It’s never easy to pinpoint a certain
moment when things changed
forever. Some could argue that the
world of insurance distribution—
and maybe the entire industry—
changed in 1995 when Progressive
insurance introduced what the
company claims is the first ever
Today, every insurance company has a website and is conducting
business online in a way that even
Progressive never imagined in
1995. Today, Progressive remains
one of the most active of all insurance carriers when it comes to
technology and continues to be recognized for that leadership.
Keynote, a company that monitors digital business optimization,
has recognized Progressive.com as the insurance industry’s leading
website, a position the carrier has maintained for over a decade.
Progressive has topped the list for 24 of the last 25 scorecards since 2000. The Keynote Insurance Scorecard recognized
the site for continuing to push forward with mobile delivery
using responsive design. Progressive has also made a variety of
enhancements to its user interfaces, improving claim and repair
tracking processes and adding online chat to support customers
accessing the carrier’s secure site.
On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of Progressive
Insurance’s first website, Tom Nolan, digital creative director at
Progressive, addressed several questions on what the insurer has
accomplished online and what the future holds.
ITA Pro: What functionality from the earliest website remains
a backbone of Progressive’s Internet presence?
Nolan: Twenty years ago, our website acted like a virtual
brochure to understand insurance and find a way to contact us.
Today, it still serves that purpose but at its core, we now focus
on providing experiences that allow visitors to quote and buy
insurance policies and fully service their policies.
ITA Pro: The concept of sharing personal private information
over the Internet was foreign in 1995. Did Progressive envision
policies being purchased in such a new manner would change
the industry’s distribution model in such a radical way?
Nolan: It has been quite an evolution, that at the time, I’m not
sure anyone could have predicted. Our goal has always been to
try and make insurance easier and more accessible for our consumers. The Internet gave us an opportunity to engage with our
consumers in a new channel. Early on, we weren’t really sure to
what level that engagement would go. When you look back, the
progression has been amazing.
ITA Pro: Over the course of the last 20 years, do you feel there was
one area of functionality that changed the course of what Progressive—and other insurance carriers—were trying to do online?
Nolan: Online quoting. It’s our goal to let people interact with
Progressive in whatever way is most convenient for them, so
adding online quoting was a game-changer for tech-savvy
ITA Pro: How has mobility changed the way Progressive thinks
about its web presence today?
Nolan: Mobile is another channel we think is crucial to engage
consumers. As mentioned earlier, our goal is to let people
interact with Progressive in whatever way is most convenient
for them. As mobile phone use has boomed, so has mobile web,
so we’re always working to give a great experience on a five-inch
cell phone screen in addition to a 19-inch computer screen.
ITA Pro: Over the past two decades, approximately how many
significant changes have been made to the website?
Nolan: Too many to count, but we’re really excited about our
most recent update, which just rolled out in the past year. We
believe it gives consumers the best possible experience as they
ITA Pro: How do you envision the next generation of insurance
Nolan: It’s always hard to predict major advancements in
digital technology, but we do envision our future experiences
to be more personal. We’ve been focused on understanding
more about our site traffic, so we can deliver personalized and
targeted experiences. ITA
Progressive Reaches Impressive Milestone
Insurer observes 20 years of online connectivity with its customers as the
first carrier website for the insurance industry.
By Robert Regis Hyle