Progressive vs. State Farm Car Insurance: Which Is Better in 2021?

Table of Contents Customer SatisfactionProgressive vs. State Farm: Pros & ConsProgressiveState FarmWhich Is Cheapest?Which Is

Overall, State Farm ranks second in our survey among nine of the top national insurers, while Progressive ranks sixth. State Farm was only surpassed by USAA, which only provides coverage to drivers with military affiliations.

State Farm is ranked more highly than Progressive in our overall rankings, and in every subcategory, with State Farm usually taking a significant lead.

On average, Progressive’s car insurance rates are about 12% more expensive than State Farm’s average rates. However, our study found Progressive has lower average rates than State Farm for drivers who have bad credit.

Keep reading to learn what actual customers say about these car insurance companies.

Customer Satisfaction

Progressive

U.S. News Overall Rating

State Farm

U.S. News Overall Rating

In our survey, State Farm ranks second, just below USAA, in our categories of Best for Customer Service, Best for Customer Loyalty, and Most Likely to Be Renewed. In these categories, Progressive ranks eighth, sixth, and sixth, respectively, out of the nine auto insurance companies we evaluated.

State Farm ranks fourth and Progressive sixth for Most Likely to be Recommended, and the two earned the subsequent rankings of fifth and seventh in Best for Claims Handling.

“I pay too much for age, driving record, and time with company [Progressive],” said one respondent who filed a claim with Progressive, while a second said, “Too expensive for my age and driving record!” and a third said, “Insurance is high for a 61 year old and a clean drivers record.” Another respondent said, “The cost of insurance kept going up with a clean driving record and no accidents. I was a customer for 15 years.”

“They’re cheap but don’t pay their claims. I suppose you get what you pay for. I would not recommend this company to a friend – or an enemy,” said one respondent who filed a claim with Progressive. “They dropped me and my policy because I had a claim they didn’t want to pay,” said another.

As for State Farm, survey respondents who filed claims said things such as, “Very fast service and great communication,” “Very eager to please,” “Terrific customer service,” “Very helpful,” and “Always great to work with.”

“Handled quickly, great communication,” said one respondent who filed a claim with State Farm. “Couldn’t ask for anything, they handled it and paid quickly.”

Read our full Progressive review »

Read our full State Farm review »

Progressive vs. State Farm: Pros & Cons

Progressive

    • Small upcharge for high-mile commuters

    • Reasonable rates for drivers with bad credit

    • Low ratings for customer service and customer loyalty

    • Expensive for drivers with an accident on record

State Farm

    • Places second in our overall rankings

    • Ranks high in several of our subrankings

    • Affordable for drivers with one DUI or speeding ticket

    • High rates for drivers with bad credit

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Which Is Cheapest?

State Farm offers national auto insurance rates that are about 12% cheaper than Progressive on average, according to our study. Among the top nine national insurers, Progressive is ranked sixth for cheapest average national auto insurance rates, while State Farm is ranked in the top three, below Geico and USAA.

Compared to the national average auto insurance rate of about $1,320, Progressive is just 1% more expensive, while State Farm is about 12% more affordable.

Which Is Cheapest for Men?

 

Progressive

State Farm

Industry Average

25-year-old male

$1,635

$1,396

$1,554

35-year-old male

$1,237

$1,139

$1,278

60-year-old male

$1,126

$1,038

$1,183

State Farm offers cheaper auto insurance rates to men than Progressive does, on average. Our study did not include Hawaii in this category, because rates in Hawaii do not vary by demographic.

For an average 25-year-old male driver, State Farm offers 15% cheaper auto insurance rates than Progressive. In this demographic, Progressive’s average rates are 5% above the industry average, while State Farm’s average rates are 10% below the industry average, so average men in this demographic can probably save money with State Farm according to study data.

For male drivers at age 35, our study shows State Farm’s average auto insurance rates are 8% cheaper than Progressive. In this demographic, Progressive’s average rates are about 3% cheaper than the national average – but State Farm’s rates are nearly 11% cheaper than the national average, so average male drivers in this category could still see savings with State Farm.

For average male drivers at age 60, State Farm’s average car insurance rates are about 8% more affordable than Progressive’s average rates. Progressive only offers rates about 5% below the industry average for the average male drivers in this category, while these drivers can save about 12% on the industry average with State Farm.

To find these average rates, we created driver profiles for men in each of the following ages: 25 years, 35 years, and 60 years. The profiles have a clean driving record, 12,000 miles of driving per year, a medium level of insurance coverage, and a good credit score. We used three vehicles for our driver profiles: the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150. 

Which Is Cheapest for Women?

