Really interesting article in Tech Crunch and subsequent comments about the expansionist plans (or not) of Google Inc. into the insurance domain.
Would Google ever likely enter into the New Zealand insurance marketplace? Probably not the sort of financial risk profile Google Inc is ever going to consider. However, owning insurance distribution channels, and hence having access to data generated by an application for insurance is another matter. The application for all insurance products by its very nature of risk profiling provides Google with a great opportunity for value add services. Imagine, if Google knew what vehicle you're looking to insurance, think of the range of products and advertising material that can be served to you, all neatly targeted working on the profile of your selected automobile and other related search behavioural factors. Better still, if Google have access to your sloppy driving record, think of all the moral adverts popping up on your screen. Extend this to life, next thing Google's into purchasing pharmaceutical companies. The mind boggles, but the old adage data is king seems to be very much back in vogue. Search will remain a free service thanks to Google Inc. Dishing up targeted Google display ads the commercial world will pay for.