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Electric Insurance Co. is offering home insurance quotes online in 17 states and Washington D.C.

"This is just the initial rollout step."

The insurer's online quoting service is currently available to consumers in Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and in Washington, D.C. It was introduced on Jan. 4, 2001. You can get an online homeowners insurance quote in those states by visiting Electric Insurance's Web site and entering your ZIP code at the top of the page.

"This is just the initial rollout step," says Rich Middleton, Electric's eBusiness manager. "We're working to finalize Web-based home insurance binding, with the intent to make our home product as full-service and easy to use as our auto product."

Mark Phelps, a spokesperson for Electric Insurance, says that by March, the insurer plans to double the number of states in which the online homeowners quoting service will be available. Phelps estimated that most of the 47 states where the insurer does business would have online homeowners quoting capabilities by mid-2001.

Last fall, Electric Insurance introduced an online eService Center that allows policyholders to file a claim and communicate with an Electric Insurance customer service representative in real time with new text chat and voice-over-Internet protocol features.

They can also manage their auto or homeowners insurance accounts online. Electric customers can view policy coverages, view billing information, add and remove drivers, add or delete a vehicle, change their addresses, change lien holder information, and order insurance ID cards.