- March 23, 2018 - We’ve revisited this review to include a closer examination of the coverage options, discounts, and services that make Progressive unique. We also take a look at Progressive’s standing in the insurance industry compared to its competitors so that you can feel confident making the decision that’s best for you.
- January 23, 2018 - This review has been updated to reflect the latest evaluations from credit agencies and consumer studies — Progressive has fallen in its rankings, but continues to offer unique discounts and supplemental coverage options. We’ll be monitoring these rankings and update this page accordingly to ensure consistency with any future research.
Our Progressive Review
Progressive impressed us with a wide range of discounts, including standard deductions and some unique discounts that will help drivers who are often forced to settle for higher premiums. This makes it one of the better insurers for customers whose risk factors may be working against them — like teenagers or drivers with worse driving records.
When it comes to coverage, Progressive doesn’t offer quite as many options as its competitors. But it does provide offerings that we didn’t find among any of our other top insurers. If you’re a low-mileage driver, you may benefit from Snapshot, a usage-based insurance plan that can be particularly attractive for drivers in urban areas who may not rely on a car as their day-to-day form of transportation.
Progressive performed worse than its competitors in terms of financial solvency and came in below the industry average for claims satisfaction. But overall, Progressive is still a solid insurer with unique discounts and coverage options — depending on your needs and eligibility, it may be able to offer you the lowest rate around.
Progressive claims to provide unmatched value among major auto insurers. It’s a bold assertion that requires inspecting a variety of factors, so we set out to see whether Progressive’s discounts and available coverage qualify its claim as the best value insurer.
Is it True?
While Progressive is certainly one of the better insurers for value, we’re not convinced that it’s the unequivocal best. In auto insurance, the value a company can provide often translates to the number of discounts that will bring down your premium after you’ve selected your coverage. And while you won’t qualify for all the discounts an insurer offers, more discounts mean more chances to save — and Progressive doesn’t give as many chances as others.
When it comes to sheer number of discounts, Progressive actually fell behind both Travelers and GEICO. Still, we liked the discounts it did offer. Deductions for simple activities like signing a new policy early and opting for paperless billing are broadly accessible, which means more customers may be able to access these savings. And as a company that’s been known to insure riskier customers than other major providers, Progressive offers some unique discounts that will help those drivers who are often forced to settle for higher premiums. This includes a seemingly too-good-to-be-true discount for drivers under 18, a demographic that’s widely considered one of the most likely to get in an accident.
But Progressive fell behind on a few other counts. It doesn’t offer discounts for safety features that were fairly common among its competitors, nor does it provide deductions for driver training programs. Given that Progressive prides itself on value, these seemed like no-brainers that were made exceptional only by their absence. Even with these flaws, though, Progressive is undoubtedly a competitive value insurer — we’re just not convinced it’s the best.
Price is only one consideration that should go into your auto insurance decision. It’s also essential that your insurer has the financial solvency to back its claims: if your provider can’t pay out when the time comes, it won’t matter how much or how little you paid for your policy. Progressive has lower financial strength ratings than many of its competitors, and even though they’re still solid, we think it’s worth mentioning that other insurers come out stronger. Plus, Progressive has the second lowest claims satisfaction of any of our top picks.
Progressive does offer some hard-to-find supplemental coverage options that we appreciate, like pet protection that covers the cost of veterinary bills resulting from an accident. Plus, it’s one of the few major insurers that offers a usage-based insurance plan. This plan, known as Snapshot, uses a telematic device installed in your vehicle to calculate rates based on factors like your driving habits and the miles and times you drive. By using actual data rather than estimates, this plan can prove especially valuable for low-mileage and safe driving customers. But fewer total options than Travelers, GEICO, and Allstate make Progressive less comprehensive when it comes to coverage.
A Closer Look at Features
Quotes will differ from person to person
In Business Since
High-risk or low-mileage drivers
Drivers with good records or those looking for seamless claims filing
- Snapshot, a usage-based plan that measures your actual driving behavior
- Pet protection
- GAP insurance to pay off auto loans if your vehicle is totaled
- Custom parts replacement
- Rental reimbursement
- Good student discount
- Discount for drivers under 18
- Continuous coverage discount
- Safe driver discount
- Home ownership discount
JD Power Insurance Shopping Rating
831 out of 100 (Below Industry Average)
JD Power Auto Claims Satisfaction Rating
853 out of 1000 (Below Industry Average)
A.M. Best Financial Strength Rating
Standard and Poor’s Rating
AA (Very Strong)
Our Deep Dive
- GAP coverage: While it doesn’t offer the most supplemental options of major auto insurers, Progressive does include some harder to find options like GAP insurance, which pays the difference between the value of your wrecked vehicle and the amount remaining on your auto loan. This is an important protection for customers who have recently purchased a car — if you’re involved in an accident that totals your new ride, you don’t want to be left footing the cost of a replacement while you’re still paying for the old one.
