Thursday, September 15, 2005

Is Progressive Insurance Really That Progressive?

Don’t know about Progressive advertising in your part of the country, but here in Tulsa, OK they have a big office and their ads run like crazy. Finally, last Saturday night, after seeing one too many Progressive insurance commercials, I sat down in front of my PC at midnight and went to their web site to see how much money they could save me on my car insurance.

While their site is intuitive and friendly, you need to invest quite a few minutes in entering your personal data and driving history into their multi-page form. The more forth-coming and detailed you are, the better they can estimate your rate and projected savings. This is understandable, but a real pain in the ass to do at midnight when you are half brain dead.

I entered all the data requested, and clicked Submit, gleefully awaiting their report of how much they were going to save me. Their commercial says they will provide you with a quote, and even give you quotes from competitors if they are not the lowest. Well, that’s only half right.

While they did present me with a quote pretty quickly, they did not provide me with any other quotes from competitors. They said there was no further data available for my profile in my part of the country (where they have an office) and with my precise driving record and history (which is probably far better than most).

I thought their quote was higher than what I am currently paying. Their quote is interactive, so you can adjust the types of coverage required to get the price down. That’s handy and the price did go down quickly when I whipped out my existing policies and compared exact apples to oranges. Progressive over insured me. Once I dropped and minimized the coverage, their numbers were better, but not earth-shattering. I invested an hour in this process.

As I drilled down further into their site, I learned how they derived my rates, and was surprised to see that my credit history has a direct impact on my insurance rates. Did not know that. They gave me a summary of my credit report in comparison to other people who fit my profile, and I was surprised by what was in my credit report.

Progressive also suggested that while they know many people bundle their home and car insurance to save money, that I might be able to save more by unbundling my insurance and looking for the lowest prices in both categories. That’s more work than I am willing to do to save a few hundred dollars a year.

All in all, I was not bowled over by the Progressive site or the results delivered, and I have not changed insurance companies . . . yet.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Check Out The Mural Factory!

I’ve just learned about a really neat company that specializes in the creation of custom murals. These aren’t your everyday, off-the-shelf murals either. And we’re not talking fancy signs either. These are highly personalized to your decor. They can provide corporate and consumer solutions. You won’t believe what they can do with a child’s room! Check out their site here.


Friday, September 02, 2005

The Death of the 30 Second Spot

I’ve begun reading a great book about television advertising and the need to rethink what we’ve come to accept as the norm — the 30 second spot. So far it is an excellent read and really forces you to consider new options using new media to promote products. Highly recommended.