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Is Amazon Trying to Build an Insurance Comparison Website?

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Aug. 20 2018, Published 12:25 p.m. ET

Amazon may create a price comparison site

Amazon (AMZN) is considering building an insurance comparison website in the United Kingdom (EWU). It’s in talks with European insurers to see if they would contribute products to the creation of a UK price comparison site, according to a Reuters report. However, there are no definite plans for the launch of the website.

Amazon already has an extensive price-comparison service for products on its website, but if it launches its insurance price comparison site in the United Kingdom, it will be a separate offering in a new market. Amazon’s site would compete with major UK players such as comparethemarket.com and GoCompare.com Group. Shares in GoCompare.com fell more than 10% at the start of trading on August 16.

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Amazon’s expansion in the financial space

Amazon’s foray into the insurance space is part of the tech giant’s goal to become a leading financial player. Amazon already runs a merchant lending program for small businesses and is reportedly in talks with big banks, including JPMorgan Chase (JPM), about building a current account-like product. The e-commerce giant also offers a service called Amazon Protect, which provides accident insurance on consumer goods. It has also invested in Indian-based digital insurance startup Acko Technologies and has placed job advertisements for insurance product managers. Amazon wants to change the way traditional product insurance services are acquired and delivered to customers.

Lately, US tech giants Alphabet’s (GOOGL) Google, Apple, Facebook (FB), and Amazon are increasingly growing in the insurance sector through partnerships and contracts. In fact, according to an April 2018 report by analytics firm GlobalData, ~30% of UK consumers would prefer to buy insurance from providers such as Google, Facebook, or Amazon. So any plans Amazon has to roll out insurance products in the UK market could benefit the company as well as consumers.

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