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Google is getting ready to sell insurance in the US

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Google has been helping users buy insurance in Europe since 2012, but a series of clues suggest they may be about to take that business to the US. A new report from an analyst named Ellen Carney at Forrester takes a look at Google Compare, the company's auto insurance hub, and finds some convincing evidence that the program may be coming to America in 2015. A company called Google Compare Auto Insurance Services Inc. is already licensed to do business in more than 25 states, and licensed to sell on behalf of a handful of major insurers like Metlife, Dairyland, and Workmen's. Carney also notices that Compare's corporate treasurer is licensed to do business on behalf of a San Francisco-based insurance broker called Cardhound, which could be a sign that Google is getting ready to acquire the company outright. If true, it would give Google a big foothold in a complex and difficult market.

In Europe, Google Compare goes beyond simple auto insurance, using the same technology to help users compare mortgage quotes and credit card offers. That might not seem like an ideal fit for Google, but given the technical challenges of managing and comparing the quotes in real-time, there could be a lot of room for technical improvement over the current competitors. Still, it's unclear how much of Carney's report will come to life. Reached for comment by The Wall Street Journal, a Google spokesperson said, "we don't comment on speculation."