by Ken May
Tech giant Google has announced that on March 23rd, they will be shutting down Google Compare, their U.S. auto insurance comparison shopping site after only one year of being in business. Google stated that their auto insurance service site didn’t meet the expectations of the company.
Industry experts suggest that Google Compare wasn’t prepared to respond to the value that independent agents provide to policyholders. Mike Becker, the executive vice president and CEO of the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) stated “Google has apparently discovered what independent agents have always known: When it comes to insurance, customers appreciate that it is a complex transaction that requires professional advice. PIA’s research has consistently shown a strong preference among both personal lines and commercial lines customers for doing business with a local agent”.
Ken May – As an independent agent approaching my 34th year in the business, I often marvel at the lack of appreciation that independent agents receive for the hard work, professionalism, and insight that we provide to our clients. Even a simple auto insurance policy is not a commodity that should be churned out without the advice of a professional insurance agent. Proper coverage is vital to each client’s financial welfare. We try to balance price with coverage to provide real value to our clients.
I hope that the shutting down of Google Compare drives home the value that independent agents provide to their clients. I will never be able to out-Google Google but I can hope to out-local Google by having a strong local presence in my community.