Google is one of the most industrious and successful businesses in the world, and depending on how you measure development, one of the fastest-growing still. The search engine giant is capable of making or breaking industries with its almost universally-used search engine, and in the near future, Google may not only be able to help you find the best car insurance quotes, but buy it directly from the search results page. It looks like a win-win for insurance companies and Google, but eliminating the middle man has its own downsides, particularly for car insurance brokers that serve as the middle man between companies and customers.
This isn’t a move Google is planning to make in the future, however – it’s a move that Google has already begun to make. Google Compare Auto Insurance Services is now officially and legally licensed to sell insurance in 26 states in the US and can now sell California car insurance on behalf of six different insurance companies. While these company-specific sales are seemingly limited to California, the permission to sell in other states means that all Google needs to do is find willing parties.
(The 26 states in which Google is licensed to sell insurance are, in alphabetical order, 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.)
While all of this news is terrible for middlemen, this certainly isn’t the first time Google has tried to eliminate said middleman. A service called Google Shopping has been tested, allowing customers to make purchases directly from search engines and depriving retail websites of the traffic they normally would receive from customers.
With Google Compare Auto Insurance Services, customers would be able to more easily compare and purchase car insurance, and since the insurance companies are still making their money off of this new distribution system, the only ones to suffer are the middlemen, and now it only seems like a matter of time until the service begins to take over.
When I said Google was one of the most successful corporate entities in the world, I wasn’t sugar-coating it in the least – Google makes tens of billions of dollars every year from ad revenue alone, more specifically from pay-per-click advertising. Insurance keywords and advertisements are uniquely lucrative as well, often bringing in well over $50 per click with rates rising all the time. Google wants a greater role in what is already a profitable area for them, and it’s looking likely that they’ll succeed.
Due to the highly-regulated nature of the US insurance industry, Google’s having a harder time than usual edging its way in despite experience with similar projects, but it looks like Google has made considerable progress and paved a clear path to success. The middlemen and brokers may suffer as Google moves forward with their plans, but as with every decision Google has made in recent years, their plans moving forward are extremely well thought out.
Have you used Google Compare Auto Insurance Services to help you compare insurance policies? How do you think this change will impact consumers and insurance companies? Share your experiences and opinions with us in the comments section below!