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I never had a sister. I suppose if I did, I’d have wanted her to be a bubbly fun-loving neat-appearing soul much like Progressive Insurance’s fictional sales girl named “Flo,” who offers insurance coverage by the box.

For a number of years in the 1960s, I handled a lot of Progressive auto claims. Back then, we still reported to their headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio—my hometown—and the company’s first building on Euclid had been on my route to classes when commuting to both high school and college. I don’t pay much attention to those television ads, but I remember a few where Flo talked about how something called a “snapshot” would cut auto insurance costs.

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