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.