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The Zebra Review

Written by <a href="https://rateretriever.com/about/katie-dee/"><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Katie Dee</span></a>
Written by Katie Dee
Reviewed by <a href="https://rateretriever.com/about/alyssa-dicrasto/"><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Alyssa DiCrasto</span></a>
Reviewed by Alyssa DiCrasto
Published on 2024-03-18

The Zebra Overview

Quality of results/rates shown:

Number of results:

1-3

Spam risk:

Option to sell you a policy:

 

How results are generated:

Quotes from partners

Dismiss Circle

 

Aids from sponsors, quotes from partners, verified rates

Our Criteria and Methodology

For each car insurance comparison website we review, we evaluate several factors including user experience, risk of spam, the variety and relevancy of results, and more. We tested and evaluated results for 3 different driver profiles. The opinions expressed below are based on this experience as well as our team’s knowledge of the insurance comparison industry. Our editorial team follows a rigorous editorial policy and works independently from our insurance partners. Read more.

Table of Contents

What is The Zebra?

Founded in 2012, The Zebra is an insurance marketplace whose mission statement claims that they are looking to “simplify insurance shopping.” With more than a decade in business, they have produced millions of quotes and claim to be one of the nation’s leading car and home insurance comparison sites. 

They analyze your answers to a few quiz questions (gender, birthdate, driving record, etc.) and then match you with providers. However, since insurance marketplaces primarily make money through referral links, results may be limited or biased based on paid sponsorships.  

Insurance Products:

  • Car insurance 
  • Motorcycle insurance 
  • Home insurance 
  • Renters insurance  
  • Bundled insurance  
  • Life insurance 
  • Pet insurance 

How does The Zebra work?

The Zebra is an insurance marketplace, meaning that they ask users a few questions and display insurance companies based on the responses. The quiz took around 5 minutes to complete, and the only contact information required was an email address, making them a lower risk for spam. 

Questions are around factors that impact your car insurance such as driving history, age, gender, vehicle make and model, and more. After completing the quiz, users are directed to a page that displays four different coverage tiers: Medium, Better, Best, and Customized. Users select a tier based on whether they want to prioritize coverage, savings, or a mixture of both (for the profiles we tested, we chose the “Better” package, as The Zebra recommended). 

After selecting a coverage package, users are directed to a page that shows them their matches based on the information they provided. The profiles we tested yielded anywhere between 1-3 results, however, the results were not always actual insurance providers – some were other comparison sites or affiliates. Furthermore, there were no actual quotes or rate estimates displayed on the results page for any of the profiles we tested. 

With The Zebra, users also have the option to chat with or call a live agent to discuss their options in further detail. 

How The Zebra makes money

The Zebra primarily makes money through commissions from when a user clicks on an insurance company that The Zebra has a partnership with. This can sometimes hurt consumers because the results they see at the end of the quiz could be limited or biased to prioritize these partnerships.  

This is a key risk of using an insurance marketplace to comparison shop. The Zebra (and other tools like it) will still consider the user’s responses when generating results, but they are not the only or most important factor the site considers. 

Pros & Cons of Comparing Car Insurance with The Zebra

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Pros of The Zebra:

  • Does not require a phone number from the user 
  • Fair number of results displayed  
  • They offer the ability to call and chat with a live agent

Cons of The Zebra:

  • Since they require an email address, there is still a risk of spam 
  • Results may be limited or biased toward paid partnerships  
  • No quotes or rate estimates on the results page for the profiles we tested

Find the Right Car Insurance for You

Our experience with The Zebra

First impressions of The Zebra

When we first visited The Zebra’s website, the first thing we noticed was the effectiveness of the heading of their homepage: “We do the searching. You do the saving.” No fluff needed, they simply introduced the site and let us know that their core value is saving users money and minimizing the effort needed to shop for insurance. The homepage also emphasized that they search over 100 insurance companies to find the best match for their users.

Quiz experience

The Zebra’s quiz experience was a moderate length, taking about 5 minutes to complete. While the tool does not request a phone number from the user, they do require both an email and the user’s full address in order to access results. They also request information such as the make and model of your vehicle, how long you have owned it, whether or not it is paid off, and if/how long you have been insured. These are all questions typical of most insurance comparison sites. 

One aspect of The Zebra’s quiz experience that surprised us was that they asked a question about applicable discounts. This section of the quiz laid out a few basic options that would make someone eligible for certain discounts in a simple way so that you don’t need to go digging for discounts on your own.  

Something about The Zebra that might surprise consumers is that this quiz experience (along with many others) asks the user to enter their credit score. Since it does not reflect driving habits, many drivers may not be aware that your credit rating plays a fairly large role in how insurance companies determine your premium. 

The Zebra Results

Unfortunately, The Zebra’s results page left something to be desired. While it did return at least 1 result for every profile we tested, there were no quotes or rate estimates immediately available on the page for any of them. Even the providers that touted “instant quotes” required us to answer more questions on their website before quotes were shown.  

Screenshot 2024-03-18 at 11.46.26 AM

For one of the profiles we tested, we were not provided with any actual insurance companies at the end. Rather, it matched us with another insurance comparison site and directed us there to go through another quiz experience before accessing our quotes.  

Based on our experience, the most direct way to access quotes seems to be by calling to speak with a live agent. If you opt to shop online and click on the “get quote” option displayed next to the insurance companies you are matched with, you will almost definitely be asked to answer another round of questions.  

Overall, The Zebra provided a fair number of options for users to choose from, but choosing a company is far from the last step in the process.  

Lasting Impressions

After exploring The Zebra’s website and going through their quiz experience multiple times, we concluded that they are one of the better comparison sites out there. While the results page was not comprehensive and required users to visit other sites to access their quotes, actual insurance providers were returned the majority of the time.  

