Shuman Roy is an entrepreneur, business owner, and musician. He started RoysNoys, LLC in 2013 as a music production and education service company. He also offers small business consulting and advisory services to help businesses get from start-up mode to turn-key operations. Shuman earned his M.B.A from the Stern School of Business in 2001 and has an undergraduate degree from Manhattan College in ...

Full Bio →

Written by

Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Joel...

Full Bio →

Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Jul 19, 2021

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one insurance provider and cannot guarantee quotes from any single provider. Our insurance industry partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different companies please enter your ZIP code on this page to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about life insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything life insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by life insurance experts.

Update: It’s official, “Google Compare for U.S. car insurance” has been launched in California, with more states expected to follow.

A project that has reportedly been in the works for at least a couple years now might soon see the light of day.

I’m referring to Google Compare Auto Insurance Services Inc., which may launch shortly to offer consumers another avenue to purchase car insurance.

The search engine company already offers a comparison service for credit cards, but insurance is a slightly more difficult nut to crack. And by slightly, we mean a lot more difficult.

The reason it has taken so long is that Google apparently wants to sell auto insurance policies directly, as opposed to simply gathering information and selling that to insurance companies.

In that sense, Google would act as an insurance agent and receive commissions when consumers purchased insurance via the comparison service.

Because insurance regulations vary by state, the process can’t happen overnight, even if you’ve got the clout Google has.

A new report from the Wall Street Journal revealed that Google Compare Auto Insurance Services is already licensed in 26 states to sell auto policies.

And they’re authorized to do business with at least six carriers, including Dairyland, MetLife, Mercury Insurance, Permanent General Assurance, Viking Insurance, and Workman’s Auto Insurance Company.

In Idaho, you can see that they’re licensed to sell insurance on behalf of Dairyland, Metropolitan Group Property and Casualty (part of MetLife), and Viking Insurance.

Perhaps more interesting is the fact that one of Google’s employees, Meredith Stechbart, is licensed to work with CoverHound, which provides “instant, accurate car insurance rates” online.  They’re also based in San Francisco.

[How can I lower my car insurance rate?]

Google Might Be Partnering with CoverHound

That immediately led to speculation that Google was partnering with CoverHound, or potentially acquiring the company.

But CoverHound president Greg Isaacs merely confirmed to the WSJ that Stechbart is endorsed on the company’s insurance license, and emphasized that they hadn’t been acquired.

He also noted that Google wants to offer live insurance quotes, as opposed to leads, which explains all the licensing and the delays in rolling out the widely anticipated service.

It’s also a tricky situation because Google has to navigate between the insurance companies and the advertisers that pay for leads.

If it undercuts either one, it could lose advertising dollars or have difficulty striking partnerships to offer insurance from certain carriers. Maybe that’s where CoverHound comes in…who knows?

However, the WSJ article noted that Google needs to ramp up its vertical search business because smartphone users are beginning to head straight to apps instead of using the old fashioned web when shopping.

It’ll certainly be interesting to see how it all plays out, and if it has a major effect on the way carriers offer car insurance.

The antiquated insurance buying process could certainly do with some updating right about now.

Read more: Progressive Image Capture: Insurance Quoting of the Future?