Google Auto Quotes Impact a Month Later
More than a month after Google’s entry into the world of auto insurance quotes, it seems the search engine giant hasn’t proved to be the sword to insurance companies that some feared.
In early March, Google began offering their auto insurance quote program through Google Compare. At that time, Google had 14 insurance companies as partners. Those companies still include national brands like Mercury Insurance, MetLife Auto & Home, and The General Insurance.
Other major companies, such as Progressive, State Farm, GEICO, and Allstate, are not participating. Representatives from these companies indicated they feel that joining the Google initiative would be counter-productive to their own marketing endeavors.
These larger companies hold a great share of the overall market, and it appears that without their support, Google’s comparison site may best serve smaller, niche insurers.
“Over the long term, comparison shopping platforms like Google’s should be able to carve out some piece of the insurance acquisition space,” Jonathan Wu of ValuePenguin said. “Without full participation however it’s likely that they’ll only compete for a small portion of all auto insurance premiums.”
Google is not daunted, however, and has already begun securing the necessary licenses and filings in order to begin providing a similar service in Massachusetts.
Insiders suspect that quotes are not the only aspect of this that Google is addressing. By collecting data in order to provide the requested quotes, Google is able to determine how companies assess their rates. Some sources speculate that Google may begin offering their own auto insurance in the years to come, especially if the self-driven car Google is working on becomes a reality.
Wu also notes in his piece on ValuePenguin that Google has been showing a profit from auto insurance searches even before their entry into the quotes market thanks to their AdWords program.
“For keywords related to ‘auto insurance’ the company suggests advertisers bid as much as $80 a click,” Wu said.
Google’s auto quotes functionality is in part thanks to a partnership with Compare.com and with CoverHound. Compare.com moved from more than a dozen or so partner companies in their first year to more than 50 in their second, and Google is counting on that sort of stability to make their offerings successful.
“You’ve got tens of millions of customers out there being conditioned to shop this way,” Andrew Rose, president, CEO, and founder of Compare.com said.
Despite consumers who are accustomed to buying everything from cars to books to toilet tissue on the internet, there are still times when it is comforting to speak with an actual human who has technical expertise in the area you are researching. It is those times when insurance companies and brokerages with agents have an advantage.
Companies, including Obrella, offer licensed agents who are able to provide guidance on which coverages and policies can best meet each individual’s needs. It is possible to get an auto quote online at the Obrella website or you can call the toll-free number and speak with an agent.
Obrella works with companies such as Infinity Auto Insurance, Travelers, Progressive, Safeco Insurance, and 21st Century Insurance.
Whether you are looking to purchase your first auto policy or are looking to make changes to your existing policy, Obrella agents can assist you in making certain that you get the best rates and coverage available.