Did You Know… Each Week, About 1,200 Car Crashes Happen in the Twin Cities; Drivers Here Are More Likely to Crash Than Those in Seattle, but Less Likely Than Those in Phoenix

Country’s Third Largest Auto Insurance Group, Progressive, Releases Local Accident Data to Mark Opening of New Service Centers that Reduce Drivers’ Time Managing Vehicle Repairs From About Four Days to About 15 Minutes

On average, about 60,000 car accidents happen in the Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington metropolitan area each year – that’s about 1,200 a week and more than 160 a day. Since drivers generally report spending at least four days managing the process of filing a claim and getting their vehicles repaired after an accident, these crashes result in thousands of wasted hours for local drivers every day. The Progressive Group of Insurance Companies, the third largest auto insurance group in Minnesota, today released local accident data in conjunction with the opening of its first two Service Centers in the Twin Cities area offering a “concierge” level of claims service to drivers involved in crashes, reducing the time they spend on the claims/repair process from about four days to about 15 minutes. With the new service, Progressive claims representatives take care of all aspects of the process so that drivers don’t have to.

Progressive claims data shows its Twin Cities drivers are 11 percent less likely to be involved in an accident than its average driver countrywide. Among similarly sized metropolitan areas, Progressive’s Minneapolis area drivers are 5 percent more likely to crash than its Seattle drivers, but 4 percent less likely to crash than its Phoenix drivers.

When it comes to nearby areas, Twin Cities drivers are 7 percent more likely to crash than Green Bay drivers, but much less likely to crash than Progressive drivers in Chicago and Detroit. Chicago drivers are 18 percent more likely to crash than Progressive’s Twin Cities drivers, while Detroit drivers are a whopping 60 percent more likely.

Generally speaking, the more populated an area, the greater the likelihood of being involved in a crash (a Minnesota driver is 46 percent more likely to crash than one in less populated South Dakota, for example), but one nearby metropolitan area bucks the trend: Even though the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area is five times bigger than Des Moines in terms of population, a Progressive driver in the Twin Cities is 5 percent less likely to crash than a Progressive driver in Des Moines.

So what does this mean for you?

In greater Minneapolis, almost half (47 percent) of crash claims handled by Progressive are considered minor in terms of repair costs since they cause less than $2,000 in damage per vehicle, but the time and inconvenience caused is anything but minor. Drivers who have been involved in accidents and have had their cars repaired afterward estimate they spent at least four days arranging for alternate transportation, getting repair estimates, finding a shop, getting updates, inspecting the repairs, etc.

In a single day, Twin Cities drivers collectively lose more than 915 days – or two and a half years -managing the claims/repair process.

But now, thanks to Progressive’s new concierge level of claims service that oversees all elements of the vehicle repair on behalf of the driver, the time spent managing the claims/repair process has been reduced to about 15 minutes. A driver simply drops off the damaged vehicle at one of the two newly opened Service Centers in the Twin Cities area and can leave in a rental car assured that a claims representative will handle the claims/repair process from beginning to end and that the repairs will be guaranteed. And the service is not just for Progressive customers – it’s also available to anyone involved in a claim with a Progressive customer.

“We’re sharing local crash data to highlight the fact that accidents do happen and when they do, no matter how minor, they cause major inconvenience for Twin Cities drivers who then have to spend days managing vehicle repairs themselves,” said Heather Lacy, manager of the new Service Center in Coon Rapids. “By using a service that handles all aspects of the claims/repair process ‘soup to nuts’ for them, people can save time and spend it the way they want to.”

The opening of the new Service Centers, at 10220 Goldenrod Avenue in Coon Rapids and 12450 River Ridge Lane in Burnsville, mark the 29th and 30th Progressive Service Centers in the U.S. and the first two in the Twin Cities area.

The objective of the service is to create a more positive and efficient experience for everyone involved in a claim – customers, body shops and Progressive.

“The Service Center approach is simple and it works,” said Peter Chapdelaine, who manages the new Service Center in Burnsville. “It shortens the amount of time customers have to spend dealing with claims from at least four days to about 15 minutes and can also reduce the time it takes to get their car back after an accident.”

How the Process Works

— The customer calls Progressive to report the claim any time of the day or night and then schedules an appointment to bring the vehicle to the specially designed Service Center.

— In about 15 minutes, the customer can be on their way in a rental car with assurance that Progressive will keep them informed of the status of their claim throughout the repair process.

— A Progressive claims representative prepares a repair estimate and contacts an auto body shop based on its track record of providing superior service and ability to begin work promptly. Both Progressive and the shop reach agreement on the cost of the repairs; the shop then transports the vehicle from the Service Center to its facility and the repair work begins.

— When the work is finished, the vehicle is returned to the Service Center where representatives from both Progressive and the body shop inspect the quality of repairs.

— Once satisfied with the repair quality, Progressive calls the customer and asks him or her to return to the Service Center where, together with the claims representative, the customer inspects the repairs.

— The customer then leaves with a written guarantee on the repairs that both Progressive and the body shop stand behind as long as the customer owns the vehicle.

All Service Center people handle claims for Progressive Direct(SM) and Drive(R) Insurance from Progressive customers and complete specialized claims and customer satisfaction training at the company’s expanded claims training facility in Tampa, Fla.

Progressive employs more than 13,200 claims people in more than 460 offices countrywide. Although this concierge level of claims service is not yet available in all markets where Progressive operates claims offices, claims representatives there continue to personally handle each customer’s claim from start to finish.

The Progressive Group of Insurance Companies, in business since 1937, ranks third in the nation for auto insurance based on premiums written and provides drivers with competitive rates and 24/7 in-person and online service. The products and services of the Progressive Direct Group of Insurance Companies are marketed directly to consumers by phone at 1-800-PROGRESSIVE and online at www.progressivedirect.com through the Progressive Direct(SM) brand. The products and services of the Drive Group of Progressive Insurance Companies are offered by more than 30,000 independent insurance agencies and online at www.driveinsurance.com through the Drive(R) Insurance from Progressive brand. The Common Shares of The Progressive Corporation, the Mayfield Village, Ohio-based holding company, are publicly traded at (NYSE:PGR). More information can be found at www.progressive.com.