Allstate’s Ensurance Plans to Boost Sales Relying on Wal-Mart image

Allstate’s Ensurance, the online auto-insurance seller, plans to boost policy sales turning towards Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer.

Ensurance will begin tomorrow, March 22nd, a pilot program at 150 Wal-Mart Stores located in Illinois, in order to promote the company’s products. Customers will be offered a discount card from in-store kiosks, and will have the possibility to purchase the policies using their phones or over the Internet. This is part of Allstate’s strategy to fin new ways to attract customers, besides the television ads, which McKinsey & Co. has called a “marketing arms race.”

Allstate, which is the largest publicly traded U.S. home and auto insurer, bought Esurance in 2011, part of its strategy to compete with Berkshire Hathaway’s Geico and Progressive Corp.

“We’re bombarded with so many ads inside the home,” said Brad Adgate, head of research at Horizon Media, a New York-based ad firm that works with Geico. “Unique venues outside the home are one way to get your message across.”

Over the past 10 years, auto insurers have risen ad spending by 15% annually to almost $6 billion in 2011. The biggest spending among US property-casualty companies was made by Geico with $1 billion in 2011.