 

Progressive

State Farm

Industry Average

25-year-old female

$1,605

$1,262

$1,487

35-year-old female

$1,302

$1,139

$1,274

60-year-old female

$1,101

$1,038

$1,149

A 25-year-old woman driver can save an average of 21% on car insurance at State Farm compared to Progressive. At State Farm, average rates are 15% below the industry average for women drivers in this demographic, while average rates are nearly 8% above the industry average at Progressive. State Farm offers cheaper car insurance rates for women on average than Progressive, our study shows.

A 35-year-old woman driver can save about 13% on average at State Farm compared to Progressive. Compared to the industry average, women in this demographic can save an average of 11% below the industry average at State Farm, but might pay about about 2% above the industry average at Progressive.

For the 60-year-old woman driver, average rates at Progressive are 6% above average rates offered by State Farm. In this category however, Progressive rates are 4% below the industry average. State Farm rates are about 10% below the industry average, though. Women in this category can save on car insurance compared to the industry average at both companies, although they might find lower rates on average at State Farm.

To find these average rates, we created driver profiles for women in each of the following ages: 25 years, 35 years, and 60 years. The profiles have a clean driving record, 12,000 miles of driving per year, a medium level of insurance coverage, and a good credit score. We used three vehicles for our driver profiles: the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150. 

Which Is Cheapest for High Mileage?

 

Progressive

State Farm

Industry Average

12,000 miles annually

$1,334

$1,169

$1,321

Any driver’s car insurance rates could be affected by how many miles they put on their car. For the high-mileage commuters, State Farm offers average auto insurance rates that are about 12% more affordable than Progressive. This could add up to $165 a year.

Progressive’s rates are about 1% higher than the industry average for the high-mile commuter, while State Farm’s rates are nearly 12% below the industry average.

To find these average rates, we created driver profiles with high mileage (12,000 miles per year). The profiles covered men and women in the 25-, 35-, and 60-year-old age groups with a medium level of insurance coverage, a good credit score, and a clean driving record. The vehicles used in our study were the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150. 

Which Is Cheapest for Low Mileage?

 

Progressive

State Farm

Industry Average

6,000 miles annually

$1,330

$1,054

$1,278

Motorists who do not drive very often can save money with State Farm, which offers rates that are an average of 21% below the rates offered by Progressive. This could save drivers about $275 annually.

Progressive’s average auto insurance rates for the low-mile commuter are still about 4% above the industry average, and only about 0.3% below its rates for the high-mile commuter insuring through Progressive.

Low-mile commuters can save nearly 10% with State Farm compared to high-mile commuters with the same company. Low-mile commuters with State Farm pay an average of 17.5% below the industry average.

To find these average rates, we created driver profiles with low mileage (6,000 miles per year). The profiles covered men and women in the 25-, 35-, and 60-year-old age groups with a medium level of insurance coverage, a good credit score, and a clean driving record. The vehicles used in our study were the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150. 

Which Is Cheapest for Good Credit?

 

Progressive

State Farm

Industry Average

Good credit

$1,324

$1,165

$1,311

Drivers with good credit history are more likely to score affordable rates than drivers with poor credit. Our study does not include California, Hawaii, or Massachusetts because the rates in these states do not vary by credit score.

At Progressive, drivers with good credit pay an average of 14%, or about $160 annually, more than drivers with good credit pay at State Farm. Progressive’s average rates are only about 1% above the industry average.

Drivers with good credit who insure with State Farm could save 11% compared to the industry average.

To find these average rates, we created driver profiles with good credit. We used men and women aged 25 years, 35 years, and 60 years. The profiles have a clean driving record, a medium level of insurance coverage, and 12,000 miles of annual driving. The 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150 are the vehicles used in our analysis.

Which Is Cheapest for Bad Credit?

 

Progressive

State Farm

Industry Average

Bad credit

$2,299

$2,803

$2,227

Drivers with poor credit will be better off insuring with Progressive than State Farm, for once, as they could save an average of 18% – or $500 a year.

Drivers with poor credit will want to consider staying away from State Farm, as its average car insurance rates for this demographic are among the highest of the top nine national insurers.

Progressive still offers average car insurance rates 3% above the industry average, but State Farm average rates soar to 26% above the industry average for drivers with bad credit history.

Drivers with good credit who insure with Progressive will save an average of 42% on car insurance over drivers with poor credit at Progressive. Drivers with good credit who insure through State Farm will save a whopping 58% over the same driver with poor credit.

To find these average rates, we created driver profiles with poor credit. We used men and women aged 25 years, 35 years, and 60 years. The profiles have a clean driving record, a medium level of insurance coverage, and 12,000 miles of annual driving. The 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150 are the vehicles used in our analysis. 

