Nationwide, American Modern, National General, Homesite, Hiscox and Markel are just a half dozen of the names on a roster of 20 carriers providing personal lines or commercial lines insurance (or both) in the Progressive Advantage Agency network.

What benefits do they get from participating on Progressive’s direct distribution platforms, Home Quote Explorer (HQX) and Business Quote Explorer (BQX)?

“The list really starts with the access they gain to millions of qualified customers that were generated through Progressive’s marketing and media efforts,” said Sean Freeman, business leader of the Direct Progressive Agency Experience team, speaking during a recent Investor Relations event.

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“Given the strength of the Progressive brand and our advertising experience, this can frequently be greater consideration or ‘at bats’ than many of these participating brands would experience on their own,” he said.

“Progressive also understands what is critical to writing profitable business, so we allow the carriers on our network to apply any of their proprietary acceptance and pricing rules in addition to our strong adherence to any provided procedures asked of their appointed agencies.”

“Furthermore, Progressive has been a leader in innovative customer experiences both offline and online for many years. Being a part of our carrier network allows for leveraging these experiences to efficiently and effectively quote and bind customers, which presumably leads to positive brand association for our participating carriers,” he stated.

Kathy Lemieux, business leader of CRM Sales Experience, noted that Progressive’s investments in building the HQX and BQX platforms can only produce value when they’re backed by a broad portfolio of products underwritten by reputable brands, explaining some of the requirements that that 13 participating carriers in the HQX portfolio, and nine BQX writers.

“We are exposing Progressive customers and thus the Progressive brand to the services of another carrier,” she said, explaining the need to protect both by being selective about partners.

“They must meet our standards for customer care. They must offer a quality product at fair price, pass our information security assessments, and they must have the financial strength and standing to uphold the promise we make to customers…”

“Additionally, we’ll consider a carrier’s technological capabilities so that we can provide a seamless integrated digital customer experience for quoting and servicing,” she said.

During the event, Lemieux previewed some screenshots from the pilot of a soon-to-be-launched online tool for auto insurance, AQX. “Early results give us confidence that the comparison quote and purchase experience with a reputable set of carriers will give us the opportunity to better meet consumer needs, starting new customer relationships in those cases where insurance shoppers would not purchase a Progressive policy, getting their auto insurance needs met elsewhere.”

“Progressive continues to be known for providing comparison rates, but our launch of AQX provides an opportunity to refine our brand positioning. The key is to generate interest by conveying that we’ve taken the hassle out of shopping for car insurance, while giving customers confidence in the products, prices, and providers that we offer,” she said.