MOUNTAIN VIEW, California — Google has added an auto insurance component to its suite of Google Compare products, allowing consumers to view rates from a number of carriers on one site.
Users can access Google Compare for Auto Insurance with a smartphone or computer, either through a direct link or by searching for "car insurance" on the Google search engine.
After entering their zip code and details about their vehicle and driving history, users are provided with quotes from up to 14 insurance companies. They can then choose a carrier and are linked to that company's Web site where they can get additional information and complete the transaction, either by phone or online.
So far, the service is only available to California residents, but Google plans to roll it out to other states later this year. As the service expands, Google says it will introduce additional features, like provider ratings and reviews, as well as local agent information and support.
Providers currently on the panel include MetLife, Mercury Insurance and Dairyland Auto. Interestingly, a number of popular carriers are thus far noticeably absent from the Google list, including Allstate, Geico, Progressive and State Farm.
But, the site notes: "We always welcome new members. If you're a U.S. insurance provider, please contact us if you would like to join."
The site also makes it clear that Google is not actually selling insurance but is acting as an independent agent of the providers on its panel.
Google Compare for Auto Insurance has already been operating in the U.K. for about two years. Other Google Compare products include Credit Cards, available in both the U.S. and U.K., and Mortgages and Travel Insurance, which are currently only offered in the U.K. However, some sources are reporting that Google may soon bring mortgage comparison to the U.S., perhaps as early as this year.
Consumers shopping for car insurance will also want to check out the Edmunds Auto Insurance Tips page for more information.
Edmunds says: Even with a limited number of carriers, the new Google Compare service should prove useful for consumers in the market for car insurance.