Survey Finds That For $500 People Are More Likely To Switch Political Parties Or Give Up Their Sense Of Smell Than To Shop For Auto Insurance

Progressive Studies Show Consumers Can Save Hundreds by Shopping For Auto Insurance, But Many Drivers Are Willing to Take More Extreme Measures to Cash In

MAYFIELD VILLAGE, Ohio � June 23, 2004 � Risking life and limb trying to successfully maneuver between two buildings, 20 stories high. Letting the American public vote on who should marry. These days, extreme doesn�t begin to explain what people will do for money. In fact, a recent survey of 1,000 drivers by the Progressive group of companies (third largest auto insurance group in the country) revealed that for $500 many people would be willing to give up their sense of smell for six months or go one round with Mike Tyson. But only two in ten consumers will shop around for auto insurance, which could be a much easier way to put $500 in their pocket.

Progressive has conducted six studies in the past five years with hundreds of thousands of consumers and has found each time that the amount charged for a new, six-month policy with comparable coverage varies significantly from company to company. The smallest spread in rates was $481 every six months, while the highest was $586.

�This spread presents a real savings opportunity for consumers,� said Tom Hollyer, product development manager, Progressive. �Our survey shows that people sometimes go to extreme measures for $500. We want people to know they may be able to save $500 simply by spending a little time shopping around for auto insurance.�

Progressive�s survey found that, for $500, respondents were two times more likely to switch political parties (35 percent) than vote for a political candidate they did not like or with whom they did not agree (15 percent). Thirty-seven (37) percent of respondents were willing to give up their sense of smell and 19 percent were willing to give up their sense of taste for six months. Sixty-two (62) percent said they would not go out to the movies, and 21 percent said they�d stop watching television. Only 20 percent of those surveyed said they�ve shopped around for auto insurance within the last six months.

Hollyer said: �Drivers need to know two things when it comes to auto insurance. First, rates vary widely from company to company because each bases rates on its expected costs of doing business; because each company has different historical experience and operating costs, they charge different rates. Second, shopping around to save money doesn�t take a long time � you can go online, call or visit an independent agent and find out if you can save pretty quickly.

�And one more thing, just because you�ve been with the same car insurance company for years doesn�t mean you�re getting the best rate available for you,� said Hollyer. �Talk with your agent or your current insurance company. Or do online research to make sure you have the right coverage and services for the right price.�

The Progressive group of insurance companies, in business since 1937, ranks third in the nation for auto insurance based on premiums written and provides drivers with competitive rates and 24/7, in-person and online service. The companies offer insurance by phone at 1-800-PROGRESSIVE, online at and through more than 30,000 independent insurance agencies in the U.S. Providing stakeholders the information they need to make more informed decisions is a key company strategy. In 1994, Progressive became the first auto insurance company to provide its rates alongside the rates of other companies so consumers could easily compare and decide. In 2001, Progressive became the first Fortune 500 company to report operating results monthly and in August 2003 the Company began reporting earnings per share monthly. The Common Shares of the Progressive Corporation, the Mayfield Village, Ohio-based holding company, are publicly traded at NYSE:PGR. More information can be found at