The insurance industry takes it for granted that Google will soon introduce its Google Compare auto insurance shopping site, which has been in Britain for two years, in the United States. Yet, despite a whole lot of spadework, the effort has continuously been delayed.
But in a note on Thursday, Ellen Carney, an analyst with Forrester Research, produced a summary of where the operation stands. Ms. Carney used the fact that a Google employee recently became a licensed insurance agent on behalf of a presumed Google competitor to speculate that the effort might be delayed because Google was about to buy (or has already bought) a San Francisco insurance agency as a means of entering the California market.
“As late as last month the site was expected to launch in California, to be followed in Q1 2015 with likely launches in Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Texas. Last I heard was that California pilot wouldn’t begin until sometime in Q1,” Ms. Carney wrote, speaking about Google Compare’s presumed introduction in the United States.
According to Ms. Carney, Google has spent more than two years pitching insurance companies on Google Compare, a site that aims to let people do an easy comparison of auto insurance rates. In Britain, the site has shoppers enter their license and registration number, after which Google presents a list of insurance...