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Geico vs. Progressive Auto Insurance: Rates, Coverage and More

Feb. 22, 2021
Auto Insurance, Insurance
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Millions of drivers choose Geico or Progressive for auto insurance. They’re two of the largest car insurance companies in the U.S.

But Progressive and Geico take different approaches to providing car insurance, so which one you should choose depends on what’s most important to you.

  • Progressive works with thousands of agents while Geico primarily does business online or by phone.
  • Geico often beats Progressive’s rates, but not for all drivers or in all states.
  • Both have long — but different — lists of coverage options to customize policies.

To find which is best for you, take a look at how the two companies compare.

Geico vs. Progressive: Average car insurance rates

If price is your top concern, Geico is likely to have the edge — but it depends on where you live.

» MORE: Best cheap car insurance

In an analysis of rates in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., NerdWallet found that Geico was about $25 a month cheaper than Progressive, on average, for good drivers with good credit buying full-coverage insurance.

Full coverage insurance isn’t a specific type of policy, but generally includes comprehensive and collision insurance and any additional state-mandated coverage types, like liability insurance and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.

» MORE: What is liability car insurance and how much do you need?

For drivers with poor credit and equal coverage, Geico’s rates were about $128 a month lower than Progressive’s, on average. Insurers use a credit-based insurance score, which is likely comparable but not identical to a regular credit score, to determine how likely you are to file a claim. California, Hawaii, Massachusetts and Michigan forbid insurers from using credit to set auto insurance rates.

Rates for drivers with an at-fault accident were also cheaper with Geico, $47 a month less, on average. However, Progressive’s rates for drivers with a recent DUI were $78 a month lower than Geico’s, on average.

These are averages, and your own rates will be different. For example, in New York and Montana, Progressive was cheaper than Geico, on average, for full coverage unless the driver had poor credit.

Geico was generally cheaper than Progressive for drivers with poor credit in all states except Maryland.

Since rates vary so much depending on your circumstances, it’s important to get car insurance quotes from both companies to know whether Progressive or Geico is cheapest for you.

Here are the annual average rates we found for full coverage for four driver profiles, plus minimum coverage rates for good drivers with good credit.

Driver profileGeicoProgressiveAnnual difference
Good driver$1,268$1,562$294
Driver with poor credit$1,766$3,302$1,536
Driver with a recent at-fault accident$1,991$2,556$565
Driver with a recent DUI$2,892$1,959$933
Minimum coverage$380$577$198

» MORE: Progressive auto insurance review

Geico vs. Progressive: NerdWallet ratings

Geico and Progressive each earned 4.5 stars in NerdWallet’s ratings of the best car insurance companies.

NerdWallet’s rating rewards customer-first practices and is based on many factors, including:

  • Website transparency.
  • Affordability and discounts.
  • Coverage options.
  • Consumer complaints against the insurer, based on data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

» MORE: Geico auto insurance review

Geico vs. Progressive: Customer satisfaction

Customers report a better experience with Geico than with Progressive, both when they’re shopping for insurance and after an insurance claim, according to J.D. Power.

The independent ratings firm ranked Geico first out of eight large insurers in J.D. Power’s 2020 U.S. Insurance Shopping Study while Progressive ranked seventh.

In J.D. Power’s 2020 Auto Claims Satisfaction Study, Geico ranked 12th among 24 insurers while Progressive landed at 21st.

Geico vs. Progressive: Insurance options

Progressive offers coverage options in some states that aren’t available from Geico:

  • Gap insurance, which covers what you owe on a vehicle, less your deductible, if your car is totaled or stolen and your regular coverage isn’t enough to pay off the loan.
  • Custom parts and equipment insurance, which repairs or replaces items you add to your car, like a stereo.
  • Disappearing deductible, where accident-free drivers can earn a lower deductible, all the way down to $0.

Geico, on the other hand, offers mechanical breakdown coverage, which isn’t available from Progressive.

