Walmart Begins to Sell Auto Insurance
Despite laws in nearly every state requiring auto insurance, one in seven drivers in the United States goes uncovered.
That statistic is according to an industry group that estimates 13.8% of motorists are uninsured, a number that has climbed during the economic downturn as many financially-pressed Americans allowed their insurance to lapse.
We hope that this percentage of uninsured US citizens will go down, now that Walmart is offering auto insurance to its customers at “everyday low prices.” Yes, Wal-Mart is bringing one-stop shopping to another area: auto insurance.
The world’s largest retailer has teamed up with AutoInsurance.com to let shoppers quickly find and buy insurance policies online in real time to cut down costs.
Wal-Mart will not sell insurance, but its customers can click through a link on walmart.com, or go to autoinsurance.com directly to get competing quotes from several car insurance providers such as Progressive, Esurance and Safeco to choose the policy and price that best fit their needs. Wal-Mart will also promote the service via displays in its stores.
“Our customers too often have to settle for auto insurance policies that aren’t the best fit and cost more than they want to spend”
The service is already available in eight states — Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas.
Wal-Mart said the service will save customers money. The company cited a pilot program survey it conducted last year in Pennsylvania, where customers who purchased policies from autoinsurance.com on average said they saved $1,168 a year.
“We are always looking for ways to reduce complexity, increase transparency, and give everyday low prices to Wal-Mart shoppers,” said Daniel Eckert, Wal-Mart’s senior vice-president of services.
Joshua Kazam, founder of AutoInsurance.com and the founder and chairman of Tranzutary, noted that 90 percent of people compare prices online for products and services like airline tickets, but its survey shows that only one in five comparison-shop for auto insurance because it’s a complicated process.
According to a statement from the two companies, customers logging on to the website provide their name, address, date of birth and contact information, with an option to have the site retrieve their current auto insurance policy. “This allows AutoInsurance.com to automatically fill in most of the necessary coverage information and provide a direct apples-to-apples comparison.”
Customers will be able to either purchase the policy online immediately, speak with a licensed agent or save their information and make the purchase later.