updated: Jul. 16, 2019 –
Pros & Cons
Compare Progressive’s Rates with Other Companies
A decade ago Progressive introduced Flo as a clever checkout gal working in an insurance superstore. Her big hair, bold red lips, and crisp white apron have since become iconic. Flo was born to sell American’s auto insurance and it proved to be very successful. Between 1996 and 2005, Progressive grew an average of 17 percent per year, from $3.4 billion to $14 billion.
However, the reasons for Progressive’s success and impressive growth goes beyond clever marketing. During the last eighty years of business, Progressive has also introduced many other innovative concepts that worked well such as unique quoting features, original policy discounts, and revolutionary service options.
We’ll explore all aspects of Progressive to give you a better idea of their value. We’ll look into the positive feedback and the negative comments alike. All things considered, we determined Progressive is deserving of 4.8 out of 5.0 stars.
Let’s dig into all the information we considered before providing this rating.
One of the most critical aspects of any insurance company is how financially sound they are. Consumers don’t want to pay years of premiums only to find out, when the time comes that they need to use their insurance, there is no money available to cover claims.
All of us pay insurance premiums in good faith. We believe our insurance carrier will be there for us when we need them the most. An insecure company should certainly give you pause before giving them business.
In this area Progressive should make you feel safe. They have been regularly examined by four different rating organizations. Each time Progressive consistently receives top financial ratings reflecting how secure the company is.
Here are Progressive’s most current financial ratings:
Insurance companies like Progressive take their financial ratings very seriously. It is a badge of honor to earn a high rating. Insurers know the better their rating then the more likely they will be to maintain their existing customer base and business partners. A solid rating is also very useful in attracting new business.
Independent ratings organizations take their time and review different criteria to determine the most accurate rating. The criteria reviewed includes the insurer’s balance sheet, management style, business profile, and financial performance. The rating organization will also perform a comparison among all competitors within the industry.
We went back about 10 years and found Progressive has consistently earned a high rating. It’s good to know Progressive’s current rating isn’t something new or fleeting but something they have solidly kept up for quite some time.
For years Progressive has been reported to have some of the lowest rates available. Beginning with the advent of the Information Age, Progressive was able to quickly rise through the ranks of auto insurers. Between 1994 and 1997 they introduced the first major auto insurer website, online price binding abilities, and a comparative rater.
Since 1994 Progressive customers have known they are being offered competitive premiums because Progressive was the first to share competitor’s pricing online. They did this by creating the Comparative Rating Experience. Customers could go onto the Progressive website and enter basic information about themselves and their vehicle. Instantly Progressive’s rates would appear in comparison to other auto insurance companies.
This was revolutionary because insurance companies preferred to keep their rates secret from each other. Shoppers would have to do their own work to figure out if the quotes received were competitive or not. This was a time consuming practice and somewhat discouraging. Who has time to shop five or ten different auto insurance carriers? If you don’t, how will you ever know you’re getting the best rate?
Progressive is known for its online quoting and binding capabilities. However, you may not realize they do work with a national network of insurance agents. So you have the option to shop Progressive via the internet or seek out a Progressive agent for assistance. This is an unusual practice in the insurance industry as most of the top carriers prefer you work with one of their dedicated neighborhood agents instead of setting up your policy via the web.
Compare Progressive’s Rates with Other Companies
“Name Your Price”
In more recent years, Progressive introduced the “Name Your Price” online quoting tool.
This tool allows shoppers to select what price they are willing to pay monthly for auto insurance. Progressive’s site will then show what that amount will buy as far as coverage. Consumers can bind their policy on-the-spot once they are satisfied with the proposal.
Let’s say you “Name Your Price” as $150 premium per month. The Progressive tool will then show you an outline of the coverage $150 buys. It will detail the amount of coverage for liability, comprehensive and collision, medical payments, uninsured/underinsured motorist, deductibles, roadside assistance, and rental. If you want higher limits and more coverage, then expect to increase the monthly premium amount.
“Name Your Price” is an engaging tool for online auto insurance customers. It gives them the power of shopping for insurance that fits their budget. The problem with this tool is most consumers are not aware of how lowering their premiums actually reduces (or removes) coverage. The average insured is not aware how costly being underinsured can be in the long-run.
Over the years Progressive has taken the lead on pricing by using creative discounts and quoting tools. These features have certainly helped empower customers to find the best rate for their budgets.
Another way Progressive is able to offer lower rates is by including unique discounts. In fact, they advertise that drivers who switch to Progressive insurance will save an average of $668 per year.
