Progressive is one of the largest and most well-known auto insurance companies in the United States. But its full corporate name is a bit more complex: Progressive County Mutual Insurance Company. This longer name often leaves customers wondering – is Progressive County Mutual the same as Progressive Insurance?
The short answer is yes. Progressive County Mutual and Progressive Insurance refer to the same company. But the story behind the brand’s growth from a small Ohio insurer to one of the nation’s insurance giants helps explain the two names.
In this article, we’ll explore:
- The history of Progressive Insurance and how it evolved from Progressive County Mutual
- The relationship between Progressive County Mutual and Progressive Insurance
- Key brands and subsidiaries under the Progressive umbrella
- Progressive’s core insurance products and services
- The scale of Progressive’s national operation today
Understanding Progressive’s origins and corporate structure provides helpful context around its branding and massive growth over the decades.
A Brief History of Progressive Insurance
In 1937, Joseph Lewis and Jack Green founded Progressive County Mutual in Cleveland, Ohio. The company started by only selling auto insurance to select drivers considered lower risk.
Within a few years, Progressive expanded to insure all types of drivers. This helped grow its customer base and premiums rapidly in the 1940s and 1950s.
The name “Progressive” aimed to reflect the company’s forward-thinking approach and steady growth. “County Mutual” indicated its organization as a mutual insurance company owned by policyholders.
Here are some key events over Progressive’s 85+ year history:
1937: Founded as Progressive County Mutual in Cleveland, OH
1956: Hit $100 million in premiums written
1987: Passed $1 billion in premiums
1990: Changed name to Progressive Corporation with multiple brands
2016: Reached over $20 billion in premiums written annually
2021: Ranked #4 US auto insurer with 13% market share
Progressive steadily grew from its Ohio roots into one of the nation’s largest auto insurers. It pioneered consumer-friendly innovations like 24/7 claims reporting and immediate response vehicles.
Customers connect its friendly brand image with perky sales rep “Flo” and its long-running advertising slogan “ bundles home and auto insurance.
The Progressive County Mutual and Progressive Insurance Connection
The Progressive County Mutual Insurance Company still exists as Progressive’s primary operating entity. But in 1990, the parent holding company changed its name to The Progressive Corporation.
This parent company owns and oversees various subsidiaries that operate using the shorter “Progressive Insurance” branding, including:
- Progressive Direct
- Progressive Commercial
- Progressive Home
- Progressive Motorcycle
- Progressive Life Insurance
- Progressive Rental
- Many more regional brands and partners
So Progressive County Mutual remains the underlying mutual insurance company. But most subsidiaries and policies utilize the more nationally recognized “Progressive” name and logo.
Think of Progressive County Mutual as the central hub that powers the broad network of Progressive Insurance offerings across the country today. But for customers, Progressive products and services come with the shorter, more familiar Progressive branding.
What Is a Mutual Insurance Company?
Progressive County Mutual’s original 1936 charter established it as a mutual insurance company owned by policyholders rather than private stockholders.
Here’s how mutual insurance carriers like Progressive differ:
Policyholder ownership: Policyholders are considered “members” who collectively own the mutual company.
Focus on customers: Mutuals aim to provide quality service and value to members/policyholders rather than maximize profits.
Return of surplus: Premiums that exceed claims/expenses may be returned to members in the form of dividends. Stock insurers distribute surplus to shareholders.
Governed by members: Policyholders elect the board of directors to represent their interests. Stock insurers are governed by major shareholders.
Non-profit tax status: Mutual insurers operate as non-profits with any surplus used for the benefit of members. Stock carriers operate for profit.
So while no longer in the official parent company name, the mutual heritage remains core to Progressive’s identity and customer-centric approach.
Progressive’s Main Insurance Products
Today, Progressive provides a wide array of personal and commercial insurance products across the United States. Here are some of Progressive’s primary offerings:
Auto insurance: Progressive’s core product. Provides liability, collision, comprehensive, uninsured motorist, and other standard auto coverages.
Homeowners insurance: Policies cover property damage, liability claims, loss of use, and personal property. Available in all 50 states.
Rental insurance: Short-term policies tailored to rental cars and trucks, including rideshares. Also covers hosts’ vehicles on Turo and GetAround.
Motorcycle insurance: Bike protection with liability, collision, comprehensive, accessory, and medical payments coverages.
Commercial auto insurance: Policies for company vehicles, fleets, trucks, and business drivers.
Life insurance: Term and whole life insurance products including child life plans. Offered in 40 states and D.C.
In addition to these major lines, Progressive also offers umbrella, boat, classic car, and other specialized insurance policies based on local availability.
Customers can bundle auto with property, life, or other policies through Progressive for multi-policy discounts. Online quotes, claims filing, and responsive mobile apps make managing Progressive insurance convenient for today’s on-the-go customers.
Progressive’s National Scale and Market Position
Since its modest 1930s beginnings, Progressive has grown to a massive nationwide operation and one of the country’s largest auto insurers. Some signs of its expansive size and market presence today:
Available in all 50 states: Progressive sells policies coast to coast.
$47 billion in annual revenue: Ranked #100 on Fortune 500 list based on 2021 results.
Over 24,000 employees: Progressive’s large workforce supports its national customer base.
13% U.S. market share: The #4 auto insurer by market share, trailing only State Farm, Geico, and Allstate.
19 million+ policies in force: Progressive provides 1 out of every 8 U.S. auto policies.
950+ local agencies: In addition to direct and independent agent sales, Progressive owns brick-and-mortar retail locations.
From an Ohio-based county mutual to the 4th largest auto insurer nationwide, Progressive has seen tremendous growth over 85+ years while remaining dedicated to its policyholders.
So while the Progressive County Mutual name reflects its mutual beginnings, the company now reaches customers across America through the broad Progressive Insurance identity and its array of insurance brands and offerings.
Progressive County Mutual founded in 1937 eventually grew into the national Progressive Insurance carrier.
The mutual company insuring Ohio drivers evolved to span 50 states but retains policyholder focus.
Progressive County Mutual remains the mutual insurance entity at Progressive’s core.
Numerous subsidiaries like Progressive Direct operate under the umbrella Progressive brand.
Auto insurance remains Progressive’s primary product, but they now offer many other policies.
Progressive ranks among America’s largest auto insurers with over 19 million policies in force.
So while technically two names for the same insurance provider, the Progressive County Mutual and Progressive Insurance identities each tell part of the company’s unique story and path to becoming an insurance powerhouse.
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