What’s in a Name

Progressive Insurance is, well … Progressive. Consider the following:

* “[CEO Peter] Lewis has created an organization filled with sharp, type-A personalities who are encouraged to take risks—even if that sometimes leads to mistakes.”

* “One thing that we’ve noticed is that they’ve always been very good at avoiding denial. They react quickly to changes in the marketplace.”—Keith Trauner, portfolio manager who follows Progressive

* “When four successive hurricanes hit Florida and neighboring states in August and September, Progressive sent more than 1,000 claims adjusters to the Southeast. Result: 80% of 21,000 filed claims had been paid by mid-October, an impressive figure. This pleased policy holders and probably helped Progressive because delays in claims payments typically mean higher costs.”

Source: Barron’s/ “Polished Performer: The Car Insurance Game’s Best Managers Have Put Progressive in the Fast Lane”/11.01.04

Net: I’ve long been a Progressive-Lewis admirer. (My favorite Lewis-ism: “We don’t sell insurance anymore. We sell speed.”) I’ve now added Progressive to my X04 list, my first Excellent Company list since ’82.

Tom Peters posted this on November 11, 2004, in Excellence.
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