As of January 2008 there's an intense advertising war between Progressive.com and AllState insurance. Progressive is promoting its aggregation function, where it acts as a source of all insurance quotes - including ones from competing firms. Geico.com is another direct sales insurer. AllState is promoting the fact that it has real people in real offices who can help you if you have an emergency. How to direct sales firms compete with those that use distributors? What other industries show this kind of competition?
- Merrill Lynch
4/28/09 WSJ article on peer-to-peer lenders