With all the competition in the auto insurance industry for your business – would you consider a Google policy to insure your car? That is, of course, if Google was to go into the auto insurance business. Well, as it turns out…Google apparently intends to take its highly popular internet auto insurance comparison shopping to the next level. The company plans to offer policies through its new Google Compare Auto Insurance Services in the U.S., as reported by Forrester Research.
Licensed to sell insurance in 26 states, the new entity recently was granted the right to offer policies on behalf of MetLife, Viking, and four other companies in California, the lone state, so far. But, that should change rather quickly in the months to come. Like many of its past endeavors, Google’s success hinges on its latest attempt to cut out the middleman, which is another facet of the strategy that stole massive amounts of search traffic away from retailers in a November Google Shopping test that redirected ad clicks to its own Google Shopping results pages rather than those of retail websites.
While Google Compare for auto insurance in the U.K. has been available to consumers since 2012, the service’s U.S. launch has been plagued by repeated delays. As of December 2014, the site was expected to go online, to be followed with more planned launches in Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Texas in the first quarter of 2015. However, the latest status report indicated the California pilot program may not become active until a much later date in Q1. So, at this point, it’s more a matter of when rather than if Google will begin offering auto insurance policies directly from its search results platform.
Now, it goes without saying that Google already makes a ton of money off its ad revenue. But, insurance has been an intriguing and financially attractive industry for the company in ad sales, as well as the most expensive keyword category across the board. Of Google’s $32.2 billion advertising revenue, 97 percent comes from online pay-per-click advertising, with insurance keywords bringing in as much as $54.91 per click as of several years ago. And, with advertising prices rising, per click rates have also risen substantially.
Given the projected numbers, there’s little doubt why Google has been trying to grab a piece of the actual insurance revenue available for the taking. Case in point, in 2013, the U.S. insurance industry boasted premiums totaling $1 trillion, with property/casualty, which includes auto, home, renters, and commercial insurance, accounting for $481.2 billion or 46 percent of that total revenue.
No one is more primed and ready to leap into the insurance foray than Google. Already having been licensed to conduct business in more than half the states – Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, New Jersey, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming – Google Compare Auto Insurance Services is poised to take the insurance industry by storm.
Google has made no secret of its plans to get into selling insurance. However, the break-in period has taken longer than most analysts anticipated, considering its massive market access due to its position as the prominent search engine on the internet. Once up and operational, the program will be hazardous to mostly the middleman, the broker trying to compete on an equal playing field by selling cheap auto insurance. Meanwhile, the real winners will be Google, the brand, and the consumer.
As a consumer, you always want to get the lowest price on your annual premiums. That’s why you should double-check you’re getting the best rate on your auto insurance. Why not get a free auto insurance quote today?
Would you consider buying your auto insurance from Google? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.