Company also announces product and service enhancements aimed at helping independent agents grow
MAYFIELD VILLAGE, Ohio – Feb. 22, 2007 � The Progressive Group of Insurance Companies today announced it is putting the Progressive name first in the names of all of the products it sells to allow independent agents and brokers to capitalize on the power of the Progressive name. This move to a one-brand strategy means the products will be called Progressive Commercial, Progressive Motorcycle, Progressive Boat, etc., and more of the company’s branding initiatives will focus on the benefits of insuring a vehicle with a Progressive company regardless of what or how a consumer chooses to buy. Because the private passenger auto products and prices sold directly by the company and by agents are different, their names are different. The private passenger auto product sold by agents is now called Progressive Drive Insurance. Private passenger auto insurance sold by the company directly over the Internet and by phone is now called Progressive Direct.
“We’ve learned a lot since we introduced the Drive� Insurance from Progressive name in September 2004,” said John Barbagallo, Agency Group president since May 2006. “The most significant finding is the power of the Progressive name. By emphasizing the Progressive name in everything we sell, and in the name of the agents who represent us � now Progressive agents � we can ensure maximum leverage of the name as a business generator for them. I’m excited about this change; agents have been � and continue to be � critically important to Progressive.”
The need for a sharper brand focus was first discussed by Progressive CEO Glenn Renwick at the company’s 2006 Investor Relations meeting. There, Renwick highlighted the growing importance of a robust, easily understood brand in a world where companies are aggressively competing for auto insurance consumers’ attention.
Barbagallo said this move will let agents reap the benefits of Progressive’s advertising, sponsorships, signage and public relations activity, and will allow more of Progressive’s marketing dollars to be spent on local promotions such as co-branded print, radio and direct mail advertising. Progressive will swap-out the faces of nearly 15,000 existing Drive Insurance interior and exterior signs for its agents starting this summer. The new signs will say “Progressive.”
This move will also help agents better leverage one of the company’s most important initiatives designed to attract and retain customers � its concierge level of claims service now offered at 53 Progressive service centers throughout the country. The service substantially reduces the amount of time customers and claimants have to spend on the claims/repair process following an accident to about 15 minutes.
Progressive research shows customers value the level of service they get at the centers, which makes them more satisfied and more likely to stay with the company longer. Agents who visit the facilities are also very impressed, Barbagallo said, but some had reservations about sending their Drive customers to a Progressive Service Center. “We believe the move to a one-brand strategy will remove any reservations there may have been and will provide agents with one more benefit that will help them grow their businesses through the increased retention that results from extremely satisfied customers,” said Barbagallo.
“This is a very positive indicator of Progressive’s commitment to independent agents,” said Dan O’Connell of Swan & Sons-Morss Company in Elmira, New York. O’Connell is a member of the company’s Agency Council, a group of 15 independent agents and brokers from around the country formed to share insights about industry trends and provide feedback on the company’s business strategies. “The Progressive name has always helped me attract business to my agency. This just makes it that much better.”
Along with the name change, service and product enhancements designed to help agents attract and retain customers � including more standard and preferred business � are also being rolled out. They include a new and improved policy contract; more preferred features and discounts; and more products, including a Progressive-underwritten Personal Umbrella product and a joint marketing agreement with Homesite Insurance Group that lets agents sell two monoline policies � auto and home � right on ForAgentsOnly.com (FAO).
Barbagallo said the service and product enhancements are all aimed at offering agents everything they need for profitable growth, with the goal of making Progressive a must-have for all growing, successful independent agencies.
The Progressive Group’s Agency subsidiary in California, Progressive West Insurance Company, will use the name Drive Insurance for its private passenger auto insurance product sold by independent agents and brokers there.
The Progressive Group of Insurance Companies, now celebrating its 70th year in business, is the country’s third largest auto insurance group and largest seller of motorcycle and personal watercraft policies based on premiums written, and is a market leader in commercial auto insurance.