Progressive Insurance, the nation’s 4th largest auto insurer, recently introduced “Name Your Price®” auto insurance on their web site. In ads featuring Flo, their quirky shopgirl spokesowman, the company hopes to connect with consumers’ desire to control their expenses in today’s economy.
In Progressive’s press release, spokesman Dale Willis said “Drivers want to customize their car insurance so they get the best possible coverage at a price that’s right for them, especially in times of economic uncertainty.”
The program is available in 16 states (not Maine). A countrywide rollout is planned for this year.
We respect Progressive’s culture of innovation. They are the Bill James of insurance: experts at analyzing data in new ways to find the right premium for virtually any risk. In fact, we have offered Progressive products to our clients for decades. They also sell directly to shoppers through their Progressive Direct brand.
What About Coverage?
Naming your own price sounds good – maybe too good. The problem: it’s easy to forget why you wanted to buy insurance in the first place: to protect your assets.
Insurance isn’t like shopping at the mall. There are no “sales”, and prices don’t magically drop. Every premium reduction is funded by a decrease in coverage or increase in deductible.
Who’s Advising You?
Tough economic times may motivate you to reduce your expenses. It’s not only smart; it’s necessary. There’s certainly no shame in trying to save money. Clients call us all the time with that goal in mind. We help them decide what changes to make to meet their budget – in effect to “name their price”. The difference is, we explain to them how their choices affect their coverage.
Who’s advising those Progressive shoppers when they “name their price”? So far, Progressive has chosen to offer this option on their “Progressive Direct” web site, not through local independent agents like Noyes Hall & Allen.
Although Progressive employs agents in their call centers to handle shoppers’ questions, the shopper has to request that contact. Most people are likely to avoid that – and make decisions on their own. Even if they do choose to speak with a Progressive Direct agent, the agent has no knowledge of the online shopper, their circumstances, or the area where they live. And, if the shopper has any follow up questions, they’re unlikely to speak with the same agent again.
We think it’s better to deal with a local insurance advisor – someone who can get to know you; the same person you can speak with any time you have questions. For information about how you can save money on your insurance, contact us today.