Progressive Insurance rate too good to be true?
June 14, 2019 1:18 PM   Subscribe

I moved and needed new insurance. I talked to a family friend who is a broker and he quoted me ~1,900 annually as my lowest rate. I went through Progressive (talking to a broker over the phone for the quote) and they quoted me ~1200 annually. I talked to the family friend again, and he's skeptical: he thinks that that they will give me one month at this rate and then jack it up to match his quoted price (maybe a little more). More detail inside, but should I expect this to happen?

I ran through the coverage line by line with the progressive agent, so it seems like the policies are nearly identical in terms of coverage.

I paid up front for the first six months, so can Progressive change the price having already received payment? Or am I 'safe' and locked into this rate for at least six months?

I also opted to do Snapshot, but I'm not sure how much of a scam this is, versus an actual opportunity to save money (I do about 3 days of heavy highway travel per week, but average relatively light usage otherwise). Any experiences with this program?
posted by codacorolla to Work & Money (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Data point of 1: I had car insurance through progressive for several years, and the (low) rates were exactly as quoted. They were also good to work with on the limited occasions I needed to use my policy. If I didn't have a deal for car + mortgage that was coming in lower elsewhere, I would happily work with them again.
posted by past unusual at 1:23 PM on June 14, 2019

Best answer: Different insurance companies do indeed have different rates based on highly inscrutable factors. It is not at all uncommon to have substantial savings with one provider than another, and it's unlikely that your friend can quote them all.

If you pay for six months of insurance, Progressive can't change your rate on the amount that you've paid.

Progressive is one of the top insurers in the country. They're not a scam. I might take the time to quote them against GEICO, State Farm and Allstate, but if one of those gives you a better rate on the same or a similar amount of coverage, you're probably in your best interests in taking it.
posted by I EAT TAPAS at 1:27 PM on June 14, 2019 [1 favorite]

You usually buy a policy for six months and pricing is fixed for that term. I would buy the progressive policy and if they raise it in six months reprice it. Progressive is usually one of the cheaper options although if you have a clean driving record Geico is usually cheapest.
posted by JPD at 1:56 PM on June 14, 2019

Another anecdote, but I switched to Progressive a while back and I've been paying monthly, not six months in a lump sum. They recalculate my rates every six months and for six months it is the same. I have not had any claims at this point and I don't know if that would change anything. I didn't sign up for Snapshot; I've heard it's pretty sensitive and although I'm a good driver, the discount didn't seem worth the tracking. I have 100/300 coverage on two cars (one financed, one paid-off) for two drivers.

I did six months at one rate, and after six months, they actually lowered my rate by like $10/mo for the next term. I added a second car in that period, which did change my premium, and just got my renewal for the next six months where my payment is going up about $2/mo. So far so good.
posted by possibilityleft at 2:45 PM on June 14, 2019 [1 favorite]

Yeah. Progressive is by far the cheapest for me. Like 100s of bucks per year compared to All-State.

Long ago in the 90s, I went to them for a quote. They ran it for me and gave me quotes for other competitors as well. At that point, they weren't the cheapest and I respected them for telling me that. I went with the other company.

When I needed new insurance a few years ago, I called around and Progressive was the cheapest.

Definitely not a scam.

I never did the SnapShot thing though,
posted by kathrynm at 2:51 PM on June 14, 2019

Best answer: Not too long ago, we bought a new car, and I got my insurance agent (a family friend) to quote us on full coverage for the new car, full coverage for our old car, and dropping the 20-year old bomber that previously was serving as our second car, which only had minimum liability coverage.

The quote came back, and it struck me as expensive—too expensive, considering we’ve never had a claim or accident, and have pristine driving records.

I decided to look into Geico and Progressive. Lo and behold, they both quoted me a number that was less than half of what my agent quoted. Heck, it was less than I was paying with my existing two cars, one of which had the minimum coverage.

Geico and Progressive came in at almost the same figure, for the same coverage, so I knew the number was legit. I brought their quotes back to my agent, and he couldn’t even get anywhere close to those numbers, even when he went to Progressive. The lowest number he got was several hundred more than Geico, had reduced coverage levels, and would have required me to install some sort of app on my phone to monitor my driving habits—no thanks.

I felt bad, but I can’t pay double for the same coverage just because a family friend is in the business.

I get the impression that the difference in price is due to having an agent, who is just going to tell you to call the 800 number of your insurer, should you have to file a claim. You’re paying for the middleman.

I’d switch. Maybe get another quote from Geico just to make sure your Progressive quote isn’t too far off base.
posted by vitout at 2:56 PM on June 14, 2019

I did snapshot a couple years ago, and wound up getting a minimal discount (less than $10/month, the intro discount was better) despite a very good score from the device. I wouldn’t do it again, especially since I’ve heard that companies are starting to use geolocation data.
posted by momus_window at 9:54 PM on June 15, 2019

There haven't been any surprises with Progressive. I pay monthly, they adjust or don't every 6 months.
posted by agregoli at 9:24 AM on June 17, 2019

Response by poster: Thanks everyone. I feel like I made the right choice with Progressive, and it helps to know that they generally have lower rates. It sucks to not be giving business to the family friend, but the savings were so significant that I don't think I had much of a choice.
posted by codacorolla at 12:28 PM on June 17, 2019

« Older Help me pick out a laptop that I will barely use?   |   Best Way to Find Keys Lost in Grass? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.