MAYFIELD VILLAGE, Ohio-- Having a vehicle repaired following a crash can be a confusing and time-consuming process. You generally have to get quotes from several body shops, contact your insurance company, arrange for a rental car, get your car to the body shop, check on the

progress of the repairs, wait for the car to be fixed, then inspect the work and drop off the rental.  And that's if everything goes well.

"It used to be that when we'd write a check for a claim, our work would end and the customer's work would begin," said Brian Passell, claims group president for the Progressive group of insurance companies, the third largest auto insurance group in the country. "Then we asked ourselves, 'why?' and changed it all.  What used to be the customer's problems are now our problems, and that's the way it should be."

Progressive is the first in the industry to take responsibility for the entire vehicle repair claims process and provide customers with a simpler way of getting their cars fixed following a crash.

Today, in 17 U.S. markets, Progressive customers and others involved with a Progressive claim have a choice-manage the repair process themselves or have Progressive claim representatives and hand-selected auto body repair shops manage it on their behalf.  Progressive locates facilities closest to areas where its customers are concentrated to make the new standard of service available to as many as possible.  One customer was so happy with how Progressive handled her repairs she thanked a CSC representative in Jacksonville, FL with a hug.

"We don't expect hugs every time," said Passell.  "But the process is getting rave reviews, and we believe this is the future of auto insurance."

Progressive tested the concept in seven markets before it announced its national rollout on April 8, 2003.  Existing test sites included Cleveland, OH, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, PA, Virginia Beach, VA, Orlando, FL, New Orleans, LA, and Phoenix (Tempe), AZ.

In 2003, Progressive opened facilities in Columbus, OH, two in Atlanta GA, Washington, D.C., Richmond, VA, Tampa and Jacksonville, FL, Dallas, TX, two in Houston, TX, Indianapolis, IN, and Detroit, MI.  Progressive has plans to continue rolling our more sites in 2004.

In addition to the new claims centers providing one-stop handling of vehicle repair claims, Progressive operates more than 350 claims offices in all 50 states. Although the existing offices are not equipped to offer the one-stop service, company representatives there continue to personally handle each customer's claim from start to finish and, in most states, offer them the choice of having the vehicle repaired in a shop where the work is guaranteed.

Progressive Insurance Co.

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