- Pet protection: This supplemental coverage choice will only appeal to pet owners, but if you spend time driving your furry friend around with you, you’ll want to make sure they’re protected in the event of an accident. Progressive was one of the only auto insurers to offer such protection, which pays the costs of veterinary bills if your pet is injured in the car, included under collision coverage. Just like hospital bills, veterinary costs can add up quickly; pet protection helps ensure you and your pets have the protection you need when the unforeseeable occurs.
- Custom parts and equipment value: For drivers who like to personalize their vehicles, insurance coverage can often leave you hanging by refusing to pay the full costs of custom parts after an accident. Progressive does away with these worries by offering supplemental protection for accessories including stereos, TV equipment, navigation systems, phones, grilles and spoilers, and even custom paint jobs.
- Discount for drivers under 18: Progressive is one of only a few major insurers to offer a discount for drivers under the age of 18, a demographic that’s statistically shown to be among the riskiest to insure. This near unheard-of discount demonstrates Progressives dedication to insuring traditionally high-risk drivers. Combined with a deduction for students earning B average grades or higher in school, Progressive includes a variety of offerings that makes the company appealing for families with new drivers.
- Accessible discounts: Beyond simply offering a wide range of discounts, Progressive offers multiple deductions that can be used by anyone, which means all customers should see at least some cuts to their starting premium. These include discounts for starting your quote online, as well as a separate deduction for signing your documents online after purchasing a plan. You’ll also save for setting up automatic bill pay, which deducts your monthly costs directly from your bank account, saving you the hassle of paying your bill each month while also cutting costs.
- Usage-based plan: Snapshot is a program offered by Progressive that bases your rate on the distance and manner of your actual driving using either a telematics device installed in your vehicle or the Snapshot mobile app. Snapshot monitors the time spent driving as well as your habits: sudden braking or high speeds can increase your rate, while infrequent use and low mileage will help save money. This program will particularly benefit urban drivers who rely on other modes of transportation for day-to-day travels, but anyone confident in their driving abilities may see savings.
Progressive vs. the Competition
Progressive vs. Travelers
|Price||Quotes will differ from person to person|
|In Business Since||1937|
|Best For||High-risk or low-mileage drivers|
|Not For||Drivers with good records or those looking for seamless claims filing|
|JD Power Insurance Shopping Rating||831 out of 100 (Below Industry Average)|
|JD Power Auto Claims Satisfaction Rating||853 out of 1000 (Below Industry Average)|
|A.M. Best Financial Strength Rating||A+ (Superior)|
|Moody’s Rating||A2 (Good)|
|Standard and Poor’s Rating||AA (Very Strong)|
If you’re drawn to Progressive for its low advertised rates, we also recommend Travelers, an insurer that offers more discounts and supplemental coverage options than any of our other top picks, and thus provides more opportunities to save for customers seeking affordable insurance. In addition to the standard discounts we look for in every provider, Travelers comes with some deductions that can be difficult to find: We like that it offers the ability to pay your policy in full, as well as a discount for students away at school who may only be using your vehicle when they’re home on vacation. We’re also impressed by supplemental coverage options like GAP insurance and rideshare coverage, though it’s worth noting that the latter is currently only available in Colorado and Illinois. But additions like accident forgiveness demonstrate Travelers’ understanding that accidents happen no matter how good of a driver you are. Plus, strong financial ratings mean the insurer will have the solvency to pay out any claims that may arise. Where Travelers is lacking is claims satisfaction. This mark is generally a good indication of the relationship between insurers and their customers, and Travelers fell below the industry average. If not for this shortcoming, Travelers might have been our favorite overall auto insurer; even with it, Travelers is still one of the best providers on the market.
What Others Are Saying
Fortune writes that Progressive’s home insurance success could benefit policyholders.
Progressive has seen considerable success over the past few years, thanks partly to the company’s move into the home insurance industry — a $300 billion market that Progressive CEO Tricia Griffith calls a “game-changer.” By offering services across both home and auto industries, Progressive is equipped to offer lower rates through bundled insurance plans, and the insurer has already taken steps to improve the shopping process: Under Griffith’s direction, the company recently launched HomeQuote Explorer, a first-of-its-kind tool used to compare insurance quotes for homeowners just as quotes are assessed for drivers. If you’re thinking about purchasing home insurance in addition to your auto coverage, it’s worth finding out how Progressive stacks up against your current provider — bundling could save you money on your monthly insurance costs.
The Bottom Line
Progressive scores lower than many of its competitors in both financial strength and claims satisfaction. But it also offers some pretty unique discounts and supplemental coverage options. In keeping with its reputation for insuring riskier customers, Progressive has rare discounts for drivers who are frequently forced to go without. It also allows policyholders to supplement coverage with options like pet protection that we didn’t find from any other major insurer. Still, it doesn’t have as many additions as GEICO, Travelers, or Allstate, which means you may not be able to find coverage for everything you’re looking for. And fewer overall discounts than GEICO and Travelers mean Progressive may not be the best value insurer around. But while it may not be the best auto insurer for all of your needs, Progressive is nevertheless a strong option for riskier drivers who may face higher rates elsewhere.