Progressive’s Political Pothead

August 16, 2005 by
Filed under: Uncategorized 

I don?t want it to seem like I?m picking on Progressive Insurance. I mean, I enjoy it immensely, but there are other things to talk about. However, never one to miss an opportunity to shed light on the darkness of the insurance industry, I have to relate some interesting information about the man who has made Progressive what it is today. That man, Peter Lewis, is a piece of work. And wait till you see what he?s been doing with all that money Progressive has been stealing from your operations by artificially holding down labor rates.

A conversation I was having the other day with someone, involved the topic of Progressive Insurance and their business model of insane micro management and absolute control over every dollar moving through the company. I asked this person about the CEO of the third largest insurer in the country. What this person told me piqued my interest so I did some research.

Peter Lewis, the CEO of Progressive Insurance, until recently when he took the position of Chairman of the Board, is 70 years old and the son of the original founder of Progressive. According to Forbes Magazine he?s worth about 1.1 billion dollars. He?s a Princeton graduate and a very generous alumnus, contributing about $117 million dollars to the school. Last year he donated $60 million to build a library at Princeton named after him.

Being a rich, powerful CEO of a huge insurance company, many of you would assume Peter Lewis is a rabid Republican, you know, one of George Bush?s evil buddies. Well you would be wrong. Very, very wrong. In fact, Peter Lewis is a buddy of George Soros, the socialist, billionaire lunatic who spent many millions trying to take over the United States government during the 2004 election. Lewis was the second largest donor to the 527 groups, like moveon.org, outspent only by George Soros. Another friend of Lewis is Ralph Nader, the man who wants to be president so bad he can?t see that the American people can?t keep a straight face while listening to his nonsense.

Lewis? behavior resembles another famous billionaire and eccentric whack job, Howard Hughes. Apparently he spends much of his time alone, and though he relishes the power his wealth brings, he doesn?t grant interviews or photographs. According to an article in the New Yorker, Peter Lewis ?spent much of 2004 discreetly directing millions of dollars to liberal groups allied with the Democratic Party while cruising the Mediterranean Sea on his two-hundred-and-fifty foot yacht, Lone Ranger.? (Reportedly, he attended a meeting with the Cleveland City Council President wearing a Lone Ranger costume.) He donated $23 million dollars to far left lunatic fringe groups like moveon.org, all in his burning desire to remove George Bush from office. What a waste of money. Just think of all the homeless people he could have helped with the $23 million dollars. Instead he fattened the wallets of rich advertising agencies. Moron.

Typical left wing hypocrites. Both Soros and Lewis became super-rich by taking advantage of our capitalistic society. Now that they are old and rich, they want to take that opportunity away from everyone else. Soros is a flat out socialist, and would love to redistribute everyone?s wealth among the poor; everyone?s money except his that is. Apparently Lewis supports this nonsense, and has spent a fortune trying to turn this country into Canada or France.

Lewis? hometown is Cleveland Ohio. In 2002 he decided he would donate no more money to educational institutions or local charities there. He complained about how the city was being run, and get this, he complained that the city was being run by corporate managers. The idiot is a corporate manager himself. He?s so self absorbed and arrogant that he doesn?t see himself as an evil rich guy like the people he?s trying to chase out of office. This is a sure sign of psychosis. And this guy was running a large insurance company? This isn?t even the worst of it.

The real focus of Peter Lewis, his real passion and purpose in life, his reason for getting up every morning is legalizing marijuana. Yup, Progressive had/has a dope smoking 70 year old hippie running the company. ?Dude! Where?s my DRP?? The 1999 issue of Hoover’s Handbook of American Business lists Lewis as “a functioning pot-head.” He?s called himself “half screwball, half businessman.”

