Another N.Y. Auto Insurer Reduces Rates


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New York Superintendent of Insurance Gregory V. Serio announced that Progressive Northeastern Insurance Company (PNEIC) will reduce its rates an average of 5.1 percent for 2005, saving its private passenger customers nearly $33 million. This follows the 3.8 percent rate decrease PNEIC instituted in 2004 in response to lower loss costs.

As he has with previous insurer rate announcements, Serio credited a successful fight against insurance fraud for the savings.

PNEIC has about 305,000 New York auto insurance policyholders, which constitutes 82 percent of the business written in New York by the Ohio-based Progressive group of insurance companies. Serving about 7 percent of New York’s overall market, Progressive estimates that some of its policyholders will realize rate decreases of up to 14 percent while others will notice a rate reduction between 3 and 7 percent in their renewal notices starting on March 27, 2005. The new rate structure goes into effect for first-time PNEIC customers on Jan. 26, 2005.

In a related development, two smaller Progressive companies, Progressive Northern Insurance Company (PNIC) and Progressive Northwestern Insurance Company (PNWIC), will cut rates by 3 percent and 2 percent, respectively. Both will take effect in early 2005. Together with the PNEIC rate reductions, this will bring the total savings for Progressive’s New York customers up to $35 million. The savings are available to all current customers of the three companies, as well as to new customers who purchase auto insurance from one of them through an independent agent.

Serio last month asked Progressive and 12 other auto insurance carriers cumulatively serving more than 60 percent of the state’s drivers to meet with him to discuss rate reductions in light of compelling industry data indicating that losses had dropped substantially between 2002 and the third quarter of 2004 as the result of successful efforts to fight fraud and abuse. Progressive was one of only two companies invited to speak with the Superintendent that had lowered its rates in 2004.

GEICO and MetLife announced earlier this month that they will cut auto insurance rates for their New York customers in 2005. Discussions with other carriers are continuing.


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