Insurance Innovation Reporter: Google Shakes Up the Insurance Industry: Preparing for the Aftershocks

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Earlier this month, the worst kept secret in insurance was finally confirmed when Google officially launched its auto insurance comparison shopping site, Google Compare. The long-anticipated announcement validated a viewpoint that many in the industry have long tried to avoid: If the insurance industry doesn’t evolve and utilize data-driven approaches to protect their business, new entrants will swoop in and disrupt how the industry interacts with its customers.

(Related: CoverHound’s New Funding Round Clarifies Google’s U.S. Insurance Ambitions)

Companies like Esurance and Progressive have long found success by building their brands by consistently evolving and changing with growing consumer demands. But now that Google has arrived, what does the tech giant’s comparison site mean for the rest of the insurance companies that have not been able to meet growing consumer demand? How will Google’s decision affect an entire industry–from the way they interact with customers, to how they attract Millennial talent and price risk more accurately?

Ownership of the Customer is Up for Grabs

It’s highly unlikely that Google will become an insurance company and actually write their own business. But given how Google has disrupted other industries in the past, it’s not a stretch to assume how they could irrevocably change the industry landscape. Of primary concern is the disintermediation of the distribution ecosystem, making it more critical than ever for insurance companies and independent agents to remain relevant with customers.

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