Responsive Service and Expert Counsel Valued Most
Mayfield Village, Ohio, February 11, 2002 – Consumers
continue to expect an extremely high level of service from their insurance agent,
according to a survey by Progressive Insurance (NYSE: PGR), the USA’s fourth-largest auto
insurer and largest auto insurer through independent agents.
Progressive surveyed 900 auto insurance consumers across
the country who purchased their policy from a local agent. Nearly all of them – 99 percent
to be exact – said that they want their insurance agent to be responsive and available
whenever needed. This overwhelming expectation for service was reflected throughout the
survey results, which revealed that consumers want local availability, expert counsel and
advice, the ability to handle all their insurance needs, and online access to their policy
– all from their agent.
Consumers said that having someone in their community is
important to them: 92 percent of respondents said they want their agent to have a local
office where they can go for sales and service. And they’re drawn to a particular agent
through a combination of referrals and advertising. Fifty-nine (59) percent said a family
member, friend, or co-worker recommended them to their current agent, while 27 percent
said they found their current agent through advertising in the local Yellow Pages, an
office sign, or other advertisement.
Consumers also expect their agent to provide unbeatable
service and advice. Ninety-five (95) percent of the respondents said it was important for
their agent to offer expert counsel. Ninety-two (92) percent said that it is important for
their agent to handle all of their insurance needs, despite the fact that only 38 percent
said representing more than one company was important.
Consumers’ high expectations for service extend beyond what
an agent typically provides in the office. Seventy-five (75) percent of respondents said
it is important for their agent to call regularly to review insurance needs, while 45
percent said that they want their agent to offer policy access via the Internet. To help
fulfill consumers’ need for online service, Progressive authorized agents can now link
their agency Web site to the company’s policyholder self-service site,
personal.progressive.com. This gives independent agents’ Progressive policyholders online
customer service and policy access 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
“As the country’s largest provider of auto insurance
through independent agents, we weren’t surprised to learn that local access and responsive
service are important to consumers,” said Bob Williams, Progressive’s agent business
leader. “We know that independent insurance agents are uniquely suited to provide the
kind of personalized service and counsel that consumers want. Combined with Progressive’s
24/7 service, well known brand, and competitive rates, our agents are able to attract more
of the millions of consumers who want to buy insurance locally. We are proud of our
partnership with independent agents, and of our leadership role in providing them with
competitive products as well as the services and technology they need to meet the
ever-growing demands of consumers.”
Progressive (NYSE:PGR), in business since 1937, is the
nation’s fourth largest auto insurance company and the largest writer of auto insurance
through independent agents. The more than 30,000 independent agencies that represent
Progressive combine the power of personalized service and counsel with Progressive’s
trusted brand, superior 24/7 service, innovative technology and competitive rates.
Progressive authorized agents can logon to the company’s agent-dedicated Web site,
ForAgentsOnly.com (FAO) to access
customer policies, state and countrywide news, and other interactive features.