With the tool, Google delivers up to 14 sponsored listings from insurers with rate quote information (it’s likely that number will increase as the program expands).
You can highlight what makes your business unique, whether that’s an “A” rating in customer service or better discounts for safe drivers. And when users adjust their deductible or add additional cars to their quote, you can show updated pricing that matches their needs.
Users can buy policies online or by calling an agent from their phones. MetLife and Mercury Insurance are among the initial advertisers.
Launching in California to start, the program will roll out to more states with additional features such as ratings and reviews and local agent support for insurance companies with agent networks.
Google will act as the lead generator rather than mere ad facilitator with pricing based on “a flexible cost-per-acquisition (CPA) model”.
The company adds, however, that payment isn’t a factor in whether an advertiser is eligible for inclusion in a result or where it ranks.
Google has run a similar program for car insurance quote acquisition in the UK since 2012. It’s been long anticipated in the U.S.; in January a Forrester analyst correctly predicted this California launch would come this quarter (and speculated the company aims to sell insurance itself).
Auto insurance becomes one of the several verticals in which Google has entered — rankling aggregators and comparison sites among other along the way — including flight, hotels and shopping. In 2011, the company tested the rate quote waters with a short-lived program called Google Advisors that featured comparison shopping for mortgage lenders, credit card providers and banks. Google Compare for Credit Cards (operated by Google Compare Credit Cards Inc. in Mountainview, CA) is the only piece is all that remains of that original program.
As with the credit card comparison listings, Google Compare for Auto Insurance won’t compete among advertisers in the AdWords auction.
The entity Google Compare Auto Insurance Services Inc. is already approved to do business in more than 25 states.
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