Esurance, a direct-to-consumer insurer based in San Francisco, launched a free online tool that predicts whether gas prices will rise or fall,
Dubbed Fuelcaster, the tool is designed to help consumers choose the best times to fill up. While other apps show current gas prices, Esurance says Fuelcaster is the first consumer tool in the country to project whether prices will rise or fall in the next 24 hours.
Users go to Fuelcaster.com, enter a ZIP Code, and the tool displays a "buy" or "wait" recommendation, based on what prices will do. It also displays up to 10 gas stations with the lowest prices in the area and their current prices.
The tool was developed in partnership with Deutsch LA's Inventioni.st group. Powered by GasBuddy, which lets consumers search for gas prices online, the tool uses a proprietary algorithm that incorporates pricing signals from industry sources to estimate whether prices will rise or fall in a particular area. Although the predictions are not guaranteed, Esurance said the tool can predict changes "with a high degree of confidence."
"Great marketing solves problems for people," Deutsch LA Chief Digital Officer Winston Binch said in a press statement. "Fuelcaster does just that by helping potential and current customers make smarter fuel purchases through a simple, elegant, and easy-to-use Web experience. It squarely delivers against the brand's promise of modern insurance. It's the type of marketing that more brands need to be investing in."