Verdict: State Farm Wins Overall
State Farm has better customer service than Progressive and can take care of all your insurance needs
When it comes to car insurance, for some people simplicity and convenience are priorities.
For others, their main concern when choosing auto insurance is customer service and broad coverage.
But for many, the bottom line cost is going to make or break their decision.
Progressive Insurance is superior to State Farm because of its convenience and simplicity.
State Farm is better than Progressive when it comes to customer service and breadth of coverage.
Depending on your location and needs, Progressive can be more competitive in its pricing.
But is it worth paying a little more to have a flesh-and-blood human agent in your corner for all of your insurance needs?
We think so and that's why our pick for car insurance is State Farm.
To get a quote from State Farm, visit the State Farm website.
You would expect to pay a little more for better customer service.
When we compare State Farm with Progressive, that value becomes obvious.
State Farm is a win-win for the customer. State Farm has superior customer service, and you can work with them directly for all of your insurance needs.
People love State Farm auto insurance because they like dealing with a real person
Can't beat face-to-face. The personal experience of working with a State Farm agent is second to none in the industry.
Even in these days of automation and self-service, the personal touch of an agent working out of an office in the community is still valued.
The biggest customer complaint about State Farm is unexpected premium increases
Unpleasant surprises! State Farm gets criticized by customers who experience rate increases that they were not expecting.
They complain that changes were not communicated to them ahead of the increases.
Even people who went accident-free over the previous year found that their rates went up unexpectedly.
You can count on State Farm agents for the best personal service.
They'll also support you in obtaining all of the kinds of insurance you need.
But make sure you check in on changes to your policy so you're not caught off guard.
Points for Progressive: Convenient and Straightforward
Do it yourself. These days a lot of people don't care as much about customer service.
They're more than happy to Do-It-Yourself when it comes to buying insurance.
These folks will find a good fit with Progressive auto insurance.
People love Progressive auto insurance because they can take care of themselves
You don't need someone to hold your hand. People can serve themselves conveniently through the company's website and app.
Progressive has revolutionized the car insurance industry by creating their own claims and service centers.
When claims and repairs need to be made, there are Service Centers where Progressive representatives take care of everything.
The customers appreciate convenience and simplicity.
The biggest customer complaint about Progressive is that there are no agents
Some people need to see a human face. There are no agents to work with you directly when it comes to sales and customer service.
Why sacrifice service? Progressive is simpler and more convenient if you're willing to do self-service.
But if you need the personal attention of an agent you're out of luck.
At the end of the day, it just feels like less customer service and more work for you to have to do yourself.
Still, either way, getting a quote from Progressive certainly won't hurt.
Better yet, why notcompare quotes from ALL the major auto insurance companies
About Each Company
State Farm and Progressive are both in the top four of auto insurers in the U.S.A.
In 2016, Progressive had a 9.1% share of the entire car insurance industry in America. That put them fourth overall in the country.
Guess who was first?
You guessed it: State Farm had more than double the business (18.3%) that year.
About State Farm
It began with the farmers. State Farm started in 1922 as a mutual automobile insurance company.
A mutual insurance company is owned by the policyholders rather than shareholders.
As their name suggests, they originally specialized in car insurance for farmers.
Now they do it all. Today they also offer homeowners and life insurance as well as other financial services.
You're the perfect customer for State Farm if you want to find all of your insurance products under one roof
State Farm doesn't connect you to third parties for non-auto insurance. State Farm is the provider of all kinds of insurance.
Unlike Progressive, when you need home or life insurance, State doesn't send you to partner companies.
One agent can help you with all your insurance needs.
The more products you get from State Farm the more you will save by bundling.
Progressive started in 1937.
About 20 years later, the company started to specialize in insuring high-risk drivers.
Recognized as innovators. Today, as their name suggests, they are known for their innovation.
Progressive was the first car insurance company to have a website where customers could purchase policies.
The company pioneered the use of apps and mobile phones for people to manage their policies.
It also was the first company to offer claims reporting 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
You're the perfect customer for Progressive if you're looking for convenience
The company has innovated to make insurance easier. Progressive is best for people who are less concerned about direct personal service and more concerned about convenience.
