published Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

Walmart jumps into the car insurance business in Tennessee

Tennessee is now one of eight states where Walmart customers will be able to shop for auto insurance.

The company will not sell insurance, but its customers can click through a link on walmart.com, or go to autoinsurance.com directly to get competing quotes from several car insurance providers.

Walmart will also promote the service via displays in its stores.

The service is available in Tennessee and seven other states — Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Texas. Walmart plans a nationwide rollout in the coming months.

Walmart said studies show that Tennessee drivers could benefit from the comparison service.

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, drivers in the state pay an average of $650.13 per vehicle in insurance premiums. The Insurance Research Council said nearly 24 percent of drivers in the state are uninsured, ranking Tennessee the third highest in the nation for uninsured motorists.

Walmart said the service will save customers money. The company cited a pilot program survey it conducted last year in Pennsylvania, where customers who purchased policies from autoinsurance.com on average said they saved $1,168 a year.

“We are always looking for ways to reduce complexity, increase transparency, and give everyday low prices to Walmart shoppers,” said Daniel Eckert, Walmart’s senior vice-president of services, in a statement.

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