The Progressive Corp., an insurance holding company, is the third-biggest seller of car insurance in the U.S. The Mayfield Village, Ohio, company has 58 subsidiaries and a mutual-insurance company affiliate, which provide personal and commercial automobile insurance, and other specialty property-casualty insurance and related services.
The company is one of the largest providers of nonstandard, high-risk personal auto insurance and has moved into standard-risk and preferred auto insurance and coverage of motorcycles, commercial vehicles and snowmobiles. It also writes a small amount of professional liability insurance for directors and officers at community banks.
Progressive has been considered one of the best-run auto insurers in the U.S., known for its low expenses and quick-turnaround of accident claims. The company also has a reputation for innovation. It uses one of the most sophisticated computer models to price policies. A new "concierge" service lets drivers who have been in accidents drop off their cars for repair at central locations in its markets and rent a car in the same place. It also introduced satellite transponders to set insurance rates based on miles driven, speed and time of day. Progressive teamed up with the X Prize Foundation to award $10 million to the developer of a production viable, 100 mile-per-gallon vehicle in 2009. The company also sponsors Progressive Field, home of Major League Baseball's Cleveland Indians.
The company describes its interview process in detail, including the kinds of questions candidates might expect. A sampling:
-- What was your most difficult sale, and how did you approach it?
-- What changes in your job have you recommended? Why?
-- Describe a situation in which you were able to convince someone to see things your way.
-- Describe a time when you were faced with a stressful situation. How did you react?
-- Tell me about a time when you made a bad decision and what did you do?