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Progressive gives up on home insurance

Over the course of the next two years, Progressive will end its brief flirtation with selling home insurance and gradually pull out of the market.

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Progressive, which offered home insurance only in Arizona, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, and Texas, will continue to sell new home insurance policies until May 3, 2002, except in Texas, where the insurer had earlier placed a moratorium on new business.

The insurer will offer renewals to current home insurance policyholders at least through Feb. 28, 2003, allowing some Progressive policies to remain in force through Feb. 28, 2004.

Progressive says it would need to significantly increase its investment in systems infrastructure and personnel to stay competitive in home insurance.

Prior to issuing nonrenewal notices, Progressive plans to explain its decision to current policyholders in a letter, messages in installment bills, memos, and other correspondence. Progressive began selling home insurance in 2000.

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