Typical U.S. insurers may increase spending on information technology about 3% this year, in spite of the recession.

Consultants at Celent L.L.C., Boston, make that prediction in a summary o results from a survey of U.S. insurance company chief information officers.

The consultants conducted the survey in October and November 2008, after the financial crisis was under way.

Some large companies are reporting 0% IT budget increases for 2009, but the participating CIOs reported an average increase of 3% to 3.5%.

The average amount spent on a “major initiative” will be about $9 million for a large insurer, $2 million for a midsize insurer, and $1 million for a small insurer, the Celent consultants report.