Progressive recently introduced significant changes to their usage-based auto insurance program.  Earlier described as a Pay As You Drive® program named MyRate®, it is now simply called SnapshotSM or Snapshot DiscountSM.  (Those trademarks and service marks are owned by Progressive.)

The new name reflects changes to overcome detractions identified by surveyed  consumers, according to Progressive’s  senior management during their Annual Investor Relations Meeting last month.  The new SnapshotSM program (but see notes below) offers:

  • an immediate discount after 30 days for lower-risk driving
  • a renewal discount for lower-risk driving during the six-month policy
  • removal of the Snapshot monitoring device after the first six months

Progressive’s earlier MyRate® program did not apply an earned discount until a following six-month renewal policy term, and required that a MyRate® device stay continuously attached to collect driving data.

Progressive’s management stated they had been target-marketing MyRate® but believe SnapshotSM will have broad appeal.  It is now available in 22 states, should reach “half the country” by year-end, and will be further expanded next year.  With positive early results, they “expect to be broadly advertising” SnapshotSM in 2011.

Progressive’s SnapshotSM website gives a likely preview of their mass-market advertising plans.  Earlier MyRate® short videos on installing the in-vehicle device and accessing reports have been removed.  Instead, the SnapshotSM-rebranded website features smiling spokesperson Flo with a large vintage camera ready to take the viewer’s picture and the caption “Say savings!”

Note 1: Progressive’s usage-based programs originally introduced in about 20 states as MyRate® are already being rebranded as SnapshotSM.  However, program details vary by state and some of those do not yet fully match the SnapshotSM approach identified above.

Note 2: Under the SnapshotSM program, Progressive reserves the right to have a new driving-data “snapshot” captured to maintain a usage-based discount.  Requests will likely be triggered by changes in vehicles, drivers, etc. that can affect driving mileage, times,  and/or behavior.