Driving safely is one of the easiest ways to save money on car insurance, even if the impact isn’t immediately visible. Now, with telematics technology, many car insurance companies are giving drivers an opportunity to directly influence their car insurance rates. If your car insurance is with Progressive, Progressive Snapshot might be worth considering.
The program uses data based on how and how often you drive to personalize car insurance rates. In some states, drivers receive a discount just for signing up. If you want an opportunity to save more money on your car insurance, Progressive Snapshot could be a solution.
What is Progressive Snapshot?
To create personalized insurance rates for each driver, Progressive Snapshot tracks driving habits and frequency. This monitoring program uses either an app on your smartphone or a small device you plug into your car. It can determine if you are engaged in unsafe practices, such as speeding or talking on the phone while driving.
Enrolling in Snapshot if you are a new Progressive car insurance policyholder is free and you could earn an immediate $47 average discount just for signing up if you live anywhere in the U.S., outside of Hawaii and New York. The program is available in most U.S states, excluding California and North Carolina, but only some states allow you to use it via the mobile app due to regulatory statutes.
The discount for participating in Snapshot is credited after completion of the program if you’re proven to be a safe driver and the auto policy is renewed with Progressive. This is usually after six or 12 months, which is the length of a typical auto insurance policy. Most drivers see an average of $146 in savings at the end of the Progressive Snapshot program.
But the opposite can also be true. If your driving habits indicate that you are a higher insurance risk, Progressive may actually raise your rate. The company claims that about 20% of its Snapshot customers experience this.
How does Progressive Snapshot work?
Signing up for Progressive Snapshot is easy. When you sign up for Snapshot, you will either download the Snapshot app, which works with both iOS and Android, or you will wait for the company to send you a small dongle that plugs into the OBD2 port on your car, which is usually located under the steering wheel.
Then, drive as you normally would. If the Snapshot device determines that you are doing anything unsafe, it will beep. The app and plug-in device use GPS technology to determine where you are and track how fast you are going. Sensors in your smartphone and your smartphone’s Wi-Fi connection allow the app to transmit data back to Progressive.
You retain some control of how much data is transmitted. For example, you can pause the monitoring system if you are going on vacation or if you are a passenger rather than a driver. Logging into your Progressive account allows you to view the data collected, get driving tips and see details on any vehicle trips you have made.
Does Progressive Snapshot actually decrease rates?
New Progressive customers can receive a participation discount for enrolling in the Snapshot program. Progressive claims an average $47 enrollment discount and an average $146 annual savings for Snapshot users. A discount takes effect after completing the initial six-month monitoring period and renewing your policy for another six-month period.
It is important to note that because Progressive bases rates on driving data collected using the Snapshot app or plug-in device, your premium could actually increase if your driving habits are poor.
What driving habits does Progressive Snapshot monitor?
Snapshot analyzes your driving habits to produce your driving reports. It also uses the data to resolve auto claims, as well as for underwriting assessments and development and research purposes. Among the driving characteristics that Snapshot monitors are:
- Braking and accelerating: Snapshot looks for easy acceleration without jack-rabbit starts and smooth braking. Avoid slamming on your brakes unless necessary to avoid an accident
- Time of day: Avoid driving late at night (between midnight and 6 a.m.). Midnight to 4 a.m. on weekends is considered the most dangerous time to drive, according to the National Safety Council. If you must regularly drive during these hours, Snapshot may not be a good fit for you.
- Mileage: You need to drive at least 4,000 miles a year (about 10 miles a day on average) to participate in Snapshot, but the program rewards those who are relatively low-mileage drivers or who frequently carpool.
- Using your mobile phone: If you are using the mobile app, Snapshot can determine when you have been texting or making phone calls. Avoid these activities to remain safe and help increase your discount.
- Speeding: Driving above the posted speed limit will be noted by Snapshot.
If you have a problem with the issues described above, you might not want to use Snapshot. However, if you are a good driver who avoids dangerous habits, Snapshot could save you money.
The Snapshot mobile app installed on your smartphone stores analytics and driving data for a few days. When you delete the app, you also delete the stored analytics and data. Progressive retains analytics information and driving data transmitted to its Snapshot system indefinitely.
According to Snapshot’s privacy statement, Progressive retains the right to share your Snapshot data with third parties:
- To service the insurance policy
- To detect or prevent fraudulent activity
- For marketing and research purposes
- As permitted and when required by law for a police investigation or when subpoenaed for a civil lawsuit
- To government insurance departments to support rates
- To Progressive’s service provider
- To other insurers or attorneys to resolve claims or litigation
The terms allow Progressive to share depersonalized data to more third parties. Progressive can use data from all drivers on your policy for marketing purposes. Users can choose to restrict the use of their data for certain types of marketing.
How does Progressive know who’s driving?
As part of the enrollment process, all drivers need to download the mobile app onto their phone. In some states, drivers choose which vehicle they drive the most. From then on, that phone will be associated with a particular vehicle. In other states, Progressive averages the data from all smartphones in the policy.
For instances where two drivers in a household are in the car together, Progressive states that its mobile app should be able to determine who is driving and only use the data from that person’s phone. However, if the app does have an error, it does offer an opportunity to fix the trip information if needed.
Progressive Snapshot discounts
Progressive policyholders who sign up for Snapshot have access to additional discounts under the Snapshot program. A few of the featured discounts include:
- Snapshot Safe Driver Discount: Drivers can save up to $146 on average annually by registering for Snapshot.
- Limit hard brakes and accelerations: By avoiding stepping on the gas and slamming on the brakes, you can earn a discount.
- Avoiding late-night driving can generate more savings.
- Drive less: By driving lower miles or carpooling you can save more.
- Stay off your mobile phone: By avoiding phone calls and texting behind the wheel, you can qualify for additional savings.
Who is the Progressive Snapshot app a good option for?
To see if Progressive Snapshot is a good option for you, it can help to think about your own driving habits. Progressive Snapshot rewards drivers who limit sharp braking and accelerating, typically avoid late night driving on the weekends, are generally low-mileage drivers and avoid their phones while driving. If these are driving habits that you already practice or want to make a habit of doing more often, Progressive Snapshot might be worth a try.
How do you save with Progressive Snapshot?
Progressive’s Snapshot program only reward good drivers. Drivers who perform well during the monitoring period could earn a discount on their car insurance rate. Most insurance companies offer auto policy discounts for students earning good grades at school, getting married, buying a house or bundling their auto and home insurance policies. But usage-based insurance programs such as Snapshot offer immediate savings for driving safely.
Is Progressive Snapshot worth it?
While other insurance telematics programs require extended monitoring, Snapshot monitors your driving habits and sets your new rate in a single policy period.
Progressive Snapshot customer reviews indicate that users are generally happy with the program. If you maintain a good driving record and always observe the rules of the road, Snapshot could help you save hundreds of dollars a year on auto insurance.
Frequently asked questions
What is the best auto insurance company?
Because buying car insurance is a very personalized process, the best car insurance will be different for everyone. It can help to consider the number of cars and drivers you’d like to include on your policy, as well as location and even discount opportunities. When looking for the best car insurance for you, it doesn’t hurt to shop around and request multiple quotes to see what options are available.
How much money can I save with Progressive Snapshot?
On average, drivers who enroll in Progressive Snapshot save up to $146 per year on insurance premiums. However, keep in mind that the final discount may vary for each driver depending on driving habits. .
What if my car insurance isn’t with Progressive?
If your car insurance is not with Progressive, you will not be able to participate in this program. However, Progressive does have a free trial called Snapshot Road Test that lets you test out the telematics system and see how much you might save with Progressive without changing your auto insurance.