A list of Progressive's strengths includes innovative features like the Name Your Price tool when getting a quote.
It also lists the Snapshot program where your rate is based on your recorded usage.
Completely different models. These two companies operate using very different models.
State Farm has offices all over America where you can buy home, life, and vehicle insurance from an agent all under one roof.
Progressive focuses on vehicle insurance and doesn't even have offices or agents.
If you want other kinds of insurance they connect you with their partners.
The good and the bad about State Farm's core services
It's known for its breadth of services. State Farm has a broad range of insurance policies.
The products they offer include homeowners, tenants, and condo insurance.
The company also sells life insurance, health insurance, business insurance, and vehicle insurance for your cars, motorcycle, boat, or snowmobile.
State Farm provides umbrella liability coverage as well as insurance for identity theft.
It's possible to get multiple policies for all your insurance from State Farm.
When you bundle State Farm's other kinds of insurance with its auto insurance you get a discount.
Auto insurance coverage is also broad. State Farm's car insurance options include collision coverage for repairs.
You can get comprehensive coverage for non-collision damage.
Liability insurance pays for repairs and medical expenses for the other party if you were responsible.
If you need to rent a vehicle while yours is getting fixed you can have that covered.
If you're injured in an accident and the other party doesn't have adequate insurance there is uninsured and underinsured motor vehicle insurance.
There is medical payment coverage as well as emergency road assistance.
And if you rideshare by driving for a company like Uber, State Farm covers that too.
They even have special coverage for sports and luxury cars.
The good and the bad about Progressive's core services
Progressive's policies include car insurance, as well as insurance for RVs/trailers, motorcycles, and boats.
Third party partners for life and home. You can get quotes for homeowners and life insurance through the company's website.
But when you do there are disclaimers saying that the "rates and coverages are provided and serviced by affiliate and third-party insurers."
The company can connect you with partners through the website for other forms of insurance.
You can even bundle them with the policy you have directly from Progressive for a discount.
But we don't love the idea of Progressive farming you out to other companies for other insurance products.
Vehicle insurance specialists. Progressive has always specialized in vehicle insurance.
Unlike life and home insurance, they directly provide auto insurance—and strong coverage at that.
When you're at-fault in an accident their bodily injury liability and property damage liability coverage pays for repairs and medical expenses for the other party.
If you or your passengers need medical care after an accident it is covered.
The company's policies cover your damages if someone who doesn't have insurance hits you.
The coverages you can choose include collision, uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, property damage, and comprehensive coverage for damage caused by fires or vandalism.
You can opt for a policy that covers vet bills if your pet is hurt in an accident, or that insures rental cars, accessories, and your car loan.
Another feature that Progressive offers is roadside assistance to cover towing or other services if you have a breakdown.
It's possible to bundle multiple policies through Progressive's affiliates and partners.
But the company doesn't offer multiple policies when it comes to combining auto insurance with home and life insurance.
For that, you'll have to go to one of their partners.
Progressive focuses on auto insurance. The company's goal is to provide great coverage that's convenient.
When it comes to other kinds of insurance, Progressive connects you with its partners.
State Farm provides all forms of insurance under one roof. So if you're looking for one-stop shopping for all of your insurance policies State Farm is your pick.
Who Has the Lowest Rates?
For one quote we looked at, State Farm's insurance premium was much lower than Progressive.
A six-month auto insurance policy from State Farm came in at $665 for 6 months (or $1,330 a year) - Progressive quoted the same policy at $849 for 6 months (or $1,698 a year).
That's a difference of $368 per year in favor of State Farm.
However we all know that different states have different prices, so we looked at another comparison.
Credio.com gave Progressive a five-star rating for affordability, whereas State Farm only got 3 stars.
The site averaged quotes from around the country and actually found that Progressive's came in significantly lower.
So it will be key to get a quote from both providers to figure out which one is best for you in the insurance market where you live.
You should also calculate whether it might be worth it to pay a little more for strong customer service through State Farm.
Or perhaps you'd be keen to save a few dollars by taking care of yourself through Progressive.
