The Zebra: Compare Car Insurance Rates Side-by-Side

You’ve seen the commercials, but what exactly is The Zebra and how does it work? Is it the best place to compare car insurance?

Originally founded in 2012 by Adam Lyons and Joshua Dziabiak, The Zebra is one of several car insurance comparison sites on the internet. If you choose to use The Zebra, they claim you can “compare insurance quotes instantly” on both car and home insurance.

According to The Zebra, they have helped customers compare more than 6 million quotes since then, but are their services actually worth it?

How does The Zebra work?

So, you want to start researching your next car insurance policy and head over to The Zebra to get a quote. What can you expect? How does it work? Where do you begin?

The Zebra's home page  

The Zebra, like most online car insurance comparison tools, first asks users to enter their ZIP code to start the quote process. From there, you’re asked a series of questions about both you and your vehicle. You can expect to answer questions about important factors such as:

Vehicle

  • The year, make and model of your car
  • If you own or lease it
  • Your vehicle’s primary use (personal, commuting, pleasure, farm, business/rideshare) and estimated yearly miles
Drivers

*For our sample quote, we used the profile of a 30-year-old female with average credit and a 2017 Honda Accord LX sedan with a CVT transmission. This hypothetical customer has one accident on their record, a high school diploma and is employed full-time.

All in all, it took about 10 minutes from the time we entered our ZIP code to when we were sent to The Zebra’s quote results page.

I’ve entered my information. Now can I compare quotes?

After about 15 seconds of waiting for our car insurance quotes to populate (your experience may vary), we were asked to “build our policy.”  Here, were able to choose from four types of coverage – minimum, basic, better, best.

For the sake of our test, we chose the suggested “Basic” protection, which includes $30k/$60k bodily injury coverage, $1,000 deductibles for both collision and comprehensive coverage, as well as $25k of property damage protection.

After another brief wait on a loading screen, we reached our results page, where we were finally able to compare our car insurance quotes.

The results page showing the top four quotes.  

Upon receiving our results, we were a bit disappointed to initially only see one actual “quote” – four of our top five results all had buttons that simply said “Get quote” with no dollar figures attached.

After scrolling down a ways, we were met with about a half dozen other results (that had actual quotes), but all but one had figures that were more than double the offer shown by Clearcover for $112/mo. (one was nearly 4X as much).

Clearcover was the cheapest result  

From here, we were able to make the decision to purchase our car insurance policy through The Zebra, but only if we selected one of the actual quotes. After selecting Clearcover, which was the cheapest quote in our sample results, we were shown a brief outline of the plan and given the choice to “Buy Online Now” or call an 800 number to complete the process by phone.

After choosing to complete the process online, we were taken to Clearcover’s own website, where much of our information was prefilled. But we still had to answer a handful of additional questions after clicking “Buy Online Now,” including a couple, such as accident history, that we had already given answers to on The Zebra’s own site.

Once we answered these questions, which took another five minutes or so, we landed on a page that showed our final premium.

Clearcover's final quote was $231.49  

After being quoted at $112 per month on The Zebra’s results page, we were shocked to find our final premium cost to be more than double that amount – a whopping $231.49 per month.

The possibility of such a dramatic shift in premiums is sure to catch many buyers off-guard.

Because of this, we decided to go back to the quotes page on The Zebra and try one of the other choices. This time, we clicked the “Get Quote” button from Allstate, and instead of finding our information prefilled on their site like we did with Clearcover, we had to start the process over from scratch, once again asked to enter our ZIP code to get a quote.

Between the drastic jump in costs from the cheapest quote and the start-from-scratch model from the “Get Quote” results, we were a bit disappointed.

The Zebra claims its process is “fast, secure and free,” and while that may be true, for us, it left a lot to be desired.

The Zebra Reviews: What do customers and employees have to say?

Overall, reviews on The Zebra are mixed, depending on where you look. Sites such as Clearsurance and the Better Business Bureau both have The Zebra hovering around the 4 out of 5-star mark, while others, such as Site Jabber and Shopper Approved, paint very different pictures.

The Zebra has several one-star reviews on Site Jabber  

On Site Jabber, many of the recent reviews are flooded with single star ratings. The common trend between these seems to be the lack of actual quotes (which goes along with our own experience) and the selling or distribution of customers’ personal information.

There are a few similar complaints on BBB.  

Similar issues could be found on the BBB’s customer complaint section. It seems as though, as of late 2019, The Zebra has stopped asking customers for their phone numbers, but reviews as recent as May 2020 still complain about users being bombarded by spam, no matter what the company’s “Privacy Pledge” might say.

(In our sample quote, we received around 10 emails from both The Zebra and its partners over the course of the month immediately following our initial quote. Again, your results may vary.)

Shopper Approved shows mainly positive reviews  

On sites like Shopper Approved, the feedback for The Zebra was overwhelmingly positive, with the Texas-based firm boasting an impressive 4.7/5 rating. It seems as though this is the platform The Zebra promotes to its customers who have purchased a policy through its site, as the review total approaches nearly 2,000.

Reviews on Clearsurance are a mixed bag  

Clearsurance – a website dedicated specifically to reviewing insurance providers and similar companies – painted perhaps the most realistic picture. Here, ratings ranged from several one-star reviews to a number of perfect 5s.

