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Progressive Gives Google Home Customers Chance to Get Auto/Home Tips Through Their Voices

Progressive is getting into the voice-activated customer service game through a new deal with Google.

The property/casualty insurance giant says it is now giving Google Home customers the opportunity to get auto and home tips just by using their voices.

Specifically, Progressive has linked up with Google to offer auto and home tips to Google Home customers—becoming the first insurer on the technology company’s Google Assistant-powered voice-activated speaker, which can engage in two-way conversations.

Customers can approach their Google Home assistant and say: “Google, let me talk to Progressive.” This activates a process that enables them to get tips on car buying and insurance, home buying, moving, smarthome technology and other topics.

Voice-activated technology has become an innovation to which other insurers are turning in a bid to attract new customers and offer added services.

Last September, for example, Liberty Mutual Insurance launched the first insurance-focused service for Amazon’s Alexa, a voice-controlled device that plays music; provides news, sports and directions; and controls lights/appliances, among other services. The Liberty Mutual service offers insurance from its Liberty Mutual and Safeco brand.

In January, Grange Insurance disclosed the launch of its Grange Insurance Skill on Alexa, a service that lets people ask Alexa to help find a local independent Grange Insurance Agent; hear the insurer tip of the day; and learn general information about Grange Insurance and its home, auto, business and life insurance products.

Progressive is also turning to aggressive advertising to win over new customers. The insurer had scaled back its marketing in the 2016 second half, due to more car accidents, adding higher costs and threatening profits. As of March, the insurer said it is boosting spending on marketing to win customers dealing with rate shock from rivals raising premiums.

Ji Park