How Could Google Impact the Auto Insurance Market

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  • In the past several months, the rumblings that Google might start getting into providing auto insurance to people across the country seem to have come true, even if nothing official has been announced. However, many experts are already worried about the impact this sort of offering might have on the industry as a whole going forward. For this reason, insurance agents might want to start doing a little more homework to make sure they’re fully prepared for whatever changes might come.

    The fact of the matter is that given the amount of information Google now controls for just about every street in America, it’s not a considerable leap to say that it could be hyper-aggressive in taking driver tracking to the next level in terms of setting rates, according to a report from the Insurance Journal. This may serve to drive rates down as it encourages more people to drive a little more safely, but it could also fundamentally change the entire way the insurance industry currently works.

    “It means Google knows the rules for driving on every road in the United States and they’re working on Europe,” William R. Berkley, CEO of W.R. Berkley Corp., told a recent conference of insurance agents in Texas. “So they know that on this block you can go 25 and on the next block you can go 35. They know where you can take a right turn, a left turn or whatever. They can give you a plug in device, not unlike Progressive’s, and they know exactly when you’re breaking the law and when you’re not. They can rate you exactly on how good a driver you are. Every day.”

    What does this mean?
    That sort of effort could also be good news for regulators, because it leads to lower costs and safer driving simultaneously (at least in theory), the report said. That may put additional pressure on traditional insurers to alter their approaches when it comes to how they set premiums down the road.

    The more insurance agents can do to educate themselves about what might happen as Google steps up its bid to enter the auto insurance industry, the better off they’re likely to be going forward. That’s because they can then pass on necessary information to their clients, and also inform them of ways standard insurance policies might give them certain advantages.

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