Progressive Steps Up Claims Service


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Leading auto insurer Progressive Insurance Co., well known for its claims service, is now stepping up that service to the next level, according to a statement released by the company.

The Mayfield Village, Ohio-based vehicle underwriter says it is the first in the industry to take responsibility for the entire vehicle repair claims process, providing customers with a simpler way of getting their cars fixed following an accident.

As part of its national rollout of this new standard of service, Progressive opened the first of a new breed of claims service centers in Columbus, Ohio, providing the one-stop convenience option for customers or anyone in the area who has a claim with Progressive. The company plans to open 19 more centers throughout the United States this year.

Here’s how the service works:

— The customer calls 1-800-PROGRESSIVE to report the claim, any time of the day or night, and brings the vehicle to the new center. The centers will be conveniently located for most of the Company’s area customers.

— At the claims center, the customer drops off the car, picks up a rental vehicle and leaves.

— A Progressive claims representative prepares a repair estimate and selects a repair shop that has met strict quality requirements.

— The vehicle is transported to the shop and the repairs start. The customer is kept informed about the status of the repair throughout the process.

— When the work is finished, the vehicle is transported back to the Progressive claims center.

— A Progressive claims representative and a shop representative inspect the quality of the repairs and the customer is notified.

— The customer and claims representative inspect the vehicle together and the customer drives off knowing the repairs are guaranteed by the shop and Progressive for as long as the customer owns the vehicle.

“This new standard of service is about respecting the customer’s time by putting all the services they need under one roof,” said Brian Passell, Progressive’s claims group president. “Using this service makes getting a car fixed easier and more convenient.”

The objective, according to Progressive CEO Glenn Renwick, is to create a more efficient and positive experience for everyone involved in a claim — customers, auto body repair shops and Progressive. The service saves time and adds convenience for customers, provides a steady flow of work for body shops and results in increased Progressive customer satisfaction.

This claims innovation is the latest in a long line that started in the late 1980s when consumers, through market research commissioned by Progressive, told the company that having a claim was a time-consuming hassle. The company immediately re-engineered its process to make its claims representatives available in person at any time and empowered them to write a check to settle a claim on the spot.

Progressive has been innovating ever since and began testing this new standard of claims service in February 2000 when it opened its first claims service center in Cleveland, Ohio. Since then it has opened six additional test centers in Virginia Beach, Va., Orlando, Fla., Philadelphia, Pa., New Orleans, La., Tempe, Ariz. and Pittsburgh, Pa.

At the end of 2002, the company determined that the new level of service was more efficient and provided greater customer satisfaction and began planning the national rollout. In addition to the Columbus location, centers in Richmond, Va. and Atlanta, Ga. will open in April 2003. By year-end, Progressive plans to be providing this type of service from 27 claims service centers in total; 2004 plans have not yet been announced.

In the national rollout, the company will locate facilities closest to areas where its customers are concentrated to make the new standard of service available to as many as possible. In addition to the new claims service centers providing one-stop handling of vehicle repair claims, Progressive continues to operate more than 350 claims offices in all 50 states.

Although the existing offices are not equipped to offer the one-stop service, company representatives there continue to personally handle each customer’s claim from start to finish and, in most states, offer them the choice of having the vehicle repaired in a shop where the work is guaranteed.


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