- 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 both 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 the choices it does provide include 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 that prides itself on value, these seemed like no-brainers that were made exceptional only by their absence. Even with these flaws, 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, scoring below the industry average in a category that’s often viewed as a proxy for overall customer satisfaction.
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 Ratings
GEICO took the top title in our review of the best auto insurance for its extensive discounts, supplemental coverage choices, and a claims satisfaction score that’s higher than any of our other top contenders’. Backed by strong financial ratings and a mobile app that ranked No. 1 in Forrester’s 2017 US Mobile Auto Insurance Benchmark, GEICO has all the tools necessary to easily resolve your claims. Still, GEICO was lacking in some areas: we would’ve liked to see a few more supplemental coverage options — like GAP coverage and new car replacement — but its standard coverage is solid, and the additional choices it does offer make it one of our top picks for overall coverage. Plus, GEICO offers the second-most discounts of all our finalists, which means you’ll have more opportunities to get a price you like for the coverage you’re looking for.
Travelers offers more discounts and supplemental coverage options than any of our other top picks. 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 ridesharing 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 means 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.
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.