Which Is Cheapest for Good Drivers?

 

Progressive

State Farm

Industry Average

Clean record

$1,334

$1,169

$1,321

A driver’s record also plays a big part in the car insurance rates they are able to secure. Drivers with a good record will find State Farm offers average car insurance rates of 12% below those offered at Progressive, according to our study data.

Progressive’s average car insurance rates are 1% above the industry average for drivers with good records, and the company has a middling ranking in this category among the nine national insurers in our study.

At State Farm, drivers with good records could save 12% compared to the industry average. State Farm is one of the top three cheapest national providers in our study for drivers with a good record, just below Geico and USAA.

To find these average rates, we created driver profiles with a clean record. These driving record representative profiles were based on 25-, 35-, and 60-year-old men and women with 12,000 miles of driving per year, a medium level of insurance coverage, and a good credit score. Vehicles used in the analysis were the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150. 

Which Is Cheapest After a Speeding Ticket?

 

Progressive

State Farm

Industry Average

With 1 speeding violation

$1,759

$1,299

$1,604

Drivers with one speeding ticket on their record can save an average of 26% on car insurance with State Farm, compared to Progressive. For these drivers, Progressive’s average rates are nearly 10% above the industry average, while the same drivers can save an average of 23% below the industry average at State Farm.

Compared to the nine national insurers in our study, Progressive is one of the top three most expensive for drivers with a speeding ticket, while State Farm rises to second place for most affordable, only topped by USAA.

To find these average rates, we created driver profiles with one speeding violation. These driving record representative profiles were based on 25-, 35-, and 60-year-old men and women with 12,000 miles of driving per year, a medium level of insurance coverage, and a good credit score. Vehicles used in the analysis were the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150. 

Which Is Cheapest After an Accident?

 

Progressive

State Farm

Industry Average

With 1 accident

$2,237

$1,405

$1,872

Motorists who suffered one accident will find 37% more affordable average car insurance rates at State Farm than at Progressive, our study found.

Progressive’s average rates for a driver with an accident on record are 19% above the industry average, while State Farm’s average rates are about 25% below the industry average for these drivers.

Among the nine national insurers in our study, Progressive is still in the top three most expensive for drivers with one accident, while State Farm is still second-cheapest.

To find these average rates, we created driver profiles with one accident. These driving record representative profiles were based on 25-, 35-, and 60-year-old men and women with 12,000 miles of driving per year, a medium level of insurance coverage, and a good credit score. Vehicles used in the analysis were the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150. 

Which Is Cheapest After a DUI?

 

Progressive

State Farm

Industry Average

With 1 DUI

$1,733

$1,568

$2,112

When it comes to drivers with a DUI, Progressive is no longer among the most expensive major insurance companies in our study, though it’s still more expensive than State Farm, by about 11%.

Progressive’s average rates for drivers with a DUI are 18% below the industry average. At State Farm, average rates are nearly 26% below the industry average. State Farm is the cheapest among the nine national insurers in our study for drivers with a DUI on average, coming in with even more affordable average rates than USAA.

To find these average rates, we created driver profiles with one DUI. These driving record representative profiles were based on 25-, 35-, and 60-year-old men and women with 12,000 miles of driving per year, a medium level of insurance coverage, and a good credit score. Vehicles used in the analysis were the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150. 

Discounts

Discounts are a great way to save a little extra on any driver’s car insurance policy. However, discounts can vary by state and by company, so always give your local branch a call.

About 42% of survey respondents who opened a policy with State Farm said they were completely satisfied with the policy discounts offered, according to our survey, with an additional 26% responding with a rating of four out of five. A further 22% rated State Farm with three out of five for their satisfaction with the discounts offered.

Of drivers who filed a claim with State Farm, 39% said they were completely satisfied with the policy discounts offered, with a further 25% giving a four out of five rating. Less than 13% who filed a claim rated State Farm with one or two out of a possible five points for satisfaction with discounts.

As for Progressive, 42% of respondents who started a policy there said they were completely satisfied with the policy discounts offered, while a further 21% offered a four-out-of-five rating and 19% gave three out of five. This is just slightly lower than State Farm’s scores in this category.

Of drivers who filed a claim with Progressive, about 33% said they were completely satisfied with the policy discounts offered, while another 25% offered a score of four out of five. About 22% of these drivers gave a three out of five rating for their satisfaction with available discounts, with just over 14% offering ratings in the one or two range.

While State Farm earned somewhat higher ratings than Progressive according to our respondents for their satisfaction with discounts, State Farm still could use improvement.

