Mayfield Village, Ohio - Drive Insurance from Progressive, the carrier's program for distributing auto insurance through independent agents and brokers in the United States, has signed a joint marketing agreement with Homesite Insurance Group, a national provider of home insurance products.The agreement paves the way for a test that will allow selected Drive agents in three states--Ohio, Pennsylvania and Oregon--to provide their Drive auto insurance customers quotes for homeowners, renters and condo insurance policies underwritten and serviced by Homesite.

In the test, independent agents will use Drive's (FAO) Web site to provide eligible customers with homeowners product quotes, leveraging existing state-of-the-art technology and making the transaction of selling two monoline policies--auto and home--seamless and easy. New or existing Drive Insurance customers are eligible for a homeowners quote from Homesite if they have prior auto coverage without a lapse and at least 100/300 liability limits.

Drive and Homesite will work together to identify a hand-selected group of about 150 agents in the three states to whom this program will be offered. Drive agents will sign an agency agreement and will be appointed by Homesite; the agent is then the agent of record and owns expiration rights to policies sold.

"It is our goal to make the Drive brand a 'must-have' for all growing, successful independent agencies," says Sharena Ali, product manager, Drive. "Providing agents with more flexibility in packaging home and auto policies and leveraging existing easy-to-use technology can help us to solidify our core position in their offices and give us an additional opportunity to grow together with them."

The three-state test will launch in late 2006; if the test proves to help Drive agents sell more Drive policies, further rollout may happen in 2007.

"We are excited about this opportunity," says Fabian Fondriest, CEO, Homesite. "As a monoline home insurer with technology that is highly compatible with Drive's, we look forward to providing packaged home policies with the ease-of-use that Drive agents have come to expect."

Source: The Progressive Group of Insurance Cos.

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