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Wal-Mart expands into car insurance

– Wal-Mart is bringing one-stop shopping to another area: auto insurance.

The world’s largest retailer has teamed up with AutoInsurance.com to let shoppers quickly find and buy insurance policies online in real time to cut down costs.

The service is available immediately in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas. It will be available nationwide in the next few months.

Shoppers may go to www.autoinsurance.com or reach the site at www.walmart.com/autoinsurance.

AutoInsurance.com – a division of Tranzutary Insurance Solutions LLC, a licensed property and casualty insurance agency in Fort Lee, N.J. – was created after Wal-Mart recognized an opportunity for its shoppers to buy and save on car insurance through a quick service that provides the final price – with no bait-and-switch tactics.

Wal-Mart says car insurance is among the biggest monthly expenses for customers.

Daniel Eckert, senior vice president of services for Wal-Mart U.S., said the Bentonville, Ark., discounter will be AutoInsurance.com’s exclusive retail partner and will receive promotion payments in its role as marketer.

AutoInsurance.com will earn a commission every time a policy is sold.

“Our customers too often have to settle for auto insurance policies that aren’t the best fit and cost more than they want to spend,” Eckert said.

The strategy marks Wal-Mart’s latest flirtation with insurance marketing and also highlights how the retailer is trying to use its size to expand beyond food and general merchandise into a one-stop shopping destination as it seeks to bring in more shoppers to its site and its stores.

Wal-Mart plans to promote the insurance shopping service in its stores.

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