He?s not just an advocate for dope, he?s a user too. This damn fool got himself arrested in New Zealand in the year 2000 when airport security found almost two ounces of weed and two ounces of hashish in his luggage. A flaming liberal would be incensed if a rich republican got arrested and then paid his way out of jail. It happens all the time, right? Mr. Hypocrite paid his way out of jail, though. He made a large donation to some down-under rehab clinic and got a walk. Do you think the poor, the downtrodden, the ?less fortunate? in our country would have ever gotten such a break? Hell no. Here?s a guy who spent millions trying to unseat our President, because he thinks of Bush as an evil rich guy, and install a government that will steal from the rich and give it to the poor, you know, so everyone is equal. Here?s this modern day Robin Hood doing exactly what he?s says he hates about America (He may have never said he hates the rich, but by supporting the 527 groups belonging to the edge-of-the-flat-world left wing, he?s promoting that move).

In 2001 Peter Lewis was the largest contributor to those child molester protectors, the ACLU. He gave them 7 million dollars but only if most of it was spent promoting the legalization of marijuana, and the defense of those dope smoking idiots who got caught with the stuff.

I have to come clean here. I fully support the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes, with a prescription. But for general use? Just think of the dope heads you?ve known or now know. Nuff said.

Have you ever seen the Guggenheim Museum? It is, without a doubt, the most ugly, the most hideous looking building on the face of the earth, in the history of the earth. Mr. Lewis is a very generous donor and is Chairman of the Board for the museum. He?s donated at least $50 million dollars to that scrap metal pile (For the record, I?m only commenting on the building itself, not the collection inside). He?s also the man behind the Peter B. Lewis Building in Cleveland, Ohio. This building is another pile of scrap metal, something that looks like a miniature version of the Guggenheim. It?s just another glimpse at the mind of the leader of our most despised insurer; twisted like these metal scrap heaps.

I did manage to find an interview with him done in 1998. Here are some of the more interesting quotes.

“hire the best” and “pay the most.” Help, I can?t breathe, I?m laughing too hard.

“We have the best people in the industry as measured by education, intelligence, initiative, work ethic, and work record” Now dialing 911.

“We find them and go after them. Then we put them through our crucible. This is a highly competitive, challenging place to work. We work harder than most companies, and that becomes sort of seductive. Many people wash out. The ones who remain are fantastic.” Many people wash out? Or do you put them through the wringer?

Peter Lewis is the left wing lunatic fringe?s messiah. He is also the genius behind Progressive?s success. I respect him for his business sense and for his climb to the top. No matter how much you hate Progressive Insurance, you have to give Lewis and the company credit for their ingenuity and especially, their cahones. They know how to make money. But there is too much insincerity steaming from the Progressive pile of political poop. Their gimmiks of IRV?s, super fast service, giving quotes from other insurers and their Concierge service are impressive on the surface, but they are like the thin veneer on cheap furniture. It’s beautiful, but being so thin it can?t stand up to use and begins to fail, revealing the substandard, flimsy substrate beneath it. All these gimmiks hide the core of their buisness: Advertise relentlessly, charge average rates for good drivers, very high rates for drivers who can?t get insurance elsewhere, then squeeze claim payments viciously tight. It?s kind of like trying to impress your buddies by wrapping a $100 bill around a bundle of ones. Looks like a lot more than it really is. The real surprise comes when you need it.

What really irks me, though, is the hipocracy of Lewis, Soros and every other rich left wingnut. They demonize the ?evil rich? and the ?corporate robber barons? and the ?greedy corporations.? They have all taken advantage of our great system. They have all lived the American dream. They only like money and power when it belongs to them.

OK, I?ll try to refrain from picking on Progressive for a while. But they keep giving me material, it?s hard to resist.

