From the CEO of Google Compare... Price Comparison in Auto Insurance: Threat or Opportunity?

December 07, 2015 by Lauren Yildirim

Last week the Captricity team was in New York City attending Ernst and Young’s Annual Insurance Executive Conference. The event brings together senior-level executives from some of the biggest domestic insurance companies (including MetLife, AIG and New York Life) for two days of education, strategy and networking.

Our favorite session of the conference was Nicolas Weng Kan’s (CEO of Google Compare) talk on price comparison in auto insurance.

About the session:

Google’s comparison-shopping site for auto insurance (Google Compare) lets consumers compare insurance rates from different carriers side by side and is now available in select US states, including California. Now, as soon as consumers begin their online search for auto insurance with Google search, Google Compare is the first thing they see.

One thing’s clear: Google Compare is disrupting the auto insurance game, but not in the way you might think. If there was one big takeaway from Kan’s talk, it’s that Google Compare has no interest in becoming the next big auto insurance carrier (as many in the industry have speculated and feared). Instead, their goal is to disrupt the customer experience and make the market more transparent for auto insurance buyers.

It’s well known that the modern consumer wants quick and relevant results based on their online search intent. And of all the people using the internet, we now know that 73 percent use it to gather direct information on their insurance options, and 65 percent of new business in auto insurance is derived from comparison shopping.

While many in the industry fear that the proliferation of online aggregators will hurt existing carriers, Google Compare’s online aggregator is offering a model that’s providing benefits for customers and carriers alike. Here’s how:

  1. An easier and more transparent customer experience. Google Compare has made the experience of comparing and buying auto insurance quick and easy. Customers can access the feature via web or mobile at any time of day and compare carriers in less than ten minutes. The feature also allows the customer to be in charge of communication with a carrier and ensures carriers do not spam customers with any unwanted emails or phone calls.
  2. Leads that are better qualified for carriers. The site has aggregated a variety of pre-qualifying questions from across insurance carriers to ensure that customers are extremely qualified as they move through the buying process. This is a benefit to marketers and underwriters alike as it provides carriers with more robust data on their customers.
  3. Attracting the attention of hard to reach customer demographics. It’s no secret that insurers are desperately vying for the attention of the industry’s hardest to reach demographic: millennials. Google Compare is helping traditional carriers attract the attention of younger, tech-savvy consumers who are used to a simple click-through user experience. In fact, Google Compare notes that 60 to 70 percent of their users are between the ages of 20 and 40.

Our key takeaway from Kan’s talk? Carriers should not fear online aggregators sites like Google Compare as they offer the transparency and next generation customer experience that consumers want.

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