"It's another service to help our guests save money from a monthly expense that our surveyed shoppers have said they feel they overpay for, more so than other expenses," said Daniel Eckert, senior vice president of services for Wal-Mart U.S.
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According to a survey conducted by the retailer, the average American household spends $1,530 a year on automobile insurance premiums. Wal-Mart said the tie-up with AutoInsurance.com's founder Joshua Kazam was born after its shoppers expressed concerns about the complexities and costs associated with car insurance.
The website uses a model similar to those found on travel sites Expedia, Priceline or Orbitz, which allow consumers to run price comparisons on flights.
"Nearly 90 percent of people comparison shop online for products and services like airline tickets, but our survey data shows that only 1 in 5 comparison shop for auto insurance," Kazam said.
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Last year, Wal-Mart launched two concurrent pilot programs, one in Pennsylvania and one in Illinois, to test different models for the site. The pilot in Illinois tested a single-carrier model, while the pilot in Pennsylvania most closely resembled the selected business model. According to Wal-Mart, Pennsylvania drivers who purchased policies on the site during the pilot saved an average of $1,168 in annual insurance costs.