Progressive Could Learn a Thing or Two.

July 12, 2004 by
Filed under: Uncategorized 

For some insurance companies, the big picture is much too large for their pathetic, puny little minds to grasp. When you?re focused on one thing, a fast buck, you miss many opportunities for investments that can lead to a prosperous future. Like some of your technicians who live week-to-week, no matter how much you pay them, saving nothing for their futures, some insurance companies risk poverty in the future by not looking at the big picture.

A great illustration of this unfortunate circumstance can be found in my shop, or any other shop that actively campaigns for the better insurance companies. When someone comes to my shop for repairs we educate them on the experience they will soon have with the insurance company responsible for paying for their repairs. Attached to each one of our estimates is a page devoted to educating the customer on the process of dealing with insurance companies, as well as a list of the insurance companies we think are the best of what?s out there.

This extra effort on our part has been paying off. Our customers are dumping the market manipulating morons and are switching to companies that allow us to make a paltry profit. As time passes we see fewer appraisers who couldn?t estimate their own weight let alone a wrecked automobile, and more appraisers who know how to meet our bottom line and keep us recommending their companies to our customers. Our free advertising has been increasing the customer base of those few decent insurance companies. Unfortunately for the rest of the insurers, they are experiencing the opposite. Only the billions they spend in advertising every year can keep the premiums coming in.

The intense advertising Progressive has been doing is catching some of my prospective customers. Recently, I repaired a vehicle belonging to a Progressive insured. When the customer came in for an estimate we explained exactly what would happen and how Progressive would handle her claim. She was amazed at how accurate we were. They tried to steer her to one of their DRP shops. When she refused they told her they couldn?t guarantee our work. When she insisted that we were repairing her car they told her we were difficult to deal with, and that she would probably end up paying more than her deductible. Progressive?s estimate was several hundred dollars less than ours. They refused to negotiate the labor rate. They told her we were the only shop charging these high rates. She shopped around and couldn?t find another shop (except for the DRP shops) that would repair her car for Progressive?s estimate. We repaired her car, she paid her deductible plus the difference Progressive shorted her on the labor rate, and she promptly switched insurance companies.

Progressive thought they won. But they lost, what could have been, a loyal customer. In another incident, with a claimant?s vehicle hit hard in the rear, Progressive refused to budge on the labor rate but offered my customer three times the labor rate difference for ?emotional damages.? Can you believe these idiots? They felt it was worth $2000 to keep me from collecting $600 as a labor rate concession. Progressive also feels its worth thousands of dollars in legal fees to defend a small claims action against them for a few hundred dollars in labor rate deficiencies. Is this a company motivated by spite?

Contrasting this psychotic behavior is an insurance company that handled a claimant with such care and professionalism, the owner of the vehicle switched insurance companies immediately. Not too long ago I had a repair being paid for by Travelers. It was a third party claim. The customer was initially going to go through her own insurance company (Allstate?.Ugh…) because she thought Allstate would take better care of her. I convinced her to let the other person?s insurance take care of the claim. In my area Travelers is outstanding. The appraiser from Travelers met my bottom line without argument. The vehicle was repaired, supplement taken care of immediately, rental bill paid in full for a comparable car, the whole experience for her was painless and professionally handled. When the vehicle owner picked up her car she told me she was in the process of switching insurance companies–to Travelers.

This woman is now paying a slightly higher premium but she figured they handled an adversarial situation with such class, Travelers? service to paying customers may be incredible. Travelers took a costly situation for them and turned it into a profitable one. They will probably recover every penny they paid out on that claim, and much more.

Many insurers have different procedures for handling insured?s and claimants. Maybe it?s the John Edwards of this country sucking the insurance industry dry with ridiculous and baseless lawsuits that put some insurance companies on the defensive. Other insurers treat both claimants and insured?s the same. In my part of the country Travelers is one of them. Progressive is another one. Unfortunately, from my experience, Progressive treats their insured?s as badly as claimants. Maybe if they took a different approach, the approach Travelers takes, they could cut their advertising budget and give Americans a break from their never ending commercials.

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4 Comments on Progressive Could Learn a Thing or Two.

  1. billinbigD on Mon, 12th Jul 2004 4:08 pm
  2. Your comment about John Edwards seems a bit hypocritical. Aren’t these the same same scummy insurance companies that you rant about that his lawsuits (a means to defend the rights of your fellow Americans) are "sucking dry"? I agree with your philosophy about our general need as a society to help ourselves before we go off in search of a hand out from the government. But for many Americans who have been crapped on by big business (i.e., oil & gas, insurance, investment institutions), legislators like Edwards are their last hope. You need to remember the principles of our founding fathers – a system of check and balances. IT IS THE AMERICAN WAY! Not the right wing leave the "gummint" out of it or the liberal left help everybody ’cause they can’t help themselves way. You should stick to the wrecked cars and stupid insurer thing and leave the political crap out of it. If you don’t you’ll end up on drugs like Rush did when Kerry and Edwards are elected this fall.

    RESPONSE FROM AUTHOR: This is so typical of a whiny liberal who is always looking to be a victim. He/she picks one sentence from the entire article and jumps on it. On top of that, he/she doesn’t think out the response, or doesn’t know what the hell he/she is talking about. John Edwards has single handedly put hundreds of obstetricians out of business because they can’t afford malpractice insurance. And many of those still practicing are so afraid of being sued by scumbags like him they’ll only deliver a baby vaginally if the kid is half hanging out when the mother arrives at the hospital. Our medical insurance premiums have been directly affected by all the unnecessary Cesarean section births, all so doctors don’t get blamed for causing some injury to a newborn that was probably caused by the mother smoking, drinking, doing drugs, screwing her hillbilly brother, etc…

    Too many whiners in this country refuse to accept the risks that come with being a human being. And too many slimeballs like John Edwards and the rest of the slick trial attorneys, with their frivolous lawsuits enriching themselves while proclaiming to be heroes for the little guy (when the little guy gets little if any money from these law suits), are destroying our country one law suit at a time. Perhaps your anonymous name, billinbigD stands for Billing Big D as in Divorce. Did I offend and attorney? Awww…Sue me!

  3. shsunshine on Tue, 13th Jul 2004 5:08 am
  4. I agree with you that Progressive can be hard nosed and alot of their adjusters lack the knowledge needed to effectively do their jobs. It’s hard to believe these people can be paid as handsomely as they are with the minimal estimating knowledge most of them possess. Crazy as it may seem though I just ran into an instance with them where they did not reinspect a supplement for 4 working days and now we will be unable to complete the repairs before the claimant needs to leave town for a pre-paid vacation so they agreed to pay his rental due to their delays. I told the claimant to be sure to get the name of who committed to that rental so he didn’t get stuck or have a hard time with it when he gets back. The delays were not our shops fault and we have no intention of contributing a dime toward the rental. Maybe thre is at least 1 Progressive adjuster with morals.

  5. John on Mon, 13th Sep 2004 11:02 am
  6. Here’s a scary thought,I read that there are as many lawyers graduating this year that there are in practice today ,And they all need something to do. Ol’ bumpman

  7. DAN S on Fri, 17th Sep 2004 2:48 pm
  8. I also have been jerked around by Progressive Ins. Aside from the typical differences about labor rates, one adjuster actual shorted us over $150 of a tow/storage bill that we paid out to get the wreck to our shop. The same adjuster changed a rental commitment date with Enterprise & left instructions for them to contact me for the balance. I can go on & on about the slimball antics of a few Progressive claims handlers/adjusters. I go out of my way to tell as many customers as possible to avoid them.

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