case of insurance services, appearance of the web site and assistance to the consumer while using the web site are evaluation criteria that are more important than expected and need to be included when analyzing non-life insurance web sites.