January 21st, 2013
The Progressive Corporation is one of the oldest car insurance carriers in America, covering drivers since 1937 -- when it opened its doors in Mayfield Village, Ohio.
From its inception, Progressive has focused mainly on auto coverage instead of expanding into other large verticals of insurance. Progressive also claims to be... well, progressive. The company was the first of its kind to offer drive-in claims services, and introduced the concept of paying for insurance in monthly installments.
Progressive was also one of the earliest carriers to cater different insurance products to drivers with higher-levels of risk. Accordingly, Progressive Casualty was formed in 1956 to write policies for those drivers who had trouble finding coverage elsewhere.
The company went public in 1987 and is now traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the PGR symbol.
Progressive is an independent agency, with policies sold by independent agents. In other words, it is sold by agents who are not “captive” to Progressive and can sell policies from different carriers as well (like CoverHound does).
Throughout the 1990s, the company rode the internet wave, becoming an early adopter of the ability to sell policies online. That momentum has continued through this day and has also built something of a robust website, in which users can get rate approximations from other carriers (though not real, actionable rates like CoverHound does).
Today, Progressive Insurance is ingrained in the minds of most Americans as a leading car insurance carrier, with a big hand from Flo -- the highly successful marketing campaign that has put a knowing face on the brand.
Progressive currently has more than $14 billion of premium for policies that include boats, motorcycles, snowmobiles, homes and RVs. Nevertheless, the company still does, by far, the most business in the industry that got them started -- auto insurance.