Right now Progressive has about 13 different discounts available and they range between 5% and 31% per discount. Most of the discounts are not that unusual. You will see the typical policy bundling discount, paperless discount, pay in full discount, safe driver discount, multiple vehicle discount, online quote & signature discounts, and automatic payment discount. Progressive claims 99% of all insureds will receive a minimum of one discount but typically you will receive multiple discounts. All of these reductions really do add up!
Keep in mind, Progressive does not offer the usual discounts for anti-lock brakes and passive restraints (i.e. seat belts and airbags) because those features come standard on today’s cars. However, you probably won’t miss much by not receiving this safety discount. Progressive offers plenty of other ways to save on your auto insurance.
You may qualify for multiple discounts and most insureds do. These discounts, on top of already competitive rates, is what keeps Progressive in the top three of auto insurance carriers.
In 2008 Progressive shook things up again by introducing “My Rate” as the first Usage Based Insurance (UBI) plug-in device. Their new and improved UBI is now called Snapshot. If you elect to take the Snapshot discount then you’ll receive the UBI plug-in to be attached to your vehicle’s computer. Or you can download the Snapshot app on your smart phone. Either way, Snapshot will track your driving habits during a 30 day, no obligation trial period.
So what does Snapshot actually do? Well, the device logs the number of miles you drive daily, how often you drive between midnight and 4 a.m., and when you slam on your brakes abruptly. It does not record your speed.
After the 30 days is complete, Progressive will review all the information provided by Snapshot. Depending on how your driving is evaluated by Progressive, the insurance company may provide as much as a 30% discount. It’s been reported the average discount is around ten percent.
However, even though Snapshot might lead to discounts for you, it’s worth noting that there have been a number of consumer complaints about the program that we will go into more detail under the next section “Customer Satisfaction”.
Progressive Loyalty Rewards is a program geared towards insureds that take their car insurance seriously. The program includes priority customer service and extra discounts.
Loyalty Rewards assigns insureds levels from Silver up to Diamond. The top tiers are Emerald and Crown. Crown insureds are those that have been insured for a minimum of 20 years. Get this, Progressive actually counts the time you were insured by other companies towards the 20 year requirement. That’s pretty generous.
Insureds that do attain the Crown status are guaranteed renewal no matter what develops on their driving record.
PerkShare is another fun extra for Progressive customers. PerkShare is a special coupon book that provides various types of discounts for car rentals, tires, and fuel.
Both of these bonus programs are great but they may not convince you to become a Progressive insured. Let’s face it, the bottom line in signing up for insurance is normally the pricing and the level of customer service provided when you need it.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) “Insurance Complaint Ratio” report for Progressive is very favorable. The NAIC report represents the number of complaints an insurance carrier received in one year versus total premiums written that same year. For 2017 NAIC showed Progressive’s complaint ratio as .36 while a median ratio of 1.00 represented all auto insurance companies nationwide. Clearly Progressive’s complaint ratio is much better than the national average.
Consumer Affairs shares an above average customer satisfaction rating for Progressive. Their most recent rating is 3 out of 5 stars. Frequent complaints about Progressive fell into two categories. The first being drivers involved in accidents with a Progressive insured. As you would expect, these drivers complained Progressive did not pay their claim either as quickly or as generously as they would have preferred. However, it is worth noting that this is the standard complaint all insurance companies receive and Progressive received less of these complaints than most other insurers.
The other frequently reported complaint was from Progressive drivers saying they were unhappy with the discount provided after signing up for Snapshot. A number of consumers felt the program was not worth the hassle because it did not result in as much of a discount as they expected. As Progressive points out, Snapshot discounts are rewarded for slow accelerations, slow breaking, not driving between 12-4am and driving very few miles. If you don’t feel you can fulfill this criteria, you might be better off avoiding their Snapshot program.
Progressive is known for its online quoting and binding capabilities. However, you may not realize they do work with a national network of insurance agents. So you have the option to shop Progressive via the internet or seek out a Progressive agent for assistance. This is unusual in the insurance industry as most of the top carriers prefer you work with one of their dedicated neighborhood agents instead of setting up your policy via the web. We see this kind of flexibility only as a plus for consumers.
Progressive has always been innovative. Even back in 1937 Progressive was doing something new when they opened the first ever drive thru claims office. In recent years, they have continued to lead the pack by integrating the latest technologies. You can file (and track) a claim online, over the phone, or through the mobile app. The mobile app gives you the handy ability to upload pictures directly to the claims file.
If you have your vehicle repaired at one of their network repair shops then they will guarantee the work. The guarantee lasts as long as you own or lease the car.
Progressive has a “Small Accident Forgiveness” policy stating you will not experience a rate increase for a claim of $500 or less. They also have a “Large Accident Forgiveness” rule. The way it works is if you are a Progressive insured for five years, with no claims in the last three years, your rate will not increase if you have an accident.
