Progressive Auto Insurance Overview
Progressive Insurance was founded in 1937 by Joseph Lewis and Jack Green in order to provide vehicle insurance in innovative ways. They were the first company to offer drive-in claim service and the first company that allowed customers to pay their premiums in installments rather than large lump sums. In 1956, Progressive continued this innovative approach by taking a big risk in offering auto insurance policies to high-risk drivers. In fact, for some drivers, Progressive was the only company in those days that would provide them with an insurance policy. Throughout the 1960s, the company continued to grow and expand and by 1987, they finally reached $1 billion in premiums.
Progressive is now one of the largest vehicle insurance companies in the nation, with over $17 billion in revenue. They have even expanded overseas, providing their products and services in Australia. They currently have over 13 million insurance policies and more than 30,000 independent agents operating in all 50 states.
Of course, most people are familiar with Progressive because of their spokeswoman, Flo, who is a staple of television advertisements. However, the company actually offers some truly competitive rates that are notably lower than many other major insurance companies. In fact, side by side comparisons typically put quoted Progressives rates among the most affordable on the market, so consumers looking for savings will do well to consider this company. Progressive benefits include:
Progressive offers the following options for policyholders. It is important to note that each state has different coverage limits and that each feature may not be included in every policy.
- Liability Coverage for at-fault repairs and medical care to those whom the policyholder has caused to another individual(s) and their vehicle.
- Medical Payments for any post-accident related medical care which protects the policyholder, as well as any passengers injured in an accident. This type also covers medical care should the policyholder be a pedestrian injured.
- Un/Underinsured Bodily Injury covers medical expenses and lost wages due to an accident caused by another driver.
- Collision Coverage will protect the policyholder’s vehicle should they be hit by another driver. After the deductible is met, they will pay out for any other expenses for auto repair.
Comprehensive Coverage protects the policyholder in the event of a natural disaster, vandalism or theft.
- Uninsured Motorist Property Damage protects the policy holder’s vehicle should damages occur by an uninsured driver.
- Loan/Lease Payoff (Or GAP) protects the vehicle should it ever be declared a total-loss. Up to 25% of the actual cash value will be paid toward the amount owed to the lender.
- Pet Injury protection will help pay for the Veterinarian bill if a family pet, such as a dog or cat, is hurt during an accident. This coverage is included with collision coverage.
- Rental Reimbursement will pay for a rental car for up to 30 days when the protected vehicle is in the shop.
- Custom Parts & Equipment Value is for those who have added valuable accessories to their vehicles such as stereos, GPS systems, custom parts and custom paint.
- Emergency road service covers the cost of basic roadside assistance, such as emergency towing, etc.
In order to obtain a fair comparison, the Review Team requested an estimate for coverage for a driver 27 years of age, financing a 2011 Toyota (Camery) Camry and discovered that the monthly premium would amount roughly to $42.85 per month for the absolute standard coverage, when options were added, the cost for coverage delivered results which ranged up ranging up to $84.52 per month. As with most companies, the more coverage you wish to obtain, the higher the premium will rise. For example, adding Roadside Coverage or Uninsured Motorist Property Damage will increase rates. Again, prices vary with each state, driver and vehicle type.
Progressive provides coverage in all 50 states, so they are truly a national company. They also have a great social media presence and are pretty savvy when it comes to communicating to their customers and potential customers through various social media platforms. They seem to have more of an online presence than most large insurance companies.
Progressive offers a comprehensive range of driver discounts. Some of these include: good student, multiple policies or vehicles, safe driver (Snapshot Program), being a homeowner, even for getting an online auto insurance quote. Significantly, they offer discounts and lower rates for long-term customers, so policyholders get rewarded for staying with the company.
One interesting option is Progressive’s Snapshot program. Though optional, it allows drivers to connect a small device into their vehicle’s OBD-II port. This device monitors driving activity and periodically offers discounts based on actual driving habits. Though this might seem a bit too intrusive to some people, it is a good way for safe drivers to prove their track records and get all of the discounts they deserve. This program is optional and free to join, and any discounts that customers earn are applied automatically.
Drivers can file and track claims either directly with an agent, over the phone or online, with the claim center operating around the clock.
Progressive offers a free mobile app that allows customers to access many online features, including filing and checking on claims, getting an insurance quote and accessing insurance cards. This adds an extra level of convenience.
Progressive Auto Insurance began offering their services in 1938.
It should be pointed out that the free mobile phone app that Progressive offers has received many negative reviews. Users seem to be most frustrated with the lack of features, as well as the overall clunkiness of the interface. The app does not appear to be as streamlined as other insurance company apps, which might make it frustrating to use. Other limitations of Progressive include:
It must be noted that one of Progressive’s early innovations was providing insurance to high-risk drivers. Today, drivers who have had a few accidents or who are otherwise considered high-risk will find Progressive rates super cheap compared to the competition. However, these cheaper rates are not so noticeable for good drivers. Also, some customers have complained that Progressive makes up for the initially low rates by “nickel and diming” customers with fees.
The poor quality of customer service at Progressive is a common complaint. Many have said it’s hard to get hold of an actual person or to get a response in a reasonable amount of time. Others have found it difficult to get problems resolved.
The company received some bad publicity over an incident in 2012 when Progressive fought to avoid paying a claim for a customer killed by a hit-and-run driver who sped through a red light. Even though the customer had underinsured motorist coverage, Progressive went so far as to provide legal assistance to the defense in order to attempt to avoid paying. Though this is just one incident, coupled with a vast number of complaints about “nickel and diming” and bad customer service, it bears noting.
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