GEICO vs. Progressive: Car Insurance Comparison Tips

Progressive auto insurance customer service hours

GEICO and Progressive are two of the biggest insurance companies in the car insurance world. Ranking as the second- and fourth-largest car insurers, respectively, they both claim to offer solid customer service, low rates, and abundant discounts. If you’re considering switching to GEICO or Progressive, here are some facts to help you make an informed choice.

GEICO was founded in 1936 as the Government Employees’ Insurance Company. Today, the company serves all kinds of drivers and insures more than 20 million vehicles. In 2013, it overtook Allstate to become the second-largest car insurance company in the United States. GEICO is owned by multibillion-dollar conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway, so its financial strength is unquestioned.

Low prices have always been GEICO’s number-one attraction. The company says its new customers report an average annual savings of $500 or more each year on their car insurance.

Low prices don’t mean bad service, GEICO hastens to say. The company prides itself on its prompt customer care. The secret to the company’s success, auto insurance analysts say, is spending vast amounts on advertising — $1.1 billion in 2012 — and nothing on agent commissions. GEICO is a direct writer, meaning the company issues free insurance quotes and policies from its central office. GEICO did, however, score poorly for its overall purchase experience in the 2013 Insurance Shopping Study conducted by J.D. Power. New 2016 J.D. Power Insurance Shopping Study.

  • Airbags: Up to 40 percent off medical payments/personal injury premiums
  • Anti-theft systems: Up to 25 percent on comprehensive premiums
  • Military discounts: Up to 15 percent, or up to 25 percent for emergency deployment
  • Safe driver: Up to 26 percent if you’ve been accident-free for five years
  • Seat Belt Usage: Up to 15 percent if you and your passengers make sure to always wear your seat belts while driving
  • Lights Running During Daytime: This is a small 1% discount for having automated daytime headlights on while driving
  • Full-Time Student Discount: If you are a full-time student with great grades, you may qualify for up to a 15 percent discount
  • Eagle Discount: If you are a federal employee or you’re retired from a federal job, you could qualify for up to an 8 percent discount
  • Multi-Car Discount: If you have another car you want to add to your current plan, you can save up to 25 percent

Progressive was founded in 1937, just a year after GEICO, and has long been known as an innovator in auto insurance. Progressive was the first insurance company to offer lower rates for low-risk drivers and the first to let customers compare free insurance quotes on its website. From 2008 to 2010, Progressive sponsored the Automotive X Prize, a competition to develop the first vehicle to get 100 mpg or its equivalent.

Progressive touts its customer-friendly web features, such as Name Your Price — a tool that allows users to enter their desired car insurance expenses and then suggests policies that fit their budget. However, like GEICO, Progressive scored below average for its overall purchase experience in the 2013 Insurance Shopping Study conducted by J.D. Power. Click to view the New 2016 J.D. Power Insurance Shopping Study.

Progressive uses a system of independent agents, which many customers like because they offer personal attention. However, the agent system also “absorbs dollars that could produce greater return in ad spend and lower prices,”

Progressive uses a system of independent agents, which many customers like because they offer personal attention. However, the agent system also “absorbs dollars that could produce greater return in ad spend and lower prices,” one insurance analysis reports.

Like GEICO, Progressive says new customers save $500 on their car insurance, on average. One major advantage Progressive offers is its Auto Insurance Loyalty Rewards program, which gives longtime customers benefits such as large accident forgiveness after five years (including three years of safe driving.)

Unlike GEICO, Progressive does not list the percent savings for the discounts it offers. You can see how much you’ll save when you get a quote.

  • Snapshot safe driving discount: Discounts for safe driving habits, tracked by a small device that’s installed in your car for 30 days. Customers report saving up to 30 percent.
  • Online discount: You get an immediate car insurance discount of up to 7 percent simply by buying your policy online and a $50 deduction by signing the documents online.
  • Multiple policies discount: this can save you anywhere from 5 to 12 percent
  • Good student discount
  • Paying your policy in full discount
  • Using automatic bill pay discount
  • Multiple Car policies can help save in upwards of 10 percent

Geico or Progressive: Who Has Better Customer Service?

When looking for the right auto insurance policy, great customer service is usually on the top of everyone’s list. To compare Geico vs Progressive customer service, we looked at J.D. Power’s 2016 U.S. Auto Insurance Study. All the data collected was from 44,681 car insurance customers across the United States.

There was only one region in the U.S. in which GEICO took the lead and that was New York. They achieved a rating of 828 out of 1000 in the J.D. Power circle rating scale. Progressive sites 9th with a rating of 793.

