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Data-for-Doughnuts Vision Inspires Auto Insurers to Chase Google

The restaurants and doughnut shops that you pass on your commute would love to predict when you’ll be driving by. Your auto insurer may already know, and could be looking for a way to profit from that information.

Allstate Corp. Chief Executive Officer Tom Wilson has been talking about eventually selling data to businesses that want to reach the insurer’s policyholders with real-time coupons or promotional materials. That’s similar to the strategy at Google Inc., Wilson said, and would prepare his company for a future in which safer roads mean the customer relationship has to be about more than paying claims.