Progressive Auto Insurance Review

Advertiser Disclosure

Progressive consistently offers affordable auto insurance rates, but there’s a tradeoff in customer service.

Progressive is one of the best places to turn to if you’re looking to get a low rate on car insurance. Its “Name Your Price” tool enables you to build a policy around your own budget, and it offers several easily achievable discounts for things like buying online and paying in full. Progressive also delivers on coverage options, offering all the basics, as well as some normally difficult to find extras, like gap coverage, which will cover the difference between what your car is actually worth in the event of an accident and what you still owe on it.

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Progressive’s customer service isn’t anything to write home about. It scored a three out of five across all categories in the 2017 J.D. Power customer satisfaction survey, with customers citing claims handling as a big part of the issue. If this is a concern for you, it may be worth it to go with a company like State Farm, which is known for its excellent claims handling and customer service, even if it means paying extra.

The Specs

PriceVaries by location, vehicle and other factors
Best ForPeople looking for a low rate
Not ForPeople that place a high value on customer service
DiscountsAutomatic Bill Pay
Continuous Insurance
Good Student
Minor Child Driver
Online Purchase
Pay in Full
Safe Driver
Sign Documents Online
States Served50
In Business Since1937
Better Business Bureau RatingA-
A.M. Best RatingA+
Moody’s RatingA2
S&P RatingA
Standout FeaturesAffordable rates
Name Your Price tool
Gap coverage
Custom equipment coverage
Pet injury coverage

The Claim

Progressive’s main claim to fame is its affordable rates. It lets you decide how much you want to pay, giving you the flexibility to design an insurance policy that fits your lifestyle. As a customer, Progressive promises to put you first, providing swift claims handling and excellent customer support.

Is it True?

Sort of. Progressive lives up to its word in terms of price. Its Name Your Price tool lets you decide how much you want to pay, and it’s extremely transparent about how much each type of coverage costs you. Rates are generally affordable, though Progressive may not always be the cheapest option. Insurance premiums are highly personalized, so it’s impossible to say which company is going to offer you the lowest rate without getting multiple quotes from different companies. In my case, though, Progressive turned out to be the cheapest, whether I went with my state’s minimum coverage or higher limits.

Annual Premium Cost
(State minimum coverage)
Annual Premium Cost
State Farm$274$444

Progressive offers a wide selection of coverages, including rare options like gap coverage. If you total your car, this will help pay the difference between the actual value of your car and the amount remaining on your lease or loan. Animal lovers will appreciate Progressive’s pet injury protection, which will help cover your vet bills in the event of an accident involving your pet. You can also purchase additional coverage for any custom equipment you may have in your vehicle.

Where Progressive comes up short is its customer service. In J.D. Power’s 2017 customer satisfaction survey, it scored below the regional average in four out of 11 regions. The biggest issues, according to the survey, were customers’ interactions with company representatives and claims handling.

We all hope we won’t have to file a claim, but if we do, a sluggish or unfriendly response from customer service is the last thing we want. If this is a concern for you, you may want to check out another company, like State Farm, which is known for its customer service.

Our Deep Dive

  • Simple quote process: You can get a Progressive auto insurance quote and purchase your policy online in minutes. Just answer a few basic questions about yourself and your vehicle, and you’ll be presented with a quote to customize. If you change your coverage limits, it’ll tell you exactly how much that will raise or lower your premium cost, which is great if you’re on a budget.
  • Name Your Price tool: The Name Your Price tool lets you decide how much you want to pay for auto insurance and shows you the type of coverage that’ll buy you. This is a good place to start if money is tight.
  • Coverage for ridesharing: Uber and Lyft drivers can now get insurance coverage through Progressive that covers any accidents they have while working for the ridesharing service.
  • Average discounts: Progressive doesn’t have the extensive selection of discounts you’ll find with Geico and Allstate. You can save by bundling home and auto, insuring multiple vehicles, and buying online. There’s also homeowners, good student, and safe driver discounts. However, Progressive is missing common vehicle safety discounts, like anti-lock brakes and anti-theft device discounts, which could help customers save even more.
  • Monitored driving helps you save: If you sign up for Progressive’s Snapshot program, you could be eligible for further savings based on your driving habits. This program uses a small device in your car to monitor how often you drive and record risky behaviors, like quick acceleration and braking. At the end of the monitoring period, you send the device back to Progressive, and if your driving statistics qualify, you’ll receive additional discounts.
  • Gap insurance: Progressive is one of only a few insurers to offer gap coverage as an optional add-on. This is a useful coverage if you have a newer car you’re still paying a loan on. If you total your car in an accident, most insurers will only pay the actual value for your car, factoring in depreciation. This may not always be enough to cover the remaining balance on your loan, which is where gap insurance comes in. It pays the difference so you’re not stuck paying for a loan on a car you no longer own.
  • Coverage for custom equipment: If an accident wrecks your custom paint job, Progressive’s custom equipment coverage can help you fix it. It also covers items inside your car, like stereo and navigation systems.
  • Accident forgiveness: If you sign up for accident forgiveness, you don’t have to worry about your rates going up following your first at-fault accident.
  • Protection for pets: If you frequently take your pets with you in the car, you may want to consider adding pet injury protection to your policy. This pays for any vet bills your pet may have as a result of an injury sustained in a crash.
  • Help if your car breaks down: Progressive offers roadside assistance and rental car reimbursement as optional add-ons. Roadside assistance will send someone to help you if you get a flat tire or you lock yourself out of your vehicle. Rental car reimbursement pays for the cost of renting a vehicle while you wait for yours to be repaired.
  • Mobile policy management: Progressive’s mobile apps for iOS and Android devices enable you to view policy documents, pay bills, and file a claim. You can also track the progress of your claim and contact a representative directly through the app.

