USAA vs. Progressive

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Progressive Insurance started in Cleveland, Ohio in 1937 selling vehicle insurance. Today, Progressive is the third-largest vehicle insurance company in the nation, with a market share of 13.30%. As the carrier’s name suggests, Progressive is known for providing new and innovative ways to make shopping for car insurance and making claims a seamless, customer-friendly process.

USAA, short for United Services Automobile Association, is based in San Antonio, Texas and is the fifth largest auto insurance carrier in the U.S., with a market share of 6.32%. Founded in 1922, the insurer’s market share is impressive when you consider that USAA only sells insurance and financial products to members of the Armed Forces. Unlike Progressive, which is available to nearly anyone, you would need to qualify for membership to USAA by being a retired or active member of the Armed Forces, a veteran or a close family member.

USAA vs. Progressive: car insurance rates comparison

If Progressive vs. USAA is a dilemma for you, know that both are among Bankrate’s choices for the best car insurance companies. Both companies have a history of financial stability and competitive rates. However, there are differences between the two carriers, including average premiums and customer satisfaction scores.

Car insurance company Bankrate score AM Best J.D. Power Average annual premium for minimum coverage Average annual premium for full coverage
USAA 4.7 A++ 890 $384 $1,225
Progressive 4.1 A+ 856 $582 $1,509

Rates by credit score

While California, Hawaii and Massachusetts prohibit the use of your credit score as an auto insurance rating factor, insurance companies in most states do take credit under consideration when rating a policy. Generally, the higher your credit score, the lower your premium will be. Based on your credit situation and whether or not a provider factors it into your rate, one provider may offer more competitive rates than another. The best way to determine which fits your circumstances better is to obtain quotes and compare.

Rates by age

Younger drivers are typically less experienced and more likely to be involved in an accident than older drivers. To account for the higher risk, insurance companies typically charge younger drivers more for coverage. When comparing USAA vs. Progressive for a young driver, Progressive is cheaper for full coverage, on average, if the teen is added to their parents’ policy. Once teen drivers are 18 and able to get their own auto insurance, USAA is generally the less expensive choice when it comes to a full coverage policy.

Car insurance company Age 16* Age 18 Age 25 Age 30 Age 40 Age 60
USAA $2,186 $3,361 $1,510 $1,295 $1,176 $1,073
Progressive $1,955 $6,287 $1,796 $1,668 $1,545 $1,302

*16-year-old cost when added to parents’ policy

Rates by driving record

Insurance premiums are based partly on the risk of you filing future claims. Because of this, drivers with accidents, tickets or DUIs on their records typically pay more for insurance than drivers with clean records. USAA offers lower average full coverage premiums for drivers with a speeding ticket or accident on their record, but Progressive’s average full coverage premium is slightly lower for drivers with a DUI conviction.

Car insurance company Clean driving record Speeding ticket Accident DUI conviction
USAA $1,225 $1,423 $1,681 $2,126
Progressive $1,509 $1,946 $2,418 $2,067

USAA vs. Progressive: discounts

You may be able to reduce your car insurance premiums by taking advantage of the auto insurance discounts a provider may offer. Most car insurance companies offer at least a few discounts, ranging from paying your premium annually or signing up for paperless billing to insuring multiple products, like your home and auto, with the same company.

When it comes to discounts, this is how USAA and Progressive compare:

USAA

  • Bundling discount: Buying your car insurance along with your home or renters insurance through USAA could save you up to 10% on your home policy.
  • Vehicle storage discount: If you are deployed and store your vehicle while you are serving overseas, you might receive up to 60% off your premiums.
  • Family discount: Young adults may get 10% off on car insurance if their parent(s) are insured with USAA.

Progressive

  • Good student discount: Full-time students who have a B or better letter-grade average might qualify for an average discount of 10% off.
  • Homeowner discount: Owning your home could qualify you for 10% off your auto policy, even if the property is insured with a different carrier.
  • Sign online discount: If you handle all your application paperwork digitally, you could receive a savings of up to 9%.

Typically, you can apply as many discounts to your policy as you qualify for. Taking advantage of as many savings opportunities as you can could help you lower your auto insurance premium.

USAA vs. Progressive: online and mobile experience comparison

Comparing USAA vs. Progressive’s digital experience, both provide the ability to handle your insurance needs online or through a mobile app. USAA’s interface is simpler and no-frills, which makes it typically more stable and faster loading.

Progressive’s online experience is more than a place where you manage your account, download your ID card, pay your bills and file claims, although you can do all of that. You can also access a variety of Progressive tools to calculate pricing, get updated insurance quotes and access insurance discounts.

When it comes to mobile apps, this is how USAA and Progressive stack up against each other:

USAA

  • Apple store — The USAA app has over 1.3 million reviews with a score of 4.8 out of 5. You can view your ID card, report a claim or request roadside assistance from the app, as well as viewing any USAA banking services that you have.
  • Google Play — Over 170,000 users awarded the Android version of the USAA mobile app a 4.5 out of 5. Although the app has the same features as the iOS version, users do occasionally report connectivity issues.

Progressive

  • Apple store — The Progressive app has only been reviewed by roughly 3,200 users that scored it with a 3.5 out of 5. You can do quite a bit with the Progressive app, such as receiving quotes, taking photos for a claim or making changes to your policy, but users mention that integration between various policy types could be better.
  • Google Play — With a score of 4.2 out of 5 from almost 43,000 users, the Android version of Progressive’s mobile app seems to function more seamlessly than Apple’s. However, users report that there are still occasionally glitches.

While the USAA app is higher-rated, the Progressive app is more full-featured.

Frequently asked questions

How do I get USAA car insurance?

To get car insurance through USAA, you will need to become a member. USAA membership is free and available to current and former members of the Armed Forces, veterans and family members.

USAA vs. Progressive: which one is cheaper?

Bankrate’s comparison of Progressive vs. USAA found that USAA is generally cheaper. However, for 16-year-olds added to their parents’ policy and for drivers with a DUI conviction, Progressive may be the less expensive choice. Keep in mind that auto insurance rates are calculated using numerous rating factors, including your age, gender, credit tier, the type of car you drive, your driving history, the state you live in and the coverages you choose. Your premium could be higher or lower than the average premiums, depending on your specific rating factors.

Methodology

Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on a 40-year-old male and female driver with a clean driving record, good credit and the following full coverage limits:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $50,000 property damage liability per accident
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
  • $500 collision deductible
  • $500 comprehensive deductible

To determine minimum coverage limits, Bankrate used minimum coverages that meet each state’s requirements. Our base profile drivers own a 2019 Toyota Camry, commute five days a week and drive 12,000 miles annually.

These are sample rates and should only be used for comparative purposes.

Credit: Rates were calculated based on the following insurance credit tiers assigned to our drivers: “poor, average, good (base), and excellent.” Insurance credit tiers factor in your official credit scores but are not dependent on that variable alone. The following states do not allow credit to be a factor in determining auto insurance rates: CA, HI, MA

Age: Rates were calculated by evaluating our base profile with the ages 18-60 (base: 40 years) applied.

Incident: Rates were calculated by evaluating our base profile with the following incidents applied: clean record (base), at-fault accident, single speeding ticket, single DUI conviction and lapse in coverage.

Written by
Cynthia Paez Bowman
Personal Finance Contributor
Cynthia Paez Bowman is a finance and business journalist who has been featured in Bankrate, Business Jet Traveler, MSN, CheatSheet.com, Freshome.com and TheSimpleDollar.com. She regularly travels to Africa and the Middle East to consult with women’s NGOs about small business development and works with select startups and women-owned businesses to provide growth and visibility.
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