Some common complaints on the negative reviews echo what we found above, while many of the positive reviews, much like Shopper Approved, raved of a great customer service experience.

But what do employees think?

Reviews by The Zebra employees are mixed  

Employees seemed to be equally split. While some happy employees on Glassdoor encouraged would-be applicants to “Get on this rocketship,” others warned to “stay away.”

Overall, the company scored a mixed review, at 3.6 out of 5 stars on the popular employee review site.

Platform Rating Total Reviews
Google 4.3/5 129
Clearsurance 3.9/5 418
Shopper Approved 4.7/5 1,677
BBB 4/5 50
Site Jabber 1.21/5 24
Indeed 4/5 5
Glassdoor 3.6/5 36
Total 4.48/5 2,160

Is the site mobile friendly? Do they have an app?

Much like you, we use our phones for everything, from sending texts and emails to shopping online or viewing social media. It’s only natural we use them to shop and compare car insurance quotes when we’re looking for our next policy, right?

So, how mobile friendly is The Zebra?

The first place you may look for your shopping needs is probably the Google Play or Apple App Stores. Unfortunately, you won’t find a mobile app for The Zebra there, because they don’t have one.

However, the when visiting The Zebra’s site on your mobile device, what you’ll find is an experience that largely resembles that on your Mac or PC.

The Zebra mobile home page and results page side-by-side  

In fact, in many ways, the mobile site is essentially a scaled-down version of The Zebra’s normal website. On the homepage, you’ll find the prompt to begin the insurance comparison process front-and-center.

After filling in your information and retrieving your quotes, you’ll also notice the experience largely resembles the desktop quote page, with each quote (or, in our experience, several ads mixed with actual quotes) listed from top to bottom in an easy to understand way.

To answer the original question, yes, The Zebra is mobile friendly. They don’t have a mobile app, but their mobile website is easy to use and understand.

Your car insurance journey doesn’t have to end with The Zebra

While The Zebra’s commercials and other marketing materials make it seem like they are the best and only car insurance comparison site around, your journey to find the best rates from multiple insurance companies shouldn’t stop there.

Sites like Compare.com also allow users to compare cheap car insurance, but with much more accurate results. We make sure to ask you the right questions – the ones the insurance companies want to know and the ones that will get you the most accurate quote.

We don’t want to leave you high and dry with your jaw on the floor when you end up looking at a bill that’s more than twice the cost of your original quote. Our goal is to provide the most results with the best accuracy of anyone in the business.

At Compare.com, seeing is saving.

The Zebra vs. Compare.com: How do they stack up?

  Compare.com The Zebra
Google Review Rating 4.8 stars 4.3 stars
BBB Accredited Yes No
Results with Actual Quotes* 10 out of 10 9 out of 13
Average Quote* $181.40 $271.75
Price change from original quote** +1% (+$1.28) +107% (+$119.49)
Cheapest Final Quote $131 $231
 

Get accurate quotes with the industry's top-rated car insurance comparison platform

*Profile used for quotes: 30-year-old female, 2017 Honda Accord LX, 1 accident, proof of insurance, single and renting

**Comparing cheapest quote shown to final policy cost after completing purchase on carrier website

 

The Zebra FAQs

  • What is The Zebra? – The Zebra is a car insurance comparison site where customers can enter information about their vehicles and driving record to compare car insurance quotes side-by-side.
  • How is The Zebra different from Compare.com? – While both sites let you compare rates from many of the nation’s top insurance providers, Compare.com produces the most accurate quotes by asking the right questions. In our study, we ended up with a bill more than twice the original quote when we quoted on The Zebra. On Compare.com, that difference was within just a few dollars. If you want to find the most accurate quotes on your next auto insurance policy, give Compare.com a try.
  • Is The Zebra an insurance company? – No, The Zebra simply allows users to compare car insurance quotes from other insurance companies. The Zebra does not actually offer policies of their own, it simply provides quotes so that car insurance customers do not have to spend as much time shopping around to compare prices.
  • Does The Zebra have physical offices? – The Zebra’s headquarters is in Austin, Texas, but it does not have physical offices like other insurance providers. If you are looking to use sites like The Zebra or Compare.com, you must access them online.
  • How does The Zebra protect your personal information? – The Zebra boasts a “No Spam” policy on its site, but many reviews experienced quite the opposite. However, The Zebra doesn’t ask users for their telephone numbers, reducing the chance of follow up calls immediately after submitting a quote.
  • What are the pros and cons of The Zebra? – The Zebra, much like Compare.com, allows users to shop for the best rates on auto insurance in just one place instead of calling around to every carrier in town. This allows you to save both time and money on your next policy. Additionally, The Zebra offers quotes on home insurance and has dedicated customer service representatives you can talk to on the phone. Those are definitely positives. The downsides include that you may sometimes receive a quote that’s not accurate to your final bill since they don’t ask as many questions in their quote process. Several reviewers also complained of receiving little to no actual quotes, but rather ads, and some even said they received a lot of spam after submitting their information to The Zebra.
  • What platform should I use to compare auto insurance policies? – You can’t go wrong with Compare.com. With the most accurate quotes in the business, you’re sure to leave our page knowing you’re receiving the best possible savings on your next policy. Our business works just like The Zebra’s, only better.

Get the best quotes from the industry's most accurate comparison platform.