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PROGRESSIVE CUTS AUTO INSURANCE RATES FOR FLORIDA CUSTOMERS

 TAMPA, Fla., Nov. 23 ~PRNewswire~ -- Progressive Insurance Companies, Florida's sixth largest auto insurer, is reducing rates by an average of 3 percent effective Nov. 19 throughout Florida. Progressive's Florida customers will save a total of $4.2 million on their auto insurance bills in the next year as a result of the rate cut.
 "Progressive is committed to serving our Florida customers when they need us most with lower prices, better products and fast, caring claim service," said Progressive Florida Division President Bob McMillan. "Over the last year we have worked hard, in partnership with our 1,500 independent agents, to save our customers money by cutting our own costs while maintaining excellent customer service. Now we can reduce rates for our Florida customers, despite prompt payment of more than $4 million to our Florida policyholders for damage caused by Hurricane Andrew."
 Florida Marketing Manager Brian Dwyer said two factors enabled Progressive to cut rates in Florida:
 1. Progressive has reduced Florida operating expenses 3 percent in
 the last 12 months through automation and process improvements.
 The division has streamlined its operations by implementing
 simplified underwriting and pricing systems for all of its auto
 insurance programs offered in Florida.
 2. Progressive has aggressively implemented pre-insurance vehicle
 inspections, reducing fraud and unnecessary claims payments.
 The company now requires pre-insurance inspection in 15 Florida
 counties -- 8 more than currently required by law.
 Customers who elect two preferred provider programs available only from Progressive in Florida will also see added cost savings effective Nov. 19:
 -- A "Preferred Repair" option provides policyholders a 7.5 percent
 discount on their collision premium if they agree to take their
 cars to preselected auto repair shops in the event of an
 accident. In addition to the premium savings, policyholders
 choosing this option will now also have $50 of their deductible
 waived at the time of a claim. The program includes guaranteed
 quality repair service and priority attention at 80 repair shops
 throughout Florida.
 -- A "Preferred Health Care Program" option now offers policyholders
 a 15 percent savings on their personal injury protection premium
 if they agree to receive non-emergency medical care for auto
 accident-related injuries through a preferred provider
 organization (PPO). Policyholders also will be reimbursed 90
 percent of their incurred medical expenses, rather than the
 standard 80 percent reimbursement, when they are treated by any
 of the hospitals or physicians in Progressive's Florida PPO
 network.
 "Hurricane Andrew was the ultimate test of Progressive's statewide, 24-hour-a-day, seven-days-a-week, 'Immediate Response' claims service," said McMillan. "We have paid 99 percent of Progressive's total of 2,500 claims for hurricane damage despite the destruction of the Miami claims office by Hurricane Andrew. We established company facilities in the parking lot, made personal contact with 85 percent of all customers who had losses within 48 hours of claim report and paid 74 percent of claims within one week. We will continue to provide that level of service now at lower rates."
 Progressive serves 155,000 Florida auto insurance policyholders. The Florida Division employs 300 people in its Tampa headquarters and 170 people in its Kendall Service Center and claims offices in 21 Florida cities. The company writes auto insurance through 1,500 independent agents throughout Florida.
 The Progressive Corporation (NYSE: PGR), a Cleveland-based insurance and financial services holding company, provides personal automobile and specialty property-casualty insurance and related services throughout the U.S. and in Canada. The corporation reported total revenues of $1.3 million through third quarter 1992, and $1.49 billion for 1991. Progressive has been in the auto insurance business for 55 years. For 20 years, Progressive's financial strength has been recognized by an A+ rating from A.M. Best. The company's stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol PGR.
 -0- 11~23~92
 ~CONTACT: Lisa Falk or Steve Bowles of Hank Meyer Associates, Inc., 305-576-5700, for Progressive Auto Insurance~


CO: Progressive Auto Insurance ST: Florida IN: INS SU:

SS-AW -- FL002 -- 0329 11~23~92 09:44 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 23, 1992
Words:664
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