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Progressive Awarded Second Patent for Usage-Based

July 13, 2000

The United States Patent Office has awarded Progressive Casualty Insurance Company, a subsidiary of The Progressive Corporation, a second patent for its usage-based auto insurance rating system.

This system, known as Autograph, bases consumers’ auto insurance rates, in part, on how much, when and where the vehicle is driven. Bob McMillan, business development leader for Progressive, said: “Usage-based auto insurance is rather simple, really. The less you drive, the less you pay. It’s the first-ever auto insurance product that gives consumers control over how much they pay.”

The system bills consumers each month based on vehicle usage. The information is reported back to Progressive using a combination of Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) and cellular technology installed in the vehicle. The system has been tested in Texas since 1998. There, hundreds of consumers have chosen usage-based auto insurance over a ‘traditional’ auto insurance rating system.

In Houston, Progressive claims that the Autograph system has saved consumers an average of 25 percent compared to what they were paying using a traditional auto insurance product.

“Our usage-based approach to auto insurance is producing savings for lots of people,” McMillan said. “In fact, people who live close to work or have a second or third car that isn’t used as much are seeing savings of up to 50 percent on their auto insurance premium.”

“The test proved the usage-based system is feasible from a technology standpoint and consumers liked the control and cost savings,” said McMillan. “We’ve concluded the test to move forward focusing on integrating our systems, forging alliances with companies that can provide technology embedded in the vehicle and obtaining necessary state regulatory approval for a wider rollout.”

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