How Progressive Got Its Name, and Does It Live Up to It?

Progressive may well be one of the most recognizable insurance providers in the U.S., but they had to start somewhere. Read on to see how they got their name, and whether they’ve indeed been “progressive” over the years.
Written by Hannah DeWitt
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Progressive
is most well-known today for their iconic commercials featuring mascots like Flo. Beyond these memorable ads, Progressive has also built a reputation as one of the leading insurance providers in the United States. Where did the name "Progressive" come from, though?
According to
Progressive
, the name is a reflection of their efforts to be on top of innovation in the insurance industry. Throughout their long history, we can see how this "progressive mentality" has guided this insurance provider.

Progressive company history

In 1937, two lawyers named Jack Green and Joseph Lewis founded a company called Progressive Mutual Insurance Company. They started in Ohio, and their unique business philosophy led to its growth. Within two decades, Progressive had grown to 40 employees, and they were becoming recognizable outside of their home of Ohio.
The company became closer to the Progressive that we know today in 1965, when the Progressive Corporation was formed. This has been the company's official name ever since. Then, in 1971, Progressive became a publicly-traded company.
In recent decades, Progressive has worked to be the first in the industry to take advantage of technology. This has helped Progressive become one of the most recognizable names in insurance. They are currently in a race to be the second or even first-ranked insurer in the country. 
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Why did they call it Progressive?

Green and Lewis seemingly did not specifically say why they named their company Progressive, but it is a name that makes sense. When something is progressive, it embraces new ideas. Progressive has sought to be an insurance provider that does things differently than others.
This can be seen in one of the earliest things that set Progressive apart from competitors. Progressive gained a reputation early on for its nonstandard insurance policies. Unlike other insurers of the time, Progressive was not afraid to provide insurance to drivers that other insurers considered high-risk.
While the philosophy of nonstandard policies established Progressive as the "progressive" insurance provider, it isn't the only thing that sets them apart. Progressive's history has been full of instances that show the company at the forefront of the industry.
MORE: Dr. Rick From Progressive Has a Hard Time Picking His Best Line

Progressive is known for achieving industry firsts

Many of the industry firsts that Progressive has achieved have revolved around the early adoption of technology. In 1994, before the Internet had become common, Progressive launched an innovative service that allowed users to get quotes over the phone. This toll-free phone service allowed users to compare quotes from Progressive and other insurers.
The next year, Progressive took their progressive mentality to the Internet Age and founded auto-insurance.com. Today, this domain simply redirects to the main Progressive website. At the time, though, it truly was the only website that enabled users to shop for auto insurance.
Since this, Progressive has continued to find new ways to use technology to let users find insurance. In 2017, they launched the Flo Chatbot, which allowed users to get quotes through Facebook Messenger. 

Jerry marks the next innovation in buying insurance

Progressive's goal of continuing to grow has resulted in major innovations for the insurance industry. Now,
Jerry
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