Question from Margot L.:
I recently saw a Progressive Insurance commercial about a new discount program. The commercial stated that the program was patented. Is that true?
I have also seen this commercial and yes, the program is patented. The commercial is referring to Progressive Insurance’s Snapshot discount program. The program bases customer rates on the number of miles and time of day driven and how often sudden stops are made. A device which connects to a cars computer sends information to the company to determine the rates.
Progressive has received a few patents for the methods and systems used in this program. United States Patent 5,797,134 was issued to Progressive Casualty Insurance Company on August 18, 1998 for a motor vehicle monitoring system for determining a cost of insurance. The company also received United States Patent 6,064,970 on May 16, 2000 for Motor vehicle monitoring system for determining a cost of insurance. Then on March 15, 2005, United States Patent 6,868,386 was issued for a monitoring system for determining and communicating a cost of insurance.