Lessons Learned from Hurricane Charley; Progressive Offers Tips to Keep Drivers and Vehicles Safe as Hurricane Frances Approaches

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Surprising claims pattern shows falling objects- not flooding – caused most vehicle damage following Hurricane Charley

TAMPA, Fla � September 1, 2004 � The Progressive group of insurance companies, the third largest auto insurer in the U.S. and insurer of about one in 10 Florida drivers, has received about 6,000 claims following Hurricane Charley, nearly all of which have been settled two weeks after the storm. While many of those claims resulted from damage caused by flooding, a majority were due to vehicles being struck by debris, such as fallen trees, utility poles or other large objects felled by Charley�s strong winds.

Progressive offers the following tips for protecting your car, recreational vehicle or boat during Hurricane Frances:

  • Drivers in the hurricane�s path who are not going to be driving their car or recreational vehicle should park it on higher ground, as close as possible to a sturdy building. If you have to park it outdoors, park it away from trees, poles or other large objects that may topple onto it.

  • As soon as possible move your boat inland where it�s far more likely to survive the storm. Make sure you have everything you need to secure your boat, including extra lines, chafe protection, fenders, anchors, port plugs, duct tape and extra batteries.

  • Avoid driving through standing water. The average automobile can be swept off the road in two feet of moving water.

  • When you�re evacuating or returning following a storm, stay away from standing water on roads and in parking lots. If you come upon a flooded street, take an alternate route. Water covered roads are prone to collapse.

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 progressive.com and through more than 30,000 independent insurance agencies in the U.S. Progressive was recently ranked #1 on the Business Week 50, the magazine�s annual assessment of the best performing Standard & Poor�s 500 companies. 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 progressive.com.