Posted on 27 May 2009
Ohio-based Progressive Direct Insurance Company has agreed to resolve allegations that the insurer provided consumers with inaccurate quotes on its rate comparison website, according to state Attorney General Martha Coakley.
Under the terms of the agreement, Progressive has agreed to pay $120,000 to the state and to reimburse overcharged consumers.
"For competition to truly work in Massachusetts, consumers must be able to easily access accurate information about rates from insurance companies," Coakley said. "Progressive's failure to provide correct comparison quotes harmed consumers and harmed Massachusetts' ability to introduce a competitive system in automobile insurance."
The Attorney General's Office claims Progressive offered misleading and inaccurate comparison rates for Arbella Mutual, Liberty Mutual and Commerce Insurance companies on its rate comparison Web site. Across the country, Progressive advertises that the company will instantaneously provide comparison quotes for its competitors when a driver seeks a quote on the insurer's website.
The inaccuracies included the quoting of prices for 12-month policies, while stating the quote was for a 6-month policy. In December 2008, Progressive notified the Attorney General's Office about the rate inaccuracies and took down its rate comparison tool for Massachusetts quotes. The company also stopped offering comparison quotes through its call centers for Massachusetts consumers. To date, comparison quotes are not being offered to Massachusetts consumers by the company.
Under the terms of the settlement, Progressive agreed to assist any consumer whose former agent or carrier did not receive a transfer notice to correct their record or credit history.