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DEPARTMENT OF INSURANCE REPORT SAYS SHOP AROUND FOR AUTO INSURANCE

 New Service Helps Southern California Drivers
 Compare Varying Auto Insurance Rates
 LOS ANGELES, Feb. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- A report issued by the state's Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi advises auto insurance consumers to "shop around and save hundreds, or even thousands of dollars every year."
 A new service called Express Quote will be introduced in Los Angeles on Feb. 4 to help them do that by providing an individually customized rate comparison for California's eight largest auto insurers.
 Express Quote, the nation's first automated consumer information service for auto insurance, is designed to make insurance shopping faster, easier and less expensive. Express Quote does not sell auto insurance or give personalized counsel on insurance buying decisions.
 Express Quote was pilot tested in San Diego last fall. Among Express Quote San Diego customers responding to a survey:
 -- 63 percent said they were able to cut their auto insurance premium by using Express Quote;
 -- 72 percent of those reporting a savings reduced their annual insurance bill by more than $200;
 -- 48 percent said they will save more than $500 this year because of Express Quote;
 -- 18 percent said they will save more than $1,000 annually on their auto insurance premium; and
 -- 86 percent said they would use Express Quote again and would recommend the service to a friend.
 Express Quote works like this: Consumers interested in comparing auto insurance rates call Express Quote toll-free at 800-544-8000 seven days a week, 365 days a year. They will be asked for their name; address; age; year, make and model of car; driving record; type of coverage desired and other driver and vehicle information. Express Quote will mail to the consumer a list of customized auto insurance rates for the eight largest auto insurers in California, along with insurance buying tips and information about how they apply to each of the quoted insurers. The price for the service is $24.95, payable by Visa, MasterCard or Discover cards.
 "Californians passed Proposition 103 because they feel frustrated and powerless when faced with buying auto insurance," said Glenn Renwick, president of Express Quote Services Inc. "The state's auto insurance market is competitive, and there are significant price differences among insurers. But Californians have no fast, efficient way to accurately compare rates and products from a number of insurance companies. Express Quote gives consumers the information -- and the power -- to make an informed auto insurance purchase.
 "Consumer response to Express Quote in San Diego tells us that Californians need and want an easier, more efficient way to quickly and accurately compare auto insurance rates," said Renwick. "Based on consumer response in San Diego, we are expanding Express Quote throughout California."
 Express Quote customers will receive quotes based on the personal data provided and rate information filed with the California Department of Insurance by the eight largest providers of auto insurance in California (excluding USAA, which only insures military officers and their dependents). The eight insurers are: Allstate, Auto Club of Southern California, California State Auto Association, Farmers, Mercury, Safeco, State Farm and 20th Century. These insurers represent approximately 75 percent of the total personal auto insurance market in the state.
 Each Express Quote customer receives the following written guarantee: "Our goal is simple: to provide you with information that will allow you to make informed decisions when you buy auto insurance. If we did not meet this goal, please contact us for a full refund."
 Express Quote Services Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Progressive Corp. (NYSE: PGR), a Cleveland-based insurance and financial services holding company. Progressive's subsidiaries provide personal automobile and specialty property-casualty insurance and related services throughout the United States and Canada. Progressive has been in the auto insurance business for 55 years and had 1991 revenues of $1.4 billion. Progressive is not one of the eight largest auto insurers in California and will not be included in the quotes provided by the service. Progressive's stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange.
 -0- 2/2/93
 /EDITOR'S NOTE: California Department of Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi issued a report Monday on the varying costs of auto insurance and urged consumers to shop around. This news announcement is in response to that report and provides information about a new comparative rating service that helps Southern California drivers make better-informed insurance purchase decisions./
 /CONTACT: Barbara Bishop or Jeff Hasen, 213-891-2822, or Jill Esterbrooks, 619-236-1332, all of Stoorza, Ziegaus & Metzger/
 (PGR)


CO: The Progressive Corp.; Express Quote Services Inc. ST: California IN: INS SU: PDT

JB-JL -- SD006 -- 2119 02/02/93 17:57 EST
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Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 2, 1993
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