Car insurance companies aren’t all cut from the same cloth. There is a lot of variety out there, both in terms of policy cost and customer service. Which car insurance companies lead the pack? We wanted to find out, so we took a look at nine of the industry’s largest insurance carriers to see how they compared with each other. In this head-to-head comparison, we’ll focus specifically on just two carriers within our study of nine major auto insurance companies: USAA and Progressive.
Landing in first place overall among the nine insurance companies we studied, USAA is the number one choice to consider if you’re looking for car insurance, assuming you qualify for coverage with this provider. Progressive lands in the bottom half in our study.
Let’s take a more in-depth look at how these two companies stack up, both in terms of how their customers rate their satisfaction with the companies and by the companies’ rates for a variety of demographic groups.
- U.S. News Overall Rating
- U.S. News Overall Rating
In our overall rankings, USAA lands in first place. Still, keep in mind that this company’s membership requirements result in a limited audience. A military affiliation is necessary if you want to qualify for coverage with USAA.
What about Progressive? That company lands in seventh place overall on our list.
With car insurance, customer service can have a big impact on the experience you have with your carrier. There’s no contest between USAA and Progressive here, as USAA is the clear winner.
And let’s not forget about claims handling. A company that handles claims promptly and diligently can make your life a whole lot easier if you have an accident. USAA gets the nod over Progressive in this vital area.
USAA’s clients shared comments that express just how pleased they are with the value and service that this leading insurance carrier provides. “USAA is awesome,” raved one customer. “We’ve had USAA for almost 40 years; the company is responsive and forgiving,” said another.
Some of Progressive’s clients expressed satisfaction with the service provided. “Quick, friendly, professional,” said one. “They were very prompt in communicating with me,” said another.
But others were displeased with the service they received. “Progressive did not pay my claim and gave me a lot of runaround when I tried to find out why,” said one client. “They held us up by delaying the payment,” said another.
Read our full USAA review »
Read our full Progressive review »
USAA vs. Progressive: Pros & Cons
Nabs a first-place ranking overall among all the auto insurance companies we researched
Lower rates than any other company in our study
Only available to those with a military affiliation
Rate for drivers with a DUI is lower than the industry average
Low ranking for customer service
Low ranking for claims handling
Which Is Cheapest?
With an average rate of $875, USAA leads the pack in affordability; of the nine companies we studied, USAA was the least expensive. Progressive’s average rate of $1,334 earned it a sixth-place ranking. That rate makes Progressive a whopping 52% more expensive than USAA.
Looking for a low car insurance rate? In the area of pricing, USAA outperforms Progressive by a notable margin.
Now it’s time to take a look at how USAA and Progressive compare to the industry average when it comes to price. Our data puts the industry average at $1,321. Progressive’s rate is 1% higher than this average. At USAA, the rate is 34% lower than the average rate among the nine companies we studied.
Remember that in this section of our Progressive and USAA comparison, we’re focused squarely on cost. However, our recommendation is that you take a broader view when shopping for car insurance; there’s more to selecting an ideal carrier than simply choosing the one that’s least expensive. Take a close look at critical areas such as customer service and claims handling when making your decision.