In industry news:

Google officially launched Google Compare for auto insurance in California. Mercury Insurance and MetLife are listed as partners in the launch. The comparison shopping site allows customers to input their zip code and other details and provides them with insurance rates from multiple insurers who are participating in the program, who then pay Google a referral fee. The comparison information is used by the consumer to purchase the policy directly from the selected insurer, not via Google, although Google is currently licensed to conduct insurance business in roughly 26 states and has stated that more states will soon be up and running with Google Compare. Industry reaction has been wary as independent agents weigh the possible effects of such shopping habits on both their commissions and consumer’s quality of service. Check back with Louisiana Comp Blog for local reporting on this issue.

Read initial coverage of the launch from Property Casualty 360 here.

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