One Person’s Slightly Used Auto Insurance Policy is Another Person’s … Treasure?

April 1, 2005

Who can forget the way the policy for that ’76 Gremlin smelled? How about those deductibles from that Merkur policy? Sure, they don’t make the car any longer, but that’s what makes the policy valuable! And a 1957 Ford Fairlane policy still in the envelope? What a find!

Most Americans have never thought of auto insurance policies as collectibles, but that may be about to change on this April Fools’ Day.

The Web site of The Progressive Direct Group of Insurance Companies,, celebrates the 423rd anniversary of April Fool’s Day by poking a little fun at itself and the very serious subject of car insurance. Today — and today only — will feature online auctioning of slightly used auto insurance policies … and other things, including a “priceless” grocery list and a gas station receipt.

Viewers can bid on the items. At last check, the high bid on the auto policy for the 1957 Ford Fairlane was $0.76. The ’76 Gremlin policy wasn’t faring as well, with a high bid of only $.06, despite the fact that the policy covers towing and breakdowns.

“There are some companies that have achieved incredible success by letting others auction personal belongings — perhaps you’ve heard of them?” said Toby Alfred, general manager responsible for online customer experiences, Progressive Direct. “Progressive Direct is all about making things easier for consumers, so we thought ‘why not make it easier for people holding on to 30-year-old insurance contracts to auction them so they can get exactly what they’re worth?’ I think we may be on to something.”

Last April Fool’s Day, pioneered UFO Insurance, a concept the company remains committed to, but one that has caused trouble for landscapers at the headquarters campus in Mayfield Village, Ohio. Alfred said: “Coverage for those silver disks turned out to be in such demand, our parking lots were overrun. Their only alternative was to make another swing around the universe, or park on the grass. While we are trying to convince the landscapers that crop circles or, in our case, grass circles, are the hottest trend, they don’t yet believe us.”

Interestingly, since Progressive Direct began tracking UFO accident frequency it, too, is down, just like car accident frequency. No theories yet.

More information can be found at

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