Two young lawyers, Joseph Lewis and Jack Green, started the Progressive Mutual Insurance Co. in Cleveland, Ohio, in March 1937. They believed that providing automobile owners with security and protection would be a good investment.
By 1951, the company had grown large enough to need new offices and moved to a new location downtown. In 1955, Green was named CEO after Joe Lewis died and Joe's son, Peter, joined the company.
Peter Lewis assumed the role of CEO in 1965 and held the title for 35 years. Current CEO and President, Glenn Renwick, was named in 2000.
The company grew and expanded over the years. In 1971, its expansion fueled its decision to become a public company. Three years later, in 1974, it moved its headquarters from downtown Cleveland to Mayfield Village, a suburb.
Growth continued and in 1987, Progressive surpassed $1 billion in premiums. That same year it was listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol PGR.
Its growth has continued at a steady pace. Between 1996 and 2005, Progressive grew at an average rate of 17 percent per year. It went from $3.4 billion to $14 billion in premiums.
Progressive is known for a number of firsts in the auto insurance industry including:
· Writing insurance for high-risk drivers. Today, it offers coverage to drivers of all types.
· Providing customers with personal service and support immediately after they report a claim 24/7. Specially marked vehicles bring claims professionals to wherever customers need them including the site of an accident.
· A concierge service to help customers find a replacement vehicle at a competitive price and financing for it.
Progressive offers policies for motorcycles, boats/private water craft, business vehicles, snowmobiles and Segway HTs.
It offers discounts for buying a policy online and having more than one policy with Progressive.