How Long Until Progressive Cuts Independent Agents?

Aug 13, 2016

  1. TuckerInsurance
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    TuckerInsurance New Member

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    I'm putting the over/under at 3 years.

    My biggest competition in writing Progressive business these days is by far Progressive direct. Their rates are consistently 25/40% lower online then through my agency. Writing is on the wall, they want to be Geico/E-surance/The General etc.

    I sure wish their reps would have the decency to just flat out tell us that Direct's rates are better, instead of saying they are essentially the same. They now want us to write their homeowners product here in Indiana, and I find it to be a disservice to my clients that are homeowners and have good driving records to ever use Progressive through my agency. i always put them elsewhere which is a shame, because Progressive does have solid service and the best online system around.

    This really only affects me as a business for those people that have no other choice than to go to Progressive due to lapse in coverage/MVR/CLUE issues, which is a lot of people unfortunately. It's nice to have a place to "rehabilitate" these folks. And now I'm struggling to find a better alternative, aside from losing them in the short term to Direct, and hoping to reconnect In the future.

    The auto insurance is already trending in this direction anyway, but it's still frustrating.
     
  2. DanteThompson
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    DanteThompson Expert

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    I thought I was the only one who thought that. When I sell progressive i am selling value of having a local office instead of a 1800 call center rep.
     
  3. indienoise
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    indienoise Guru

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    Progressive gets less than 10% of my volume, and my agency is primarily nonstandard auto. Hopefully they realize that any indy agents book with them would be easily rolled to another carrier. Don't know about other states but in sc their volume thru IA is double their direct. If they do it, it would be a bad decision. Still, I'm well prepared if they were to make such a move.
     
  4. InsCommentary
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    InsCommentary Guru

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    Have you compared the policy forms being sold by their direct vs. agent channels? How does the claim service compare between direct customers vs. an independent agent advocating for an insured? Are you identifying exposures of prospects that can be addressed by endorsement that are not identified via the direct route?
     
  5. Key2Success
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    Key2Success Guru

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    Unless independently wealthy....most will/should go the 1-800 route.... why would you jeopardize your other business with these clients?....someone will tell them eventually and they may decide to shop all of your products. It's better off to be up front with them and solidify your position long term. ;)
     
  6. ARus
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    ARus Super Genius

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    I was placing contractors' auto with them when I saw that they offer GL for contractors. This was the first signal that something might go wrong and I found an alternative and stable market for small business commercial auto. I shared my concerns with their (Pr) marketing rep, and he cut my contract. I still recieve my commissions from existing business.
     
    ARus, Aug 14, 2016
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  7. Scott Ashton
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    Scott Ashton Expert

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    We bring the customer to them....then they back door us with Progressive direct emails & mailouts to the customer. Real p.o.s....ts. Sort of like me hiring an agent who goes through my files at the office and writes them elsewhere & keeps the commission. Plain stealing....no respect for them AT ALL! We need to get together & aggressively move our clients or they will steal us blind. My customers call me wondering why they are being offered a lower rate when they already are with Progressive through us!
     
  8. Gulliver
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    Gulliver Super Genius

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    Your figures are a little high when it comes to comparisons between direct and agent rates. I do see some advantage direct vs agent but not much. Progressive is so large right now in the agent channel that they cannot afford to go direct. They can't replace it. They are making good money right now there is no reason to stop selling through agents. You are just looking for an excuse because they are probably dominating in your office on personal auto and you hate it. I hate that they are dominating in MO but I run with it when needed. In the agent channel right now they are the most competitive and most profitable auto writer in the state of MO. Most of the nationals have been bleeding money for the past three years. Progressive keeps lowering rates and making money. Nationwide and Safeco are like sailboats in the middle of the ocean without a sail.
     
    Gulliver, Aug 30, 2018
    #8
  9. InsCommentary
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    InsCommentary Guru

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    There are many ways for carriers to lower rates and increase profits. The most effective is to reduce coverage and/or adjust claims more restrictively.
     
  10. Stephen
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    Stephen Guru

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    I have only dealt with Progressive as a consumer and it was the worst experience that I have ever had with with an Insurance company . After how they treated me, I'm not surprised at all that they don't treat their independent agents well.
     
    Stephen, Aug 30, 2018
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