FeatureGeicoProgressive
Usage-based insurance optionsYes, in 17 statesYes, in all states except California and North Carolina
Ridesharing insuranceYes, in 40 statesYes, in 39 states and D.C.
Gap insuranceNoYes
Accident forgivenessYes, in 47 statesYes
Mechanical breakdown coverageYesNo
Insurance for other vehicles (motorcycles, RVs, boats)Yes
Homeowners insuranceYes, read our Geico homeowners insurance reviewYes, read our Progressive homeowners insurance review
Renters insuranceYes, read our Geico renters insurance reviewYes, read our Progressive renters insurance review
Umbrella liabilityYes
Flood insuranceYes (through the National Flood Insurance Program)
Life insuranceYes (only through partners)
Business insuranceYes (through partners in some cases)

» MORE: Compare car insurance rates

Geico vs. Progressive: Online and mobile tools

Both Geico and Progressive have websites and mobile apps where drivers can manage their auto insurance policy online. The mobile apps also let you pay premiums, get ID cards, call for roadside assistance and upload damage photos.

Other digital tools at Geico include:

  • DriveEasy app for Geico’s usage-based program, which uses technology to track your driving behavior and lower or raise your rate.
  • Vehicle Care, which alerts you when your car needs maintenance.
  • Locators for gas and parking.
  • Voice assistance through Google Home, Google Assistant or Amazon’s Alexa.
  • Find a Ride, which lets you use Geico’s mobile app to connect with a Lyft driver.

At Progressive, other online and mobile tools include:

  • Name Your Price, which helps you find a policy that fits your budget.
  • The Snapshot mobile app for Progressive’s usage-based insurance program. The app can give you details about your trips and driving behavior.
  • Virtual assistance through Google Home or via Progressive’s Flo Chatbot, a Facebook Messenger app.

Average rates methodology

NerdWallet averaged rates for 40-year-old men and women for all ZIP codes in any of the 50 states and Washington, D.C., in which Geico and Progressive were among the largest insurance companies (by premiums written).

In our analysis, “good drivers” had no moving violations on record; a “good driving” discount was included for this profile. Our “good” and “poor” credit rates are based on credit score approximations and do not account for proprietary scoring criteria used by insurance providers. These are average rates, and your rate will vary based on your personal details, state and insurance provider.

Sample drivers had the following coverage limits:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability coverage per person.
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability coverage per crash.
  • $50,000 property damage liability coverage per crash.
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per person.
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per crash.
  • Collision coverage with $1,000 deductible.
  • Comprehensive coverage with $1,000 deductible.

In states where required, minimum additional coverages were added. We used the same assumptions for all other driver profiles, with the following exceptions:

  • For drivers with minimum coverage, we adjusted the numbers above to reflect only the minimum coverage required by law in the state.
  • We changed the credit tier from “good” to “poor” as reported to the insurer to see rates for drivers with poor credit. In four states (CA, HI, MA, MI) where insurers are legally banned from using credit to set rates, our rates for “good” credit and “poor” credit are identical.
  • For drivers with one at-fault crash, we added a single at-fault crash costing $10,000 in property damage.
  • For drivers with a DUI, we added a single drunken driving violation.

We used a 2018 Toyota Camry LE in all cases and assumed 12,000 annual miles driven. In all cases, a paperless discount, e-signature discount and electronic funds transfer discount were automatically applied. These are sample rates generated through Quadrant Information Services. Your own rates will be different.

Auto insurance ratings methodology

NerdWallet’s auto insurance ratings reward companies for customer-first features and practices. Ratings are based on weighted averages of scores in several categories, including financial strength, consumer complaints and discounts. Our “ease of use” category looks at factors such as website transparency and how easy it is to file a claim. Using our editorial discretion, we also consider customer satisfaction surveys. These ratings are a guide, but we encourage you to shop around and compare several insurance quotes to find the best rate for you. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for any reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.

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