Mayfield Village, Ohio  — The Progressive Group of Insurance Cos. yesterday introduced Paperless Policies, a feature that will allow customers who buy a policy directly from the company, or through one of its independent insurance agencies, the ability to reduce the amount of policy-related paper documents they receive. Having policy documents delivered electronically saves trees, expedites delivery of the documents and reduces the opportunity for misplaced documents, says the insurer.

This initiative is an extension of a Paperless Billing feature introduced in early 2007 that allowed customers to opt for an electronic bill versus a hardcopy bill delivered by the U.S. Mail.
Progressive developed the technology for the feature in-house.

This move to paperless billing by Progressive is another step for carriers endeavoring to reduce their reliance on paper. Back in May, INN reported on how insurers were responding to the overflow of paperwork negatively affecting customer service, noting their responses to the dilemma.

One company, Eustis Insurance & Benefits, a New Orleans provider of personal, commercial and benefits lines insurance, determined paperless was the way to go with their document and recordkeeping system.

Eustis decided, as part of a larger effort to foster sustainable competitive differentiation, to examine how to improve overall business functions, reduce cost, and improve productivity and communication with policyholders and partners. Early in the exercise it became obvious that they needed to simplify and improve their document and record-keeping system.

"As we investigated references from different records management companies, we were given the name of a smaller agent, and were impressed with what they were doing," says Keith Oufnac, director of information systems. "The smaller agency scanned all documents that passed through its doors, and they were successful in retrieving information quickly and accurately. We decided paperless was the way to go."

Progressive’s Paperless Policy is currently available in Indiana. New and existing customers, regardless of how they bought their Progressive policy, can sign up at www.progressive.com/paperless, or through their local independent insurance agent. The feature will be introduced in all states where the company does business by the end of 2007.

Sources: The Progressive Group of Insurance Cos., INN archives

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