What's your favorite pet?
In addition to collision and liability, Progressive is now offering at no additional premium coverage for pets unlucky enough to be traveling in a car when an accident occurs. The insurance company will pay up to $500 if a policy holder's cat or dog is injured or killed in an auto accident.
Progressive senior vice president Jean Salvatore calls this an unusual and interesting benefit and says, to her knowledge, no other company provides a collision benefit clause for furry friends. PGR product manager Geoff Souser reiterated that We found no coverage that was even similar to it. Salvatore adds that If this becomes popular, I'm sure others may look into it as well. PGR is the third-largest auto insurer in the country, lagging State Farm and Allstate (ALL), neither of which currently offer any pet coverage.
Pet ownership is a lucrative business, with annual spending of about $40 billion in the U.S. alone, according to data from the Insurance Information Institute. While $500 won't pay for major veterinary surgery, it is a nice perk that could lure some over to the Progressive camp.
The pet benefit has been offered since September 6, making it too soon to measure if it has had a difference on the company's bottom line or its sales results.
PGR shares have jumped 4.3% already today, muscling through their 10-week moving average. The stock hasn't managed a weekly close north of this trendline since late August. But the stock's long-term picture remains bleak. Since the end of 2005, the stock has been stepped in a downtrend, capped overhead by its 10-month and 20-month moving averages. These long-term trendlines remain solidly overhead, along with the 80-month trendline, breached last month.