The insurance industry needs to overhaul its customer service offering on the web, a survey by Onyx Software finds.

In a study of 126 financial organisations, it was found that 49% either had no internet presence, offered no facility for submitting electronic information or failed to reply to all enquiries.

The survey assessed the views of FTSE 1000 companies, mutuals, and non-UK companies with UK presence.

Researchers posed as consumers in search of financial products with the aim of discovering response times.

The results showed that 31% of organisations either did not have a website, did not have one that could be found within five minutes or had no information request facility.

Of those with the capabilities, 61% failed to respond to information requests within five working days.

Microsoft financial sector manager ,Richard Horsfield, commented: "Now is the time to get it right and ensure a consistent service experience across the full range of ways customers can access their insurance portfolio."