Wal-Mart is branching out into auto insurance.
The nation’s largest retailer has teamed with AutoInsurance.com to offer a free price comparison service that lets its customers quickly find and choose car insurance policies online and in real time in order to lower their costs.
While Wal-Mart is not selling car insurance, shoppers can log on to AutoInsurance.com or access the site through Wal-Mart’s website at http://www.walmart.com/autoinsurance.
According to a story on Claims Journal, the site will retrieve customers’ current auto insurance policy information to those who log on and provide their name, address, date of birth and contact information. AutoInsurance.com can then automatically complete the required coverage information for a side-by-side comparison. Within minutes, the service provides multiple quotes from some leading insurance companies including Esurance, Safeco and Progressive, the article reported.
Customers can then opt to buy the policy online right away, speak with a licensed agent at 800-700-7500, or save their information and purchase a policy later.
The service is currently up and running in eight states: Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas, and will be rolled out nationwide in the next few months. Wal-Mart shoppers will see in-store displays promoting the service.
In a recent media briefing, Daniel Eckert, senior vice president of services for Wal-Mart U.S., said that the company will be AutoInsurance.com’s exclusive retail partner and collect promotion payments in its role as marketer. In turn, AutoInsurance earns a commission every time a policy is sold.
AutoInsurance.com is a division of Fort Lee, N.J.-based Tranzutary Insurance Solutions LLC, a licensed property and casualty insurance agency that was created after Wal-Mart saw an opportunity to improve this market. Wal-Mart noted that car insurance is among the biggest monthly expenses of its customers, sometimes even topping health care costs for some of them.
Joshua Kazam, founder of AutoInsurance.com and the founder and chairman of Tranzutary, surveyed people and found that 90 percent comparison price shop for online for products and services like airline tickets, but only one in five do so for auto insurance because the process is so complicated.
Together, they’ve created a quicker service where shoppers can buy and save on car insurance and where shoppers receive their final price—no bait and switch tactics.
Before deciding on its current program, Wal-Mart tried out several pilot programs with Tranzutary, including one frontrunner where customers in Pennsylvania, who purchased policies from AutoInsurance.com, saw annual savings of $1,168, on average, Claims Journal reported.