About The Zebra
Founded by Joshua Dziabiak and Adam Lyons, The Zebra is an auto insurance comparison website that provides instant, real-time quotes from hundreds of car insurance companies in seconds, including USAA, GEICO, State Farm, AAA, Allstate, and many more.
And because the process can be completed anonymously, The Zebra claims to help you find the best deals without the spam. As such, the company dubs itself “the Kayak for auto insurance.”
Let’s be honest; if you’ve spent any time searching online for auto insurance comparison websites, you’re probably a bit jaded. After all, many of these types of companies simply capture your information and then sell it to independent agents, who will continuously contact you. But is TheZebra.com any different, and is it worth your time?
We’ll answer these important questions in a moment, but let’s first take a look at how The Zebra works.
How Does TheZebra.com Work?
After landing on The Zebra website, you can begin obtaining personalized auto insurance quotes by choosing the year, make, model, and trim (if known) of your vehicle.
Then, after calculating your results, the website will display all your insurance carrier options on the right-hand portion of the screen, as well as pricing information. On the left-hand side of the screen, you’ll be able to enter additional relevant information such as your birthdate, marital status, gender, age first licensed, whether or not you’re currently licensed and insured, citations/accidents, vehicles, other drivers in the household, and more. After you’ve entered this information, you can press the “Update” button to refresh your list of available insurance companies and the associated premiums.
An example of some of the many questions The Zebra will ask in order to provide you with a list of carriers and premiums. Once you’ve entered all your information, you’ll receive a list of available insurance companies and their policy premiums.
Based on the amount of information you’ve entered, The Zebra will display an “estimate accuracy” ranging between low and high that’s continuously updated throughout the process. Once you get about halfway through, TheZebra.com will ask if you want to save your progress by entering your email address.
Finally, once you’re finished entering all your information, you can click on the Confirm Now button next to the company you’re interested in applying with. Once you do this, a popup will appear that asks for your contact information in case your chosen option isn’t available for one reason or another.
You’ll also be prompted to contact a TheZebra.com licensed agent in order to confirm your quote, help uncover any additional savings, and—presumably—help you purchase a policy (we’ll talk more about this in a moment).
The Zebra is Not an Insurance Company
First and foremost, similar to other insurance comparison websites such as Comparenow, Get My Insurance, and Best Quotes, The Zebra is not an insurance company. Instead, they help match you with insurance carriers who can provide you with the best coverage and rates based on your specific needs.
The Zebra’s Estimates Are Not Guaranteed
Also, as we’ve mentioned in many of our other insurance comparison website reviews, the rates displayed on The Zebra’s website are wholly dependent on the information you provide. In other words, if you neglected to list an accident or citation, a young driver in the household, or any other “big ticket” items, it can drastically alter your premium.
On top of this, many auto insurance carriers have moved to multi-variant rating (also known as predictive modeling) systems over the past few years, which means that seemingly inconsequential factors, such as quote vs. effective dates, can impact your premium. This also goes for credit rating (also known as insurance score), which is something that The Zebra doesn’t factor into their automated quoting system.
When it Comes to Insurance, Price Isn’t King
Keep in mind that although it’s tempting to always pick the lowest-priced auto insurance option, the few dollars you save each month might come back to bite you in the event of a claim. This is because some carriers will provide added policy benefits (such as replacement cost coverage, uninsured/underinsured motorist, and much more) that could translate into thousands of dollars once a claim occurs.
For more details, we might recommend reading through Consumer Affairs’ Auto Insurance Buyer’s Guide.
Unlike the other sites mentioned above though, The Zebra doesn’t appear to be a lead generation company that sells your information to independent agents. Instead, it appears that once you’ve chosen a specific company, you’ll have to contact The Zebra directly and speak with a licensed insurance agent, who will then presumably sell you the chosen policy.
In other words, it appears that The Zebra essentially acts as its own lead generation website, after which, one of their agents will help you find an auto policy that meets your needs. However, once you’ve purchased a policy, it’s unclear whether The Zebra will continue to act as your agent (e.g. for billing questions, policy changes, etc.), or if this will be handled by the insurance company directly.
Are The Zebra Customers Pleased with the Service?
