The Progressive Direct Group of Insurance Companies Innovates Again -Becomes First Major Auto Insurance Group to Offer Customers Optionof Getting Text Messages About Policies Sent to their Cell Phones
The Progressive Direct Group of Insurance Companies today announced its customers can now sign up to receive up-to-date information about their auto insurance policies through text messages sent directly to their cell phones. Customers can opt-in to receive Progressive Direct(R) Mobile Alerts including payment reminders, sent in advance of billing dates; payment confirmations, sent once payment has been received; and other payment information.
“At Progressive Direct, we’re always looking for innovative ways to make car insurance as easy as possible for our customers,” said Toby Alfred, Progressive Direct customer experience general manager. “A Mobile Alert sent directly to a cell phone makes it easy to know when a payment is due and when it has been made. The beauty of it is the customer gets the information instantly – without having to be connected to e-mail.”
Payment reminder Mobile Alerts are available to customers who have their car insurance payments automatically deducted from a bank account or billed to a credit card. These reminders are helpful to customers who want advance notice that a bank account deduction or credit card charge is about to be made. Payment confirmations are available to Progressive Direct customers who pay by mail or through an online bank account. Customers who sign up also will receive Mobile Alerts if their policy is about to be cancelled due to non-payment or they have insufficient funds in their account to cover a scheduled payment. The Mobile Alerts work on all major wireless carriers in the United States. Progressive Direct does not charge a fee for Mobile Alerts, but wireless carriers’ standard rates for receiving text messages still apply. Customers can sign up to receive Mobile Alerts by logging in to Progressive Direct’s secure and easy-to-use online service site and selecting “E-mail/Mobile Preferences.”
The Mobile Alerts are the latest in a long line of innovations from The Progressive Group of Insurance Companies, which includes The Progressive Direct Group. In 2005, Progressive Direct launched a customer service support tool called “Talk To Me” that lets shoppers on progressivedirect.com choose to speak with a licensed sales representative immediately, over the Internet, just by clicking their mouse. With Talk To Me, Progressive Direct became the first major auto insurance group to make Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology available to consumers, allowing them to make telephone calls using an Internet connection instead of a regular phone line.
Other recent innovations include the testing of a usage-based insurance discount program in Minnesota called TripSense(R) in 2004 and, in 2002, the launching of the first-ever auto insurance “Rate Ticker” that shows an up-to-the-minute scrolling display of auto insurance rates provided by different companies to consumers across the U.S. Designed to highlight the spread in rates available from different companies, the Rate Ticker won a coveted “Fast 50 Champions of Innovation” award from Fast Company magazine in 2003.
The Progressive Group of Insurance Companies, in business since 1937, ranks third in the nation for auto insurance and number one for motorcycle 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 under the Progressive Direct(R) brand by phone at 1-800-PROGRESSIVE and online at www.progressivedirect.com and www.progressiveseguros.com, a site for Spanish-speaking consumers. Progressive Direct offers consumers conveniences that help make car insurance easier, including comparison rates of other top companies and the ability to shop for, buy and manage their policies by phone or online, 24/7. 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.
Toby Alfred is available for interview.