Esurance discount cards available at Walmart
Esurance is kicking off a pilot program this month in 150 Illinois Walmart stores that will offer shoppers discount cards to use when they buy policies over the Internet or phone, according to a Bloomberg report.
The cards will be available at in-store kiosks, and for now, parent company Allstate isn't providing more details on the deal.
Esurance isn't the first insurance company to look to the world's largest retailer to help boost sales. MetLife in September began selling prepaid life insurance policies at Walmart stores in South Carolina and Georgia. (See: "Stock up on life insurance at Walmart.")
The MetLife insurance policies vary according to age and how much coverage you want. People aged 60 to 65 pay $429 a year for $25,000 worth of coverage, while those 18 to 44 can get a one-year, $10,000 policy for $69.
So how does the process work? Walmart shoppers buy cards equal to the policy's cost. From there, they call MetLife, which would ask questions about their health and, if approved, activate the policy. Those who don't qualify can get a refund at Walmart.
Nor is Walmart the first big-box retailer to partner up with an insurance company. Costco began offering health insurance last April through a partnership with Aetna.
Discounted individual health plans are sold at its www.costcopersonalhealth.com website to residents of 11 states. The Costco Personal Health Insurance program features five Aetna health plans with major medical benefits and dental coverage. (See: "Ready to put health insurance on your Costco shopping list?")
Would you buy insurance at a big-box store? Why or why not?
Des Toups is a writer, editor and expert on insurance, cars and personal finance. He has written extensively about all three for national publications such as MSN and major newspapers such as the Seattle Times. He has been quoted about insurance issues in The New York Times, USA Today and Kiplinger's. Follow him on Twitter @destoups.