Google could be on the verge of killing off the car insurance comparison tool it rolled out last year.
Joshua Dziabiak, COO of a rival car insurance comparison marketplace called The Zebra, says that his company been getting tips from various industry sources today that Google Compare Auto Insurance will be shutting down in the US and the UK (where it’s been available since 2012).
“A lot of people aren’t super surprised,” Dziabiak says. “Some of us kind of saw it coming.”
The goal of the service, according to Google, was to help users compare car insurance offerings as quickly and seamlessly as possible. The company had partnered with a mix of national and local car insurance providers and would take a cut when someone bought insurance online or by phone, based on a “flexible cost-per-acquisition model.”
But Dziabiak says that he doesn’t think Google’s tool did enough to educate consumers about the complexities of the financial service beyond its price quotes.
He says that some car insurance carriers had been very hesitant to participate with Google’s tool for that reason.
The move would represent a setback to Google’s efforts to expand its money-making services beyond its stronghold of online search and display ads.
Alongside the car insurance comparison engine, Google also has a service to compare credit cards, and was reportedly mulling a mortgage calculator tool and a home services comparison tool as well. Dziabiak hadn’t heard anything about the continuation of either of those services.
It’s possible that Google may attempt to refine the tool and to resurrect it at some point down the road.
Google declined to comment on this report.
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