Wal-Mart announced Tuesday that the world's largest retailer is adding a new service to its expanding empire - auto insurance. Wal-Mart is teaming up with AutoInsurance.com as their exclusive retail partner in selling online auto insurance. Users simply login to Wal-Mart's online site and fill in their name, location, age, and contact info, and are immediately able to compare quotes for top-leading auto insurance companies such as Esurance and Progressive. Customers can also put in their current coverage policy for side-by-side comparison plans. From there, users can purchase their policy directly online, or choose to speak with an agent, or simply save the info for later.
Wal Mart's AutoInsurance.com partnership is currently available now in eight states including Arkansas, Mississippi and Oklahoma, and will be available nationwide in a month or so. The new service will be promoted with in-store displays.
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The partnership was created after Wal-Mart realized they had an opportunity to provide a quicker, cheaper auto insurance buying system. Through their site, users see their final price, with no gimmicks or bait-and-switch tactics. Wal-Mart understands that auto insurance can be one of the biggest monthly expenses among their customers and want to provide the best possible deal out there on the market.
And it's not all talk from Wal-Mart, either: a trial run of the site ran last April in Pennsylvania, in which customers that bought insurance through the AutoInsurance.com partnered site reported annual savings of $1,168 on their insurance bill. After the trial run, Wal-Mart knew they had a good program and that offering an online, price-comparision service was the way to go.
"Our customers too often have to settle for auto insurance policies that aren't the best fit and cost more than they want to spend," says Daniel Eckert, Wal-Mart's senior vice-president of services."We are always looking for ways to reduce complexity, increase transparency, and give everyday low prices to Wal-Mart shoppers." Eckert also assured the site is not a lead-generated website and won't bother customers with unwanted calls or emails; in return, AutoInsurance.com simply gets paid a commission for every policy sold on Wal-Mart's site. “This is the first of its kind auto-insurance comparison service,” says Eckert.
This move for Wal-Mart is also an attempt to counter a recent slump in sales. In February, Wal-Mart reported a drop in profit and lowered its 2014 outlook plan. They're hoping the success of the trial run and the user-friendly, low-price website will attract users and, ultimately, money.
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