Celent Inc. analysts say online insurance sales will double by 2011.

Consumers may continue to place many of their orders offline, but the Web will play a major role, one way or another, in most personal insurance purchases, according to the analysts at Celent, Boston.

The analysts note Web transactions include “Web influenced” and “Web initiated” sales as well as “100% online” sales.

Pure, 100% online sales will account for less than 15% of total sales even in the personal auto insurance market, but pure online sales could account for 30% of sales for some lines in 2011, and the Web probably will influence most personal insurance purchases, the Celent analysts predict.

Larger insurers will use mass marketing campaigns to bring consumers to their Web sites, but many smaller insurers will have to reach consumers through Web search engines, the analysts predict.