More than 18,200 car accidents happen in the Austin metropolitan area each year–that’s about 350 a week or 50 a day. And, while about half of all claims handled by Progressive in the area are considered minor in terms of repair costs since they cause less than $2,000 in damage per vehicle, the time wasted and inconvenience caused are anything but minor. About 40 percent of drivers involved in crashes report spending four or more days managing the process of getting their vehicles repaired. That means all of the Austinites involved in accidents in just one week collectively lose more than 16,800 hours of time – that’s more than five years – managing the claims/repair process as a result of even minor accidents.
The Progressive Group of Insurance Companies opened its first Austin Service Center. Drivers can now receive a “concierge” level of claims service that reduces the time each driver spends on the claims/repair process from four days to about 15 minutes. And the service is not limited to just Progressive customers–it’s also available to anyone involved in a claim handled by Progressive.
A driver drops off the damaged vehicle at the Austin Service Center and, in about 15 minutes, can leave in a rental car assured that a claims representative will handle the process from beginning to end and that the repairs will be guaranteed. Without a Service Center, drivers have to spend several days doing everything themselves–arranging for alternate transportation, getting repair estimates, finding a shop, getting updates, inspecting the repairs, etc.
“The Service Center approach is simple and it works,” said Brian Watts, Austin Service Center manager. “By using a service that handles the claims/repair process from start to finish, people can save time and spend it the way they want to.”
The opening of the new Service Center at 10700 N. Lamar Blvd. marks the 35th Progressive Service Center in the U.S.; the seventh in Texas and the first in Austin.
How the Service Center Works: The customer calls Progressive to report the claim any time of the day or night and then schedules an appointment to bring the vehicle to the specially designed Service Center. In about 15 minutes, the customer can be on his or her way in a rental car with assurance that Progressive will keep him or her informed of the status of the claim throughout the repair process. A Progressive claims representative prepares a repair estimate and contacts an auto body shop based on its track record of providing superior service and ability to begin work promptly. Both Progressive and the shop reach agreement on the cost of the repairs; the shop then transports the vehicle from the Service Center to its facility and the repair work begins. When the work is finished, the vehicle is returned to the Service Center where representatives from both Progressive and the body shop inspect the quality of repairs. Once satisfied with the repair quality, Progressive calls the customer and asks him or her to return to the Service Center where, together with the claims representative, the customer inspects the repairs. The customer then leaves with a written guarantee on the repairs that both Progressive and the body shop stand behind as long as the customer owns the vehicle.
All Service Center people handle claims for Progressive Direct and Drive Insurance and undergo specialized claims and customer satisfaction training at the company’s expanded claims training facility in Tampa, Fla.
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