“I don’t know of any special discounts they give to long term customers or seniors,” said one respondent who filed a claim with State Farm. Another said, “With my driving record, I should be awarded a huge discount in my premiums, but neither [State Farm] or [Allstate] helped me out other than bundling, and everyone gets this.”

“Minimal to no discounts during COVID crisis have us shopping for a new auto/home insurer. If it weren’t such a hassle, we would have already switched,” said one respondent who filed a claim with State Farm.

However, some respondents had a positive review. One said, “My agent is a valuable partner. She finds me discounts and helps me get just enough coverage for me and my family. LOVE State Farm,” while another said, “Long term discounts mean other companies can’t match lower rates than State Farm.”

One of Progressive’s discounts, a tracking program called Snapshot, gave some survey respondents frustrating experiences.

“Snapshot will drain your battery if car sits,” one respondent warned. “They give you a false sense of security, they claim the devices used are to show your good driving record, but in reality they are used against you,” said another.

One respondent who filed a claim with Progressive experienced serious issues with Snapshot. “I’m frustrated by the Snapshot device program. The thing beeped all the time. My driving record is good but it would help to get a biweekly or monthly report. Also, it came ‘due’ a month early – at the same time I had a letter saying I had to use it for six months. After five months I [received] emails telling me I’d be charged $50 if I didn’t return the device.”

“You have to know to ask for some discounts, they [are] not necessarily offered,” said one respondent who filed a claim with Progressive. “Completely unaware of what programs could help increase my discounts. We are old and drive very little,” said another.

In addition to the discounts mentioned below, Progressive offers small and large accident forgiveness discounts, and might award those who own a home a 10% discount even if the home isn’t insured through Progressive. Progressive also offers a teen driver discount, for those under the age of 18, separately from its good student discount. Progressive also offers discounts averaging 7-9% for drivers who get their initial quote for car insurance online, and sign their documents online.

“I think that their rate was very high. No reward for being a safe driver for me. Switched to State Farm, more coverage, better rate,” said one respondent who filed a claim with Progressive.

Discounts

Progressive

State Farm

Customer Loyalty

Yes

Yes

Student/Good Student

Yes

Yes

Student Away From Home/Storage

Yes

Yes

Bundling/Multi-policy

Yes

Yes

Multi-vehicle

Yes

Yes

Good Driver/Clean Record

Yes

Yes

Defensive Driving Course

No

Yes

Employer/Affinity Group

No

No

Teacher

No

No

Military

No

Yes

New Car/Safety/Anti-theft Equipment

No

Yes

Low Mileage

No

Yes

Paperless/Online Billing

Yes

No

Auto-pay/Pay-up-front

Yes

No

Tracking Device Program

Yes

Yes

How We Did This Comparison

At U.S. News, we’re all about helping people make life’s important decisions. Our college rankings, launched in 1983, set the standard in educational rankings. Our rankings in other fields, like healthcare, government, and the automotive sphere, help people and thought leaders make choices that make lives better. Now we’re continuing to empower you with the information you need to make the right choices for your life with our Best Car Insurance Rankings.

We surveyed 4,806 consumers who filed a car insurance claim or started a new auto insurance policy in the last five years, asking questions about their car insurance company. Of the survey respondents, 177 filed a claim with Progressive and 316 started a policy with Progressive, while 418 filed a claim with State Farm and 319 started a policy with State Farm. These questions covered satisfaction with the ease of filing a claim, customer service, claim status communication, claim resolution, and overall value. In general, questions for consumers who have filed a claim were given more weight than questions for consumers who have only opened a policy. We also asked whether they’d recommend the company and if they planned to renew their policy. We used their responses to build our Best Car Insurance Companies Rankings, as well as our subrankings for best customer service, claims handling, and customer loyalty, and this head-to-head comparison.

Our Study Rates

To get comparative insurance rates for this study, U.S. News also worked with Quadrant Information Services to analyze a report of insurance rates in all 50 states from most of the largest national car insurance companies, though not every company operates in every state. Quadrant obtained publicly available rate data that car insurers file with state regulators. Our study rates are based on profiles for both male and female drivers aged 25, 35, and 60. Vehicles used include the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150, with annual mileage ranging from 6,000 and 12,000. Three car insurance coverage levels were used, as were credit tiers of good, fair, and poor. Clean driving records and records with one accident, one speeding violation, and one DUI were also used in the calculations of certain driver archetypes.

To get the study rates shown here, we computed the mean rate for male and female drivers aged 25, 35, and 60 who drive 12,000 miles per year and have medium coverage, good credit, and a clean driving record. The rates shown here are for comparative purposes only and should not be considered “average” rates available by individual insurers. Because car insurance rates are based on individual factors, your car insurance rates will differ from the rates shown here.