Nov. Income Up Nearly $20M for Progressive Compared to 2012

Progressive’s November income shot up 26 percent compared to the same month last year, according to the car insurance company.

The $19.9 million jump follows even bigger gains last month, when its October income increased by $36 million (47 percent) compared to 2012.

Much of the increase in November income was due to a gain on securities that more than quadrupled the gain from November 2012, $46 million to $10.2 million. The increase in investment profits was boosted by a $35 million “gain upon completion of the sale of a private equity investment,” according to Progressive, which had reported big losses in investments for October.

Progressive also saw gains in earned premiums that increased 6 percent compared to the year-ago period; premiums increased at the same rate in last month’s report.

The car insurer also saw gains in its policy figures for both November and October.

Progressive Announces Return of Capital to Investors

Progressive also announced details on this year’s dividends that the insurer returns to shareholders annually. On Monday, the insurer’s board of directors said that a “special cash” dividend and the “annual variable” dividend will be paid as a lump sum in February 2014.

The cash dividend will equal $1 “per common share,” Progressive said, while its annual dividend amount will be announced in its financial release in January.

Progressive Loses Chairman

Progressive, among others, has also been mourning the loss of Peter Lewis, chairman of the car insurer’s board of directors, who passed away last month at the age of 80.

In a Sunday column for his native Winsted, Conn., publication The Register Citizen, former presidential candidate Ralph Nader called Lewis “a CEO who mattered.”

Nader said that Progressive’s former CEO “put so many forces in motion” with “many irons in the fire.” In addition to his corporate work, Lewis was “deeply serious” about issues of civil liberty ranging from consumer privacy to free speech, according to Nader.

But Nader, who was Lewis’ college classmate at Princeton decades ago, also shed light on lesser-known sides of Lewis, who was a staunch advocate of marijuana legalization and “a major patron of the arts,” that latter of which was one reason Lewis displayed Andy Warhol’s “Mao” works on walls at Progressive’s headquarters.

About Charles Nguyen
Charles Nguyen is an enterprising journalist who reported for and the Desert Dispatch and was the editor in chief of the Guardian (the twice-weekly newspaper at the University of California, San Diego) before coming to Online Auto Insurance News.

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