Although The Zebra has been in business since 2013, there weren’t any online customer reviews available at the time of our research. The company has been featured in a variety of popular publications, including Inc., Forbes, Wall Street Journal, TIME, and more, where their ease of use and the ability to compare most of the top carriers were the top-cited compliments.
From a company perspective, The Zebra based out of Austin, TX and holds an A+ Better Business Bureau rating, with no closed complaints (as of 3/26/15).
The Zebra Pricing
The Zebra is completely free to use.
Once you’ve completed your quote, you can contact a licensed agent by calling 855-255-4364.
Should You Use The Zebra to Purchase Auto Insurance?
Chopping to the Point: When it comes down to it, The Zebra appears to outshine other auto insurance comparison websites by providing you with real-time estimates, as well as the ability to purchase a policy directly through them once complete. On top of this, since The Zebra provides a completely in-house experience, you won’t have to worry about having your information sold to third-parties, and the resulting spam and unwanted sales calls.
However, keep in mind that your quote is only as accurate as the information you input, so before putting too much stock in your online quote, make sure you contact The Zebra to verify that your rates are accurate.
1 out 1 people found this review helpful
What's with the bad reviews? This site does what it's supposed to.
I've used The Zebra twice now to compare and switch car insurance companies and have had great experiences both times. I was a long-time customer with Geico, and then I found out they will hike up your rates after you've been with them for so many years.
A friend of mine recommended using the zebra to compare insurance companies' prices and features. After putting in some info on the site, I saw several companies had way cheaper rates. I called and spoke to one of their insurance agents, and sure enough, I got insurance at a more affordable price.
Recently, I decided to use The Zebra again after I was involved in a car accident and my rates went up. Once again, The Zebra delivered on its promise. I found a cheaper rate with the same type of coverage.
Again, I don't understand the bad reviews on here. The Zebra has helped me saved lots of money on my insurance, and I would highly recommend to anyone looking to shop for insurance.
Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
0 out 1 people found this review helpful
I want my money back
I spoke with Robert, and he gave me a good price within my budget, so I decided to sign up. After Robert rushed me off the phone, I realized the price he guaranteed me isn't on the paperwork he emailed me. Now all of a sudden I can't get in contact with anyone at Zebra when my initial call was answered in under a minute. I want my money back, and I will be reporting them.
Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friendView all 1 commentsHide comments
Mar 2, 2017
Hi Thomesha. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We apologize for any confusion regarding premium and are currently researching the issue. Our team may be reaching out to you shortly. You may also reach out to us directly at email@example.com or 888-255-4364.
8 out 9 people found this review helpful
Fake Insurance Rates
This site looked legit enough but when I completed the process and was shown a bunch of rates they turned out not to be actual rates. Instead, I was bombarded with phone calls from agents offering much different rates than The Zebra showed me. Disappointment turned into annoyance when the agents kept calling me even days later.
Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friendView all 3 commentsHide comments
Sep 27, 2016
Hi Robert. Thank you for your feedback. The Zebra sources quotes from insurance companies based on the information our customers enter on our site. If the information entered is not accurate or up-to-date, the quote may change at the time of purchase. We are happy to help you get a more accurate quote. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call us directly at 888-255-4364.
Feb 11, 2017
Zebra agents will call you within a few minutes of signing up. They want to connect you with a company that didn't even offer the best quote. They also sell your information and email address. I know this because I created an email account specifically for this website, which is why I am now getting spam email from pornographers, using localized information submitted to them.
Mar 10, 2017
Hi Ron T. Would you please contact us at email@example.com and provide the email address that you used to fill out form so we can further investigate?
21 out 22 people found this review helpful
They WILL Spam You
I was excited to try out The Zebra. I put in all my information hoping to get as accurate a quote as possible. The quotes weren't impressive, and a local agent was able to secure me a better rate with better coverage. Shortly after I put in my information, I started getting phone calls and emails for insurance related deals. It was absolutely ridiculous. They sell your information, that's how they make money. Do not use this service.
Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friendView all 1 commentsHide comments
Sep 27, 2016
Hi Thomas. Thank you for your feedback. We've made improvements to our website in the past year and encourage you to try us again next time you're shopping for auto insurance. If you need help getting an accurate quote, our licensed agents are available. You may call us directly at 888-255-4364. Thanks again.