The Zebra is an enormous insurance marketplace that claims to help you compare quotes from 100+ car insurance providers. However it isn’t as simple nor useful as it claims. In order for you to compare quotes of your own, you have to take a few extra steps to make sure you have the right quotes with the right coverage from the right companies. Spoiler alerts: quotes or rates you see on thezebra.com are not your own quotes. You have to do extra work to get your own quotes with the insurance companies, which makes me wonder what the real benefits of using The Zebra are.
- About The Zebra (thezebra.com)
- The Zebra Ratings & Consumer Complaints
- How to Get Car Insurance Quotes With The Zebra?
- The Pros & Cons of Getting Quotes from The Zebra
- Types of Auto Insurance Through The Zebra
About The Zebra (thezebra.com)
The Zebra is a well-known insurance marketplace and informational website. Established in 2012 and originally based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the Austin, Texas-based company claims to help consumers compare car insurance quotes from 100+ insurance providers. Esurance, Nationwide, Liberty Mutual, The General, 21st Century, Allied, Travelers, and MetLife make up just a handful of some of coverage providers with which The Zebra partners. The company makes money on the insurance referrals, and therefore doesn’t feature insurance advertisements on the website.
Also, The Zebra isn’t backed by any insurance companies. Instead, investors include Floodgate, Silverton Partners, Mark Cuban Companies, MoneySuperMarket, Ballast Point Ventures, and more.
The Zebra Ratings & Consumer Complaints
The Zebra is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau but does have an A rating with the BBB. Reviews are sketchy, though. For example, customer complaints (fewer than five at the time of this review) focus on:
- Spam emails and phone calls.
- Being overcharged or charged for the wrong services.
- Receiving policies for vehicles they don’t own.
According to The Zebra’s customer review section, 95% of customers give the company either a 4- or 5-star review, with review emphasis being on the process being quick, easy, and convenient and customers saving money. Most reviews on independent review websites are mostly positive, too. For example, Clearsurance, an insurance ratings and reviews company, reports that:
- More than 70% of customers reported a positive user experience.
- More than 60% of customers gave a positive rating for how The Zebra used their information.
- More than 60% of customers would recommend The Zebra to a friend.
Likewise, Sitejabber shows more 5-star reviews than any other number and reviewers focus heavily on The Zebra’s customer service and insurance agents.
How to Get Car Insurance Quotes With The Zebra?
You can get a quote through The Zebra using the online quote system or by calling one of the company’s insurance agents.
Let’s say you want to use the website. Be ready to provide the following details about yourself and any other driver, your vehicle, and your auto insurance:
|Yourself & Other Drivers||Vehicle(s)||Current Auto Insurance|
full name, address, zip code, date of birth, gender, marital status; whether you rent or own your home; you credit score; your highest level of education; whether you qualify for certain discounts (employed full time, active military or veteran, pay in full at policy start, set up autopay, go paperless, etc.); your email address and phone number.
vehicle make, model, year, trim; whether you own, make payments, or lease; what you mostly use the car for; estimated mileage.
whether you currently have coverage; how long you’ve been insured; your carrier; accidents/tickets in last three years.
Once you provide the required information, you’ll receive approximately five quotes from companies that, according to The Zebra, respond well to the information you provided.
When you choose the level of coverage you want (state minimum, basic, better, or best), you can then choose which company whose quotes you’d like to see. To our knowledge, the rates that The Zebra displays below are just the estimated rates based on state filing data of all car insurance companies. They are not necessarily your own quotes.
Note that there isn’t a quote for each company. The numbers above are just some estimated rates. Once you choose the coverage type and company, The Zebra will direct you to the company’s website. Depending on the company, you might have to enter some additional details (similar to what you’ve already entered), and then that company will show you your quote with them. The quotes you will see on the insurance companies’ websites are your own quotes, which means that in order for you to compare quotes from several companies, you have to go to several companies’ websites to collect quotes of your owns and compare them.
You will notice that the quotes on the companies’ websites are different from the ones you saw on The Zebra website. In addition, even The Zebra claims that they will help you compare quotes of 100+ providers, it is very unlikely that you will see quotes from the big four companies: Geico, Progressive, State Farm, and AllState. These should make you wonder what the real benefits of going through The Zebra are. Shouldn’t you just go directly to the insurers’ websites of your choice since you have to do so eventually anyway? That is not to mention The Zebra will get referral fee from the insurance companies, which might make your quotes more expensive if you go through thezebra.com
This approach is similar to compare.com and Insurify, which are the other two insurance marketplaces, despite a bit less consumers friendly. Consumers can actually see the estimated quotes of different insurance companies on Insurify.
On the other hand, other insurance marketplaces such as netQuote, everQuote, and QuoteWizard have an entirely different approach. These three insurance marketplaces choose not to display estimated quotes of any company, instead they direct consumers to carriers’ websites to get quotes. The benefit of that approach is that they can work with the biggest insurance companies such as State Farm, Geico, Progressive, and AllState. Secondly, quotes from carriers’ website is always more accurate.
You will also receive a summary email from The Zebra and possibly emails with quotes from insurance providers directly.
The Pros & Cons of Getting Quotes from The Zebra
- Quick quotes process; entering information takes approximately 10 minutes or less.
- Website overflows with informational articles, including state-specific information.
- Customer service responds quickly.
- If you want to compare your own quotes from several insurance companies of your choice, there is little value in using the service of The Zebra since you have to go to these companies’ websites to complete the quote process anyway.
- You might have to enter information on the provider’s direct website, too.*
- Some reviews complain of spam emails and phone calls.
- The Zebra might not do business in your state.**
- You might be quoted a higher premium than you currently pay.***
* Once I chose a policy, I was sent to the provider’s website where I had to enter more of the same details; this added to the time it took to get a quote.
** Even after entering my zip code at the beginning of the quotes process, I wasn’t told The Zebra doesn’t do business in my state until the second day of emailing and calling service reps and agents. This appears a bit shady to me since if the Zebra really works with 100+ car insurance companies as it claims, it is hard to believe that none of these 100+ companies does business in my state, which is West Virginia.
*** This isn’t uncommon, as there might be discounts you’re eligible for that marketplaces aren’t aware of. Be sure to check your current premium against your quote, and speak with an agent with The Zebra or the specific insurance company about all possible discounts before you purchase a policy.
Types of Auto Insurance Through The Zebra
The Zebra provides quotes for everything from state minimum liability coverage to full coverage packages:
- Liability Coverage.
- Collision/Comprehensive Coverage.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Protection.
- Personal Injury Protection (PIP).
- Towing & Roadside Assistance.
- Rental Reimbursement.
Additionally, The Zebra offers quotes for:
- Motorcycle Insurance.
- Homeowner Insurance.
- Mobile Home Insurance.
- Condo Insurance.
- Renters Insurance.
- RV Insurance.
- Boat Insurance.
The Zebra customers tends to leave more positive than negative reviews; however, that doesn’t mean you can blindly trust them or any other insurance marketplace.
Overall, I find little value in using The Zebra to compare car insurance quotes from different companies. One might find it useful to complete a simple and well-designed quote flow to receive the estimated rates (not quotes!) from 5-6 different companies. I personally find it confusing when realizing that the final quotes on these companies’ websites are very different from the rates I saw on The Zebra. And I wonder why The Zebra doesn’t recommend the names that I am more familiar with such as Geico, Progressive, and State Farm.