Additionally, we liked that the site never asked for a phone number. Even though they did require an email address, not having to give up your phone number reduces the risk of spam significantly, which is a massive plus when it comes to user experience.  

Overall, the tool was simple and easy to use with a relatively quick quiz experience that did not ask too much of us. 

Is The Zebra worth it?

In our opinion, The Zebra is a viable option for comparing car insurance rates. Despite the lack of actual quotes or rate estimates on the results page, the site did connect us with real insurance providers most of the time and it does not require you to forfeit your phone number to access them. The overall user experience was also positive. The quiz was relatively quick and easy to complete, and users may be introduced to insurance companies they were not aware of through this site. 

How The Zebra stacks up against other comparison sites

The Zebra vs Insurify

  • 2-4 paragraphs
Option to sell you a policy Offers non-biased results
Gabi Yes No
Jerry x x

The Zebra vs Rate Retriever

Before we dive in, let’s acknowledge the elephant in the room. We’re aware that we may be slightly biased here as we have worked tirelessly to make Rate Retriever the best insurance comparison tool on the market. However, we are putting all bias aside for now in order to provide you with only the facts.  

One of the key differences between The Zebra and Rate Retriever is that The Zebra offers you the ability to call their agents and purchase your policy through them directly. Comparatively, Rate Retriever cannot sell you a policy. Rather, we match you with a provider and require you to go to their site to purchase your policy.   

A few other notable differences between The Zebra and Rate Retriever are the length of the quiz and the ability to view rates on the results page. While The Zebra’s quiz took about 5 minutes to complete and required the user’s email, Rate Retriever’s initial quiz took about 30 seconds and did not ask for any user contact information. Furthermore, Rate Retriever shows users their rate estimates directly on the results page while The Zebra required users to be redirected to another site to access their rates.  

We also offer two different iterations of our quiz, a short version and a longer version, while The Zebra has one quiz experience available. The longer version of Rate Retriever’s quiz takes about 5 minutes to complete, and it goes slightly more in depth so that we can provide more accurate rate estimates.

Option to sell you a policy Short quiz experience
The Zebra Yes No
Rate Retriever No Yes

Customer reviews of The Zebra

The Zebra has over 2,000 customer reviews on Shopper Approved, landing them an overall score of 4.8 out of 5-stars. The majority of the most recent reviews emphasize the awesome customer service provided by live agents.  

Customers enjoyed things such as: great service, trust in the agents, accuracy of quotes, and ease of use. Some of the more negative reviews point out things such as: a lack of professionalism, feeling rushed into purchasing a policy, and a lack of transparency. 

These reviews led us to believe that the majority of consumers who purchase policies through The Zebra do so by calling and speaking with one of the live agents they provide, rather than completing the process online.  

Who should use The Zebra?

Based on our evaluation, The Zebra’s comparison tool is best suited for consumers looking to work with an agent to help them through the insurance shopping process. While the quiz experience is simple and fast, the lack of live quotes or rate estimates on the results page makes the online shopping process feel a bit clunky. If you are looking to work with an informative live agent, The Zebra may be right for you! 

Who shouldn't use The Zebra?

The Zebra may not be for you if you are looking to go through the insurance shopping process independently. Since it is rare for this tool to return actual quotes or rate estimates immediately, it is not ideal for consumers who do not want to work with an agent (or go through extensive questions before getting their rates). 

The Zebra company details

If you have additional questions about this tool, you can contact The Zebra customer service at 1 (888) 255-4364. According to The Zebra’s website, they are reachable at this number Monday-Friday 7:00AM-9:00PM CT and Saturday and Sunday from 9:00AM-8:00PM CT. Additionally, they can be reached via email 24/7 at [email protected].

The Zebra Insurance FAQs

Is The Zebra a good insurance company? 

The Zebra is not an insurance company. Rather, it is an insurance marketplace you can use to compare insurance rates and get matched with a top provider for you. With 4.8 stars on Shopper Approved and over 2,000 customer reviews, The Zebra is a good and reputable insurance comparison tool. 

Is The Zebra legit? 

With a rating of 4 stars on the Better Business Bureau, more than 2,000 customer reviews, and 4.8 stars, The Zebra is a legit and trustworthy option when it comes to comparing car and home insurance.  

Is The Zebra safe? 

Yes, The Zebra is a trustworthy and safe site to use when you are shopping for car insurance.

Is The Zebra reliable? 

Yes, with a 4-star rating from the Better Business Bureau and over 2,000 user reviews amounting to a 4.8/5-star rating, The Zebra is a reliable source for car insurance shopping.

Who owns The Zebra?

The Zebra was co-founded by Joshua Dziabiak and Adam Lyons in 2012. Currently, the company’s CTO is Meetesh Karia and Keith Melnick was named CEO of The Zebra in 2017.

Methodology

For each car insurance comparison website we review, we evaluate several factors including: 

  • Risk of spam – based on contact and personal information required and the number of calls, texts, and/or emails we received after testing 
  • Quality of results – including the variety and relevancy of results, how many end-providers are listed, and if rates/quotes are included in the results 
  • Overall user experience – including the quiz length, unique features, ease of completing a policy purchase, and customer reviews   

We tested and evaluated results for 3 different driver profiles: 

  • A married 50-year-old male and female in 02125 (MA) with a Good credit score driving a 2023 RAV4 LE and a 2020 RAV4 LE 
  • A single 35-year-old male in 14215 (NY) with a Good credit score driving a 2023 RAV4 LE 
  • A single 20-year-old male in 76116 (TX) with a Good credit score driving a 2023 RAV4 LE  

The opinions expressed in our review are based on this experience. Our team also has previous knowledge of the insurance comparison industry that may influence how we review top insurance comparison sites.