Survey Finds People are More Concerned with Reusing Wrapping Paper to Save Money Than Shopping Around for Big Ticket Items

MAYFIELD VILLAGE, Ohio � March 3, 2003 � Most of us have probably done the usual things to save money � clip coupons, reuse wrapping paper and bows. Some of us have even gone to extremes like pawning wedding or engagement rings. So while it�s not surprising that a recent survey by Progressive revealed that people are willing to spend time to save money, it is surprising that they�re spending the time to save mere pennies when they could be shopping around to save big money on auto insurance.

Progressive (NYSE:PGR), whose companies comprise one of the country�s largest auto insurance groups, conducted a phone survey of more than 1,000 respondents and found that an overwhelming 73 percent of consumers have shopped around to save money on groceries in the last six months and 51 percent have shopped to save on paper goods while only 20 percent have shopped around for auto insurance.

The survey also found that 57 percent have clipped coupons and another 57 percent have reduced entertainment activities while 38 percent of consumers have reused wrapping paper or bows to save money. Also, 32 percent have waited for long distance rates to go down or for free cell phone minutes before making a call and 31 percent have driven out of their way for cheaper gasoline.

�It�s no secret people want to save money and our survey found that they�ll do things like reuse plastic baggies, charge their friends a cover charge at parties, and even �go on a corn diet because it�s cheap!�� said John Barbagallo, product research and development director, Progressive. �We want people to know that there may be an easier way to save a lot more money � just take about 20 minutes or so to shop around for auto insurance.�

Barbagallo said: �Auto insurance companies charge premiums based on their cost of doing business. Because each company�s costs are different, they each charge different rates. This presents a very real shopping and savings opportunity for consumers.�

Each year, Progressive studies the rates of different companies provided to consumers in order to identify the spread in rates. The company recently studied rates provided to 107,443 consumers who called or went online to receive a Progressive quote and comparison rates of other leading companies between July 1 and December 31, 2002. In the study, Progressive found that the cost of a six-month auto insurance policy for the same driver with the same coverage varies from company to company an average of $586.

Barbagallo said: �Consumers who think they won’t save money shopping for auto insurance may be surprised. One in four people who recently shopped for auto insurance online reported to us that, as a result of checking out other companies� rates, they saved money.�

To highlight the spread in rates available to consumers from different companies, visitors to can see comparison rates offered to consumers in real time on the site’s home page. Called the ‘rate ticker,’ this feature displays an up-to-the-minute sampling of different company rates provided to consumers throughout the U.S. who used the site’s free comparison rate service. This innovative feature recently landed the company a spot on the Fast 50 Champions of Innovation list published by Fast Company magazine.

The Progressive group of insurance companies, in business since 1937, ranks fourth in the nation for auto insurance and provides drivers with competitive rates and 24/7, in-person service. The companies offer insurance by phone at 1-800-PROGRESSIVE, online at and through more than 30,000 independent insurance agencies. The Progressive Corporation, the holding company, has headquarters in Mayfield Village, Ohio. More information can be found at