The nice thing about Progressive’s Accident Forgiveness is that they do not charge additional premium for this feature. Most of their competitors only offer accident forgiveness if the customer purchases a more expensive auto policy and pays more premium.
A definite claims perk offered by Progressive is the Concierge Service. If you have an accident and need auto repairs, simply drive your vehicle to a designated location so Progressive can pick-up the vehicle. Their representative will coordinate the entire repair and rental process for you. For anyone that has dealt with a vehicle repair, you know how nice this really is.
J.D. Power & Associates awarded Progressive and 3 out of 5 star rating for their claims processing experience, which once again puts them ahead of many other insurers.
Progressive offers a very broad spectrum of insurance products. Here are what are in their current lineup:
Private Auto Insurance
If you ask anyone on the street, they will quickly tell you Progressive sells private auto insurance. That makes sense since the biggest portion of Progressive’s business is car insurance. However, if you ask them if Progressive sells any other types of coverage they might not be so sure. The fact is Progressive does have many other products available.
Bundle your home and auto for a discount! Progressive writes many different home policies such as standard homeowners, mobile home, condo, and renter’s policy. You can even get flood insurance.
In the last few years, Progressive has taken the commercial auto market by storm. They cover auto, trucks, and vans for business purposes. Progressive even insures semi-trucks and trailers.
Dairyland and Geico are popular when it comes to motorcycle insurance, but don’t count out Progressive. If the vehicle has a motor, Progressive knows what to do.
Progressive covers all kinds of recreational vehicles such as travel trailers/RVs, boats, ATVs, classic cars, etc.
Progressive offers worker’s compensation, general liability, professional (Error &Omissions) liability, Business Owner’s Policies (BOP), and mechanical repair (equipment failure). You can get just about everything you need to make sure your business is protected.
You can purchase permanent whole & universal, term, and final expense plans.
eHealth offers Progressive Advantage Health Insurance.
Progressive also sells these additional policy types: umbrella insurance, travel insurance, and identity theft – even pet insurance.
If you care that big corporations operate in a socially responsible manner then Progressive may be a great option for your insurance coverage.
Progressive’s website confirms they are focused on being environmentally responsible, supporting charitable causes, and promoting inclusion. Not only that but one of Progressive’s Core Values is the Golden Rule: Progressive fosters the idea of “treating others as we’d like to be treated.”
Progressive encourages energy conservation and recycling efforts throughout their organization.
They also donate time and money to worthy charities such as their Keys to Progress foundation. Through “Keys to Progress” Progressive has donated 500 cars over 5 years to U.S. Military veterans in needs. They also teamed up with the St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund to assist the truck driving community by offering various support with illness and injuries.
Finally, Progressive is focused on educating their 33,000 employees about inclusion and social awareness. Progressive strives to make their workplace as diverse as their customer base.
Not only that but they also work to empower the younger generation. Starting in 2013, Progressive began encouraging employees from across the country to volunteer with Progressive’s STEM Progress Program. These volunteers visit local schools to teach hands-on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills.
Based on our research Progressive gets one of our highest ratings of 4.8 out of 5 stars for good reason. They are a financially solid insurance company that has been offering innovative service and reasonable rates for decades. Throughout the company’s history they have provided interesting ways of meeting their customers’ needs – from drive thru claims shops to “Name Your Price” quoting tools. Even 80 years later, they are coming up with fresh ideas.
For the last ten years, Progressive has maintained very strong financial ratings by the top four financial ratings organizations such as A.M. Best. This important point should bring you great peace of mind that Progressive will be there for you. You won’t be paying premiums only to find there are no funds available when you need them.
Progressive has consistently received positive reviews of their claims process. J.D. Power & Associates awarded them a 3 out of 5 star rating. Thousands of online customer reviews confirm Progressive is meeting its claims commitments in a timely and professional manner. Plus, you can’t beat their free “Accident Forgiveness” policy. Their Concierge Service is also most appreciated by those customers that end-up needing help coordinating a vehicle repair and rental.
In today’s society, insurance consumers like yourself are very sophisticated and have dozens of options. With a few computer keystrokes, you can dive into the background of any company before becoming their customer. If you do some online research, you’ll see for yourself that NAIC and Consumer Affairs both designated Progressive with above average customer service ratings. Same as online claims reviews, general customer service reviews posted by Progressive insureds remains positive.
Progressive hasn’t consistently been in the top three of auto insurance carriers by chance. Progressive’s pricing, claims process, customer service, and financial stability are all on point.
According to our research, Progressive has proven itself as a solid choice for low cost auto insurance.