Taking a page out of Progressive Insurance’s playbook, Google has officially launched Google Compare, a car insurance shopping site that enables consumers to compare car insurance and buy policies through Google. The mission is to provide a “seamless, intuitive experience” for connecting insurers with customers.
Based off of a successful launch in the United Kingdom back in 2012, and coming after an internal study showing that 80 percent of drivers believe that they can get a better policy when they have more than two options to consider, Google decided to try its hand in the American car insurance market. The program allows consumers in California to make “apples to apples” comparisons of national and local car insurers in as little as 5 minutes, according to the company. Consumers can adjust the search metrics for their individual needs, such as additional cars or drivers that need to be covered by the preferred policy, while businesses can refine their company descriptions based on what they want to highlight, such as good ratings or coverage breadth. Policies can be purchased either online through Google or by contacting the insurers directly via phone. Insurers can apply to be part of the website, and their participation is judged based on a flexible cost-per-acquisition metric, rather than using payments as an entry factor.
This will be Google’s most recent attempt at offering a price comparison after it launched Crystal Shopper for Google Glass back in 2013.
Currently, the service is only available to residents of California, though Google reportedly plans to expand the service nationwide, according to Forrester’s Ellen Carney, who reported that Google possesses licenses to do business in several states, including Massachusetts, Florida, New York, Illinois, Arizona and more than 20 others.