Head of Progressive’s Drive Brand Resigns, Effective in May

April 9, 2006

The man behind the wheel of Progressive Insurance’s independent agency brand, Drive Insurance, has resigned.

The Progressive Corporation in Mayfield, Ohio announced on April 7th that it had accepted the resignation of Robert T. Williams, effective May 17. Williams is president of the company’s Drive Group of Insurance Companies.

The Drive subsidiary offers insurance through more than 30,000 independent insurance agencies

Progressive Insurance declined to comment on why Williams had submitted his resignation, but CEO Glenn Renwick provided this additional statement.

“I thank Bob for his many years of service. He has been a huge asset to Progressive and me,” said CEO Glenn Renwick. “Although we will miss his leadership, the Drive Business Group remains fully dedicated to helping independent agents and brokers grow by providing the Drive Insurance brand, competitive products, superior claims service, and technology that makes it easy for them to do business with their customers and with us. We now have an opportunity to take the next step with new leadership and I will be starting the internal process to select a new Group President very soon.”

Progressive said that Williams took over at Drive when it was launched in late 2004 as part of Progressive Insurance Co.’s move to re-brand its independent agency segment by giving it a new name and a big advertising push. At the time, Williams said the goal was to increase the amount of business the company got from independent agents, even though it was already the largest writer of independent agency auto business.

Progressive is itself best known for extensive national branding of its auto insurance that is sold direct, both over the phone and online. But it is also the largest writer of auto insurance sold through independent agents. Drive is an attempt to take the same high-profile branding approach it uses in marketing its direct sales and apply it the independent agency side.

For an Insurance Journal audio interview with Williams at the launching of Drive back in 2004, visit www.insurancejournal.com.

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