Cost Rundown

It’s impossible to predict how much your auto insurance will cost you without getting quotes. Insurance companies consider a variety of factors when calculating premiums, including your driving record, your vehicle, and where you live. Every company weighs these factors slightly differently, so you end up getting slightly different rates from each insurer.

When comparing quotes, you should weigh more than just price, though. Excellent customer service and quick claims handling can do a lot to lessen the headache of filing a claim. If the price difference between companies isn’t significant, choose the one with the highest customer satisfaction ratings.

Cheaper (or Free!) Alternatives

Every state requires its drivers to carry insurance, so there’s no way to avoid it. There are some things you can do, though, to lower your rates with all insurers, including:

  • Spend less time driving.Statistically, this lowers your chance of an accident which decreases your risk to insurers.
  • Work on your credit. Most insurers look at your credit reports as a measure of your responsibility. A better credit history usually earns you a lower insurance premium.
  • Let your insurer know about life changes. Getting married and finishing college can help lower your auto insurance premiums, so tell your insurance provider right away.
  • Choose your next vehicle carefully. Go with something that has high safety ratings and isn’t a known target for thieves.
  • Complete a defensive driving course. Many insurers will give you a discount if you’ve completed an approved driving course within the last three years.
  • Choose a higher deductible. This means you’ll pay more out of pocket when you get into an accident, but it’ll lower your premiums significantly.

The Competition

Geico: Geico hangs right with Progressive in terms of low rates, and its customer service is noted to be slightly better. Geico has an excellent selection of discounts as well, which could help lower your premiums even further. In terms of coverage, Geico offers all the basics, as well as the rare mechanical breakdown coverage, which pays for any mechanical repairs your vehicle needs.

State Farm: In my quote comparison, State Farm’s rates were pretty affordable for minimum coverage, but went up quite a bit when I chose higher limits. The extra cost may be worth it, though, given State Farm’s reputation for providing top-notch customer service. State Farm doesn’t offer extras like gap or mechanical breakdown coverage, but it’s a solid choice if you’re looking for a basic auto insurance policy.

Allstate: Allstate ended up being my most expensive option, despite its extensive discounts. This may not be the case for you, but you’ll have to get a quote to find out. In terms of customer service, Allstate received mixed reviews. Unless Allstate offers you a great deal on your rates, you’d probably be better off choosing another company from this list.

What Others Are Saying

  • CBS News reported that Progressive is seeking to raise auto insurance premiums for older drivers in Maine. It argued that these drivers present an increased risk, but several independent agencies, including the Insurance Information Institute said otherwise, claiming “mature drivers are some of the safest on the road.” The state Bureau of Insurance agreed to hold a hearing to discuss whether these rate hikes would be allowed.
  • Tom’s Guide picked up a story about alleged security flaws in Progressive’s Snapshot device, which would enable hackers to monitor drivers’ data and perhaps even remotely control the vehicle. Progressive released a statement saying “We are confident in the performance of our Snapshot device — used in more than two million vehicles since 2008 — and routinely monitor the security of our device to help ensure customer safety. To be clear, the researcher was not able to control any vehicle functions and we do not have evidence that anyone else has been able to do so. However, we take security very seriously and intend to investigate the matter thoroughly.”
  • Insurance Business America discussed Progressive’s entry into the ridesharing market in 2015. Uber and Lyft drivers in select states can now receive complete coverage through Progressive: “The policy will replace the driver’s existing personal auto coverage—an important distinction, as many state insurance departments have struggled to determine when coverage from a personal auto policy stops and commercial coverage begins.”

The Bottom Line

Progressive is a great option if you’re looking for a low rate, but there’s a tradeoff in customer service. For some, this won’t be an issue, but if it concerns you, you should get quotes from several providers and compare their rates, coverages, and customer satisfaction ratings.

Find the Best Car Insurance

Enter your ZIP code below and be sure to click at least 2-3 companies to find the very best rate.