Progressive auto insurance customer service hours

In Texas, we see that GEICO drops to 7th with a score of 804 and Progressive in 5th with a rating of 818. One thing to note here is that the smaller insurers are beginning to surface with Texas Farm Bureau at the #1 position with a rating of 836.

Progressive auto insurance customer service hours

Smaller Insurers are Surpassing Geico and Progressive

J.D. Power states, “this year marks the first time in the past 6 years that small insurers achieve a higher satisfaction score than large insurers (815 vs. 814, respectively)”. This is largely due to the positive perceptions of price to where the smaller insurance agencies have an advantage with lower, competitive rates. We see a large jump in customer satisfaction ratings for smaller insurers in California. The chart below projects Ameriprise, Wawanesa, and Auto Club of Southern California Insurance Group in the top 3 positions.

Progressive auto insurance customer service hours

With smaller insurers on an upward trend of customer service excellence, it would benefit you most to spend 5 minutes comparing their rates against the big guys at Geico and Progressive. See how much you can save on your auto insurance policy below.

Now you have a better idea of what distinguishes Progressive and GEICO, but how do you choose? When you’re weighing the benefits of auto insurance, it helps to carefully read the company’s own descriptions of their offerings as well as recent customer reviews.


Progressive Auto Insurance: Tips for Progressive Car Insurance

How Progressive Car Insurance with the Snapshot Discount Works

Progressive Auto Insurance is going for solutions. The auto insurance industry has known for years that there are certain driving habits and characteristics that can help them judge the likelihood of a driver getting into an accident and filing an insurance claim. The problem has always been how to evaluate those characteristics and habits in a timely manner before the accident occurs. With its new Snapshot Discount, Progressive Insurance is attempting to track those habits in real time and offer car insurance discounts to drivers who exhibit safe driving habits.

Here's how the snapshot discount works: Drivers who are interested in the program will receive a small device that plugs directly into their car's on-board diagnostic port. The device then records data (everything from how often the car is driven to how quickly the brakes are applied when stopping) and then sends it back to Progressive. They will then analyze that data and inform the customer if they are eligible for a discount. In general, drivers who drive a below average number of miles on average and who exhibit safe driving habits will usually end up saving more money.

While the Snapshot Discount may seem like Pay as You Drive auto insurance, its focus on driving habits, rather than simply mileage, makes it a more refined system for judging risk.

The Progressive Website vs. Competitor Sites

The Progressive Car Insurance has one of the best insurance websites on the Internet. The Progressive.com has won multiple awards for its ease of use, functionality and user friendliness. The website allows potential customers to receive policy quotes for policies and even print them out.

For existing customers, Progressive offers a suite of tools that the customer can use to quickly review pertinent information about their policy, make payments and even make changes to the policy. In addition, the Progressive website allows customers to print out insurance cards that can be kept in the insured vehicle.

Generally speaking, Progressive offers very competitive rates for most types of car insurance. Progressive is considered to offer very competitive rates on most common types of vehicles and slightly higher rates on expensive luxury vehicles when compared to other insurance companies. Also, Progressive seems to be more popular among lower income and middle income drivers than more affluent drivers. Drivers with higher incomes have reported that companies like Geico and AIG offer better rates than Progressive for insuring expensive vehicles.

Progressive Agent Customer Service

Progressive continues to receive very high marks for their agent's customer service. Progressive has a large number of agents all around the country that are highly trained and highly regarded for their knowledge and reputation in the community. Progressive insurance agents also receive high marks on helping customers process their claims and offering general guidance and suggestions for policies. Many reviews about Progressive insurance agents also indicate that many customers are happy with the fact that most Progressive insurance agents provide home telephone numbers on business cards and even on office doors so that contacting agents after hours is never a problem.

Progressive.com also receives good grades for its online customer service. The online customer support link is very visible on all Progressive.com pages and allows customers and potential customers to quickly and easily reach knowledgeable agents and insurance specialists. Many people report that using the help system or support system at Progressive.com site is easy and that the staff is very helpful and thoughtful.

What Is Progressive's Accident Forgiveness Offer?

Progressive is the only auto insurance provider to offer customers accident forgiveness. When shopping for insurance, drivers often seek out the best auto insurance discounts that they can find and accident forgiveness may be one of those benefits that is too good for a driver to pass up--but exactly what is it?

