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If you’re shopping for car insurance, you’ve probably come across some familiar names. Two of the most popular car insurance providers are Progressive and State Farm. Both are large companies with a national presence and wide range of insurance products, and both claim to save you money. So what’s the difference? Let’s explore Progressive vs. State Farm car insurance to see how they compare.
The Basics of Progressive vs. State Farm Car Insurance
State Farm and Progressive are two of the biggest auto insurance companies in the U.S. In terms of direct premiums, State Farm was the top company in private passenger auto insurance for 2021 with 16% of the market share. Progressive ranked third with a share of 13.8%. For commercial auto insurance, Progressive ranked first. Both companies are financially stable. State Farm has earned the highest possible A++ rating from A.M. Best and an AA (very high) rating from Standard and Poor (S&P). Progressive, meanwhile, has earned an A+ (superior) rating from A.M. Best and an AA from S&P.
Both companies have long histories in the insurance industry, too. Founded in 1922 to provide affordable auto insurance to farmers in Illinois, State Farm can claim 100 years of experience. Progressive was established in Cleveland, Ohio, 15 years later. Today, drivers can obtain not only auto insurance from these companies but also insurance for their homes, property, businesses, pets, and more. Both companies have a presence in every state plus D.C., but State Farm is no longer writing new car insurance policies in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
To decide between Progressive vs. State Farm car insurance, consider four key factors:
- Coverage options
- Rates and discounts
- Customer satisfaction
Regardless of which company you choose, you’ll have access to the most common forms of coverage. Both companies offer the following:
- Liability coverage
- Comprehensive coverage
- Collision coverage
- Personal injury protection
- Uninsured motorist coverage
- Rental car coverage
- Roadside assistance
- Ride-share insurance
Additionally, Progressive has a few options that aren’t available from State Farm, including custom parts coverage, gap insurance, and disappearing deductible coverage. Both companies offer a form of accident forgiveness, but Progressive’s is more generous. Small-accident forgiveness for claims worth $500 or less begins as soon as your coverage does, while large-accident forgiveness is available to those who have been Progressive customers for at least five years and have avoided accidents and violations for at least three consecutive years.
Although State Farm does not offer gap insurance like Progressive, it does provide a Payoff Protector benefit for every vehicle it finances. Payoff Protector works similarly to gap insurance in that it will cover the difference between what your car is worth and what you still owe on your vehicle loan if you total your vehicle in an accident. Still, if you have specialized insurance needs, Progressive is more likely to have the add-on coverages you want.
Rates and Discounts
State Farm and Progressive are both known for their reasonable rates. However, the rates available to you will vary according to your age, driving history, and credit score. Because the two companies weigh these factors differently, the company with the best rates will depend on your specific situation. Your state may also affect which company is cheaper.
Progressive tends to be slightly cheaper than State Farm, on average. This is especially true for drivers under 18 who are added to their parents’ insurance, thanks to Progressive’s teen-driver discount. However, State Farm tends to be a cheaper option for drivers over 18, with those in the 18-24 age range saving the most. If you have a less-than-spotless driving record, you may also find a better premium at Progressive. This includes drivers involved in an at-fault accident with less than $1,000 of damage, drivers with a DWI or DUI conviction, and drivers with a reckless driving conviction.
Across most categories, the average premiums that drivers pay are close enough that it’s worth getting a quote from both companies. You may find that rates in your area differ significantly from the national averages. You can also ask about the discounts that each company offers. Both companies offer discounts for bundling multiple policies and insuring multiple vehicles. Good-student and safe-driving discounts are also available from both insurers, although State Farm has a wider variety of discounts related to safe driving habits, training, and vehicle safety features.
Progressive also offers discounts for the following:
- Continuous insurance
- Signing up online
- Paying in full
- Automatic payments
- Going paperless
- Being a homeowner
In terms of customer satisfaction, State Farm has outranked Progressive in two key indicators:
- The 2021 U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study conducted by J.D. Powers
- The 2021 complaint index, calculated by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC)
Each year, J.D. Power conducts its U.S. Auto Claims Satisfaction Study to rank insurance providers based on customer satisfaction. In 2021, they surveyed over 7,000 customers who had recently settled an insurance claim. Their responses were used to rate insurance companies on a 1,000-point scale. The two highest-rated insurance companies received scores of 909 and 905, while the lowest scored 798. In this study, State Farm ranked higher than Progressive, with a score of 892 compared to Progressive’s 862.
Another metric of customer satisfaction is the complaint index maintained by NAIC. Using their Consumer Information Search (CIS), you can find information about the number of complaints against a company. NAIC’s complaint index compares a company’s market share to its share of complaints. If a company’s ratio is higher than 1, it has more than its fair share of complaints. A number below 1 means the company has fewer complaints than expected. On this index, State Farm received a score of 1.55 in 2021, while Progressive scored 2.24.
Both State Farm and Progressive have user-friendly websites filled with helpful tools and resources, including online claims submission and tracking. They each have their own Android and iOS apps to track your driving habits for their telematics discount programs, as well as separate apps for mobile account management. If you prefer to discuss your insurance needs in person, State Farm has a network of thousands of local agents to cover every state in the nation.
Whether you choose State Farm or Progressive, you can rest assured that you have chosen one of the top auto insurance companies in the U.S. Online tools makes it easy to request quotes from both companies so that you can compare the rates, coverage, and discounts when it comes to Progressive vs. State Farm car insurance.
At FIXD, our mission is to make car ownership as simple, easy, and affordable as possible. Our research team utilizes the latest automotive data and insights to create tools and resources that help drivers get peace of mind and save money over the life of their car.