Walmart Eases Into The Auto Insurance Business

May 2, 2014

Walmart sells everything -- everything but insurance. Now, the big-box retailer is hoping that a new foray on that front will boost revenue at a time when many of its shoppers are struggling.

ALSO SEE: Could Interstate Tolls Finally Bring Americas Roads & Bridges Up To Speed?

The New York Times reports that Walmart is partnering with to promote sales of car insurance. The website won't have a storefront under Walmart's roof like opticians and fast-food restaurants do, but it will be promoted in stores, and it will be linked throughout is a comparison-shopping site. Customers submit one application, then receive quotes from numerous insurers, including big-name carriers like Progressive and Esurance. For now, the site serves customers in eight states -- Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas -- though it hopes to reach the rest of the country within a few months.

That's good news for Walmart, because the broader's reach, the higher the fee Walmart can command for its promotional services. And at the moment, Walmart really needs those fees: the company has struggled for years with image problems (unfair wages, shoddy products, undercutting mom-and-pop stores), and that's taken a huge bite out of its sales. 

DON'T MISS: 2014 Kia Soul Video Road Test

Making things worse: much of Walmart's customer base consists of low-income shoppers who've had a much harder time recovering from the Great Recession than their middle-class, Target-shopping peers. This partnership could be a great fit for them, as they struggle to regain their economic footing. What effect it'll have on Walmart's public image, however, remains to be seen.


Follow The Car Connection on FacebookTwitter and Google+.

The Car Connection
See the winners »
The Car Connection
Ratings and Reviews
Rate and review your car for The Car Connection
Review your car
The Car Connection Daily Headlines
I agree to receive emails from The Car Connection. I understand that I can unsubscribe at any time. Privacy Policy.
Thank you! Please check your email for confirmation.