Google on Thursday entered the automotive industry – not with a self-driving vehicle but rather, it wants to sell you insurance for your existing ride.
First rumored in January, Google Compare for Auto Insurance is more or less an aggregator for auto insurance designed to help shoppers make a more informed decision when courting providers. Think of it as the Expedia for Travelocity of auto insurance.
The interface allows users to easily compare apples-to-apples rates from agencies across the country and add in additional variables like a higher or lower deductible or additional vehicles with ease.
Google has been offering a similar service in the UK since 2012 that allows users to compare more than 125 auto insurance options. The search giant takes a cut for its service when a user signs up for a policy either online or by phone which is presumably what’ll happen in the US.
Google Compare is currently only available to California residents although the search giant said it will be rolling the service out to other states in the near future. The company is also planning to introduce ratings and review systems so buyers will feel even more confident in selecting a provider.
Insurance comparison sites are popular in Europe but not so much in the US as laws dictate that the entity providing a quote must also be licensed to sell. That’s currently what’s holding Google back from launching in other states at the moment.
Not all providers are eager to jump on the Google bandwagon, however. As The Zebra (now a rival comparison site of Google’s) CEO Adam Lyons tells USA Today, Google Compare is only interested in focusing on price instead of educating the consumer about things like policy features and claims ratings.