Canadian Underwriter

Google Compare Auto Insurance launched in California

March 5, 2015   by Canadian Underwriter

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Google Compare Auto Insurance launched on Thursday, which the company billed as “an easier way to shop for car insurance.”  According to Google, “the launch represents the newest addition to a suite of Google Compare products designed to help people make confident, more informed financial decisions.”

Google Compare Auto Insurance launched

Google teamed up with insurance providers, including Mercury Insurance, MetLife Auto & Home, The General Insurance, 21st Century Insurance, Infinity Auto Insurance, Kemper Specialty, Titan Insurance, Stillwater Insurance Group and CSE Insurance Group, to aggregate their questions into a single form, the company said on its new site.

The site launched first in California, with more states to follow, Google said on Thursday on Inside AdWords, the company’s official blog for news, tips and information on Adwords.

The Google blog explained the system to insurance providers stating, “Google Compare for car insurance provides a seamless, intuitive experience for connecting with your customers online. Whether you’re a national insurance provider or one local to California, people searching for car insurance on their phone or computer can find you along with an apples-to-apples comparison of other providers — all in as little as five minutes.”

“You can highlight what makes your business unique, whether that’s an “A” rating in customer service or better discounts for safe drivers. And when users adjust their deductible or add additional cars to their quote, you can show updated pricing that matches their needs. They can then buy their policy online or over the phone through one of your agents.”

Once of Google’s reasons for introducing Google Compare for car insurance is that according to a Google internal study, when it comes to buying car insurance, 80% of drivers think they’d find a better policy if they could compare more than two providers, the blog states.

Google Compare launched in California, with other states to follow, the company said on Thursday

Erik Thompson, advertising director at Mercury Insurance, said in the blog that “the lifeblood of Mercury’s business has and always will be our partnership with independent agents. We also know many shoppers want to buy anytime, anywhere, and Google Compare gives them a fast, easy way to do so. Partnering with Google Compare provides us with a tremendous opportunity to connect with a segment of the market that would have been out of reach.”

According to the Google blog post, “As Google Compare for car insurance rolls out to more states, we’ll also be introducing ratings and reviews, as well as local agent support for providers with agent networks. Participation in Google Compare is based on a flexible cost-per-acquisition (CPA) model, but payment isn’t a factor in ranking or eligibility.”

BOLT Solutions, Inc., which provides a “comprehensive multi-channel, multi-carrier software distribution platform that enables insurance carriers and distributors to drive market share, retention and revenue,” is partnering with an initial select set of insurance carriers, the company said in a statement. Bolt is working with Google to enable carriers to leverage Google to effectively and efficiently reach consumers when they decide to buy, the release added.

“Consumers have come to trust the Google brand and rely on its history of providing immediate access and keeping processes streamlined and simple,” Eric Gewirtzman, CEO of Bolt, said in the release. “Google’s broad distribution reach makes it a natural fit, albeit a distribution channel that is quite different than to what our industry is accustomed. We see this move by Google as a tremendous opportunity for carriers to reach out and offer products to a wealth of buyers for which they may not otherwise have access.”

The product allows personalized quotes from multiple providers. All providers are backed by the California state insurance guarantee association.