Is the European Model of Online Auto Insurance Expired?


 The following excerpt was recently seen in an auto trader published in Quebec/New York border towns:

“ est une version française des sites d’assurance auto américains. Assurance Auto, ainsi que sa jumelle , possède un style discret, européen, avec de multiples jeux, vidéos, infographies et autres éléments multimédia. Assurance Auto n’est pas encore un site de devis, ou de publicité, il sera donc intéressant de voir comment ils pensent gagner de l’argent! Le marché français de l’assurance en ligne a du retard sur les marchés anglais et américain car seulement 5% des polices sont achetées via Internet.”

It’s a brief article on a French auto and home insurance company that’s setting up shop in the United States online insurance market. The article remarks upon the limited number of online French car insurance sales compared to the American and British online insurance market, which reflects on the struggling state of the current European automobile insurance company as a whole.

Driving an automobile is much more of an expectation in the United States than it is in Europe, where a driver’s license and ownership of a vehicle are more of a luxury. That’s on account of many reasons, primarily the the disparity between lawful eligibilities between American and European drivers. American drivers are on the road legally by age 16, where most Europeans have to wait till they’re 18 to be able to drive on their own. There’s also the paperwork and cost involved. In Germany for example it can cost several thousand dollars for the training necessary just to be qualified to drive on the autobahn.

What does this mean for automobile insurance? It means while many European countries still of car ownership-per-capita, business just isn’t nearly as booming as it is for companies in the U.S. and to an extent the U.K. So what’s the solution? As Assurance Auto sees it, entering the U.S. market with a European pitch in the branding.

That means, as the aforementioned excerpt mentions, that companies like Assurance Auto are trying to do what American online auto insurance providers don’t. You’ll see interactive games on European insurance websites, as well as videos that inform visitors of the honesties of the risks of traveling by automobile while providing information on how to be a safer driver. It’s less business and more service, in theory.

Starting rates with these companies might be so low that insurance shoppers won’t be able to help signing up. The lasting nature of these cheap policies should be considered since these companies obviously plan to make money in the long run by settling stateside. In the meantime, we might see a new wave of auto insurance competitors on the American market, where there’s no shortage of customers.

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