Drivers that carry an auto insurance policy with Progressive for 4 years and remain accident free for 3 years qualify for accident forgiveness. Once you qualify, the first accident you have, no matter if you were at fault or not, is forgiven and Progressive will not raise your rates. There is no additional charge for accident forgiveness and it applies only to the first accident you have.

There are many auto policy incentives available and drivers with a good driving record and a history of safe driving may find that Progressive's accident forgiveness is a worthwhile incentive for them.

4 Tips for Negotiating the Best Progressive Settlement after an Auto Accident

In the aftermath of a car accident, it may seem like the worst thing that can happen to you is to make a claim with your insurers, whether you are seeking a Progressive settlement, or any sort of compensation from the main insurers. It is not surprising that many people think that insurance companies make it deliberately difficult to make claims, as they are reluctant to spend money, even if you have been using their insurance company for years. If your insurer is Progressive, then you can certainly make a claim by going through some basic rituals, and being clear on exactly how much you want to claim, and for what.

  • Be prepared. If you are seeking a Progressive insurance settlement, then the first thing that you need to do is be properly prepared. You should read through all of the policy documents which Progressive have given you over the years, so that you know what you can and cannot claim for. This will make it easier when you come to filling in your forms.
  • Gather your evidence. Once you have assessed your policy document, you will then know what you can claim for out of all the bills which you have incurred in the aftermath of the accident. This can range from simple car repairs to medical bills and even help with mortgage payments. You will need to have all of this evidence together, and you should also consider copying it to make sure that it is all present whenever you need to refer to it.
  • Write a letter. A good way of making a formal claim is to send your insurers a letter. This letter will serve the same purpose as an insurance claim form. The letter should set out in clear paragraphs the exact circumstance of the accident, backed up if possible by evidence from the documents. You should include in the final paragraph a brief, formal claim for the exact amount of money you require. This should be written clearly and unambiguously so that the insurers know exactly how much you are asking for.
  • Phone your insurers. When the letter has been sent, allow the insurers about a week to receive it, and then give them a follow-up phone call. This will let your insurers know that you are serious about this claim, and that you intend to pursue it, and will also encourage them a bit in their endeavors. If you do speak with anyone about your claim, make a note of their name, what they said, and the time you called, so that you can refer to it later, if necessary.

Making a Claim with Progressive

Getting a settlement out of Progressive should not be too difficult once you are fully prepared, and have all the documentation to prove your case. Confirm any negotiations by letter with the person you spoke to referred to by name. This will provide both of you with additional proof of your negotiations. There are no easy Progressive settlement solutions, but if you are persistent, and have a good claim, there should be no problem at all.

How to File a Progressive Insurance Claim

If you're a member of Progressive auto insurance and you get in a collision of some kind, you'll have to file a Progressive insurance claim in order to report the incident to your insurance provider. A Progressive accident claim is relatively easy to file, but the entire process of review and compensation for your claim may take up to a few weeks, depending upon the complications and the severity of the case. The Progressive insurance claims department is available for your questions to help you sort out the process of filing your claim if you should need it. However, the process itself is relatively straightforward. The crucial thing is having the information you need before you file the claim. Read on for a step-by-step guide to filing a claim with Progressive auto insurance.

  1. Collect information from other drivers at the scene of the accident. Immediately following the accident, ensure that all other people involved are safe and uninjured. If anyone is injured, seek proper medical attention and inform the authorities right away. Once you and the other drivers have taken care of this and everyone is in a safe location, get the names and contact information for every other person who was involved in the crash. Most importantly, you'll need to collect the names of the insurance providers for each of the other drivers as well as their policy numbers. Also, you should note the type and year of each vehicle that was involved in the collision as well as the license plate number. Look for damage on each vehicle and try to come to an agreement with the other drivers as to what occurred. Finally, note the number of other passengers in the cars and whether anyone was injured.
  2. Visit Progressive's website or phone a pepresentative. There are several ways in which you can file a claim with Progressive. The first of these is to log on to the Progressive auto insurance website. This is perhaps the fastest and easiest way to file your claim, and inputting the data on the website typically takes only about half an hour to an hour. You can also phone a representative by calling the toll free claim reports number that can be found on the Progressive website as well. Finally, if there is a branch of Progressive auto insurance near you, you can stop in and speak with an agent in person to report your accident. In each case, the information you submit will be the same. Following your report, a claims adjuster will review your materials and call you to record a testimony regarding the accident. This is useful for them in helping to determine who is at fault.

If you have any questions, speak with a representative from Progressive for additional information and assistance.