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Why Google Couldn’t ‘Compare’ With Local Agents

While it’s tempting to conclude that Google’s decision to pull the plug on Google Compare means that independent agents have “won the battle,” they have actually only won a skirmish...
March 8, 2016

While it’s tempting to conclude that Google’s decision to pull the plug on Google Compare means that independent agents have “won the battle,” they have actually only won a skirmish.

Google is shuttering Google Compare, its comparison-shopping site for auto insurance, one year after launching it in both the U.S and U.K. Google said the service didn’t meet its expectations. The service allowed consumers to compare auto insurance offerings from national and regional carriers. Policies could be purchased online or over the phone through a carrier’s agent force. On February 23, its site said it was working with 28 insurers. That’s less than the number of companies that some other auto insurance comparison companies cite.

“Google discovered what independent insurance agents have always known,” said Mike Becker, executive vice president & CEO of PIA National. “When it comes to insurance, customers appreciate that it is a complex transaction that requires professional advice.”

“Google seemed to think that they need only announce their interest to operate in the business of insurance, and carriers and consumers would come flocking,” wrote PIA National Senior Vice President of Industry Affairs, in an op-ed on PC360. “In announcing the wind-down, their representative acknowledged that the current operations had not met expectations. That’s PR spin for ‘we failed.’”

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