Google has confirmed a longstanding rumor. It has entered the car insurance business with the launch of Google Compare for Auto Insurance. The comparison-shopping sites allow consumers to compare rates from different insurance providers.
If a consumer searches Google for “car insurance the comparison of rates will appear. The new service will debut initially for California residents only. But Google said other states will soon be added to the service.
According to USA Today, Consumers who enter in this search query will see a small, gray questionnaire appear, asking for their zip code, and other information about their vehicle. If they choose to fill that out, Google will return a comparison unit listing insurance premiums, provided by its insurance advertiser partners. Consumers can also use the URL www.google.com.com/compare.
Google’s insurance partners, which include Mercury Insurance and MetLife, as well as local providers, is based on a flexible cost-per-acquisition (CPA) model, Google notes, adding that payment isn’t a factor in ranking or eligibility. The insurance providers can also use the service to highlight what makes them unique, as the Compare product has a field where they can mention their differentiating features – like safe driver discounts, or “A”-rated customer service, for example.
Google already provides auto and travel insurance quotes, as well as mortgage quotes in the U.K., and it operates a credit card comparison site in the U.S., all of which fall under the “Google Compare” branding.
The auto comparison U.K. site has been live since 2012, but the U.S. launch has continually been pushed back. However, as of this January, Google Compare Auto Insurance Services, Inc. was listed to do business in more than 25 states.
Google said its comparison technology was built internally. But it’s also working with “many partners” including CoverHound and CompareNow as part of the quote aggregation process.