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Comments

7 Comments on Progressive’s Political Pothead

  1. mark on Tue, 16th Aug 2005 4:22 pm
  2. I think you should get out of the bodyshop business and begin writing editorials. You have a great way with words, and the pay might even be better. But then, we would miss your great columns, and who else could write great weblogs for us to enjoy.
    I have passed this link on to every bodyshop person I know and tell them to sign up for the weblog. Can I steal your words and put them on my website? I can then direct my customers to the site and they would see someone else\’s view. It\’s a shame that this company has made great strides in streamlining the process of claims management, but have the worst industry relations of almost all companies. What\’s even scarier is the some other companies have hired ex-Progressive employees to assist them with their DRP programs. We were a DRP for them several years ago and the program worked well, (for a while). I then kicked them out and everyone said I was an idiot to throw away business. I recommended a competitor to them and told them he could have all the Progressive work he could handle; they could fill his shop up. They were 8% of our business and 80% of our headaches. Believe me there is no lost love here. I make sure every customer that comes in knows how we feel about Progressive and we always recommend a different carrier for them to use. When we do get their jobs in my shop, it is almost a game and we will generally have 4 or 5 supplements until they pay what we are asking. We always keep the customer informed and make them aware of Progressives tactics. We also charge the customer for what Progressive will not pay and give the name and phone # for the claims supervisor (that\’s the employee that\’s been there for 6 months), as well as the state board of Insurance numbers and online complaint forms. I can say that we have got paid for everything we have done and I have not had one customer that has not been reimbursed by Progressive. It\’s a fight but we simply cannot lie down. Keep the great columns coming, and by the way the Dollars and Sense Program is a great little utility.

  3. Rob Johnson on Tue, 16th Aug 2005 5:10 pm
  4. hmmmmm…..everyone on other forums think politics has nothing to do with our industry!!

  5. butch crockett on Tue, 16th Aug 2005 7:07 pm
  6. welcome to our world…we get the saqme experience when repairing hail damage cars (paintless dent repair) progressive even came back on us a year later on a vehicle we would have been happy to pay on but then 3 months later charged us triple…go figure..keep us the log

  7. Barrett on Wed, 17th Aug 2005 3:48 am
  8. Hey John, I enjoyed your review of Peter B. Lewis.

    Having been a Senior Adjuster for Progressive back in its initial growth stage (late 70s early 80s)I had the pleasure of meeting him on several occasions and heard many stories regarding his weird behavior such as the time he locked himself in his DeLorean and had to pull into a gas station, use his cell phone (when they were cool and had to have a back-pack with them) to have the station attendant come out and break his window to get him out only to find the vehicle full of pot smoke.

    One has to respect the work ethic of this and other insurers who have been fiscally successful but yet deplore their ethics and lack of consumerism with every breath.

    Keep up the good work!

    Barrett

  9. Don on Wed, 17th Aug 2005 7:57 am
  10. Great writing. I look forward to these articles every time my email alerts me you’ve posted one. Where’s the morals with certain insurance companies? Why do some think they can get away with making not only our shops but even their own clients have to jump through 10000 hoops before they finally pay what it costs to repair a vehicle properly? I think you just answered a part of it! Keep up the good work

  11. doug on Thu, 18th Aug 2005 6:10 am
  12. I come in here to get up to date info. on auto body to help my business, not to be told about the democrats or republicans. If I want to know about the bad old democrats I can visit this site from now on, I guess. If I want to know about the republicans, I guess I could listen to Rush or Faux news. hmmmmmm

    RESPONSE FROM AUTHOR:
    Gee doug, I guess you must have missed the part about the 70 year old dope smoking hippie running the third largest insurance company in the country. Considering Progressive is the #1 pain in the ass insurance company in the country, I think that’s pretty relevant to the collision repair industry, wouldn’t you say? Go grab a big glass of Koolaid, sign on to moveon.org, put on your tinfoil hat and have fun.

  13. BRUCE on Wed, 28th Sep 2005 1:03 pm
  14. WHY DONT YOU DO SOMETHING TO HELP US WHO CARES WHAT HE MAKES. LET HIM NOW WHAT DUMMIES HE HAS WORKING FOR HIS COMPANY.THIS USE TO BE A FUN BUSINESS NOT ANY MORE.

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