State Farm's rates
Standard pricing criteria. Like most providers, State Farm gives you options that can affect your insurance premiums.
You can choose a higher deductible and your premium will be reduced.
Your rate is also influenced by the value of your car, where you live, and your driving record.
How much you drive and what you use your vehicle for also impacts what you pay.
Blame it on GEICO. State Farm customers complain that the prices are higher than they should be compared to other providers.
Progressive also bases their car insurance premiums on factors like the deductible you choose, your driving record, and the type of vehicle you drive.
Name Your Price? Really?!? One unique way Progressive claims you can save is through their Name Your Price Tool.
Through its online quote system, you indicate your budget, and then the company will show you the \ options you can afford.
Progressive's website also gives you the chance to compare what you would pay for the exact same coverage at a handful of other insurance companies.
But does having that information really affect the price you're offered?
There are a few complaints. The main complaint people seem to have about Progressive is that its rates are increased unexpectedly.
Customers say that they were unaware that their premiums were going to go up and unclear why it was happening.
Some report that issues like the fault of an accident are not clearly communicated with them.
Customers also complain that their prices are high.
Get quotes from both companies.
You'll probably find that Progressive's is lower, but make sure you ask yourself if paying a little more for strong, personal customer service is worthwhile.
And also take into consideration the discounts of bundling products together.
We've compared the basic rates for car insurance from State Farm and Progressive.
For one quote State Farm came out on top.
Another review of quotes from across the country saw Progressive coming in cheaper.
But will the discounts some people qualify for with each company change the math?
State Farm's discounts
Discounts for good driving and safety features. State Farm gives you a discount once you've had a car insurance policy with them for 3 years and haven't had an accident.
The discount can increase over time if you continue to be accident-free.
There are some discounts for features like anti-theft devices, anti-lock brakes, airbags, and daytime running lights.
If you take driver training or an accident prevention course you get a discount.
State Farm even provides its own safe driving course called Steer Clear that gets you a discount if you qualify.
State Farm will even give a 25% car insurance discount for good students.
Pay for what you use. Another optional program you can choose to earn a discount from is called Drive Safe & Save.
State Farm monitors your vehicle usage and if your driving habits are considered safe you get a discount.
Of course, there are also discounts for having more than one car on a policy and for bundling with home or life insurance.
Discounts for self-service. Progressive's discounts start with how you connect with them.
You get a 7% discount if you start your quote process online.
There are discounts if you choose to sign your documents online, pay your bills automatically, or pay upfront for six months.
Rewards for being a good driver and customer. Discounts are given to people with good driving records, as well as to good students and policies that include a newly-licensed minor as a driver.
If you have multiple cars on your policy, or if you've always had insurance for many continuous years, you get a discount.
It pays to drive safe. Progressive also has the option through its Snapshot program to have your usage monitored for a safe driving discount.
And you get a discount for bundling if you also buy your life and/or home insurance through Progressive's affiliates.
Progressive's discounts are focused a lot on self-service.If you're willing to do some work yourself, like using the website for your quote, you get a discount.
So if it's convenience you want, you do get rewarded for it.
But would it be worth it for less direct customer service?
We don't think so.
The Quote Process
Getting an insurance quote should be easy and free.
Both State Farm and Progressive have a few options for getting your quote.
It's what happens after you get your quote that sets each company apart.
State Farm's process
Get a quote from a real human being. State Farm specializes in customer service.
So if you'd like to get a quote in person, the company gives you the option of locating a State Farm agent near you through its website, simply by submitting information about yourself, your vehicle, and your insurance needs.
But one of the weaknesses is you can get a quote online but you have to purchase a policy through an agent.
There is also the option of getting a quote over the phone with State Farm.
The company's call center has licensed agents on-hand to provide you with a quote and to help you purchase the insurance you need
Easy online quotes. With Progressive, you can go to its website and get a quote.
You submit information like your address and date of birth, the make and model of your vehicle, and the type of coverage you are looking for.
You also have the choice through the Name Your Price program to indicate your budget, and then, you will receive a quote with options available to you.
Don't bother going through a third-party agent. If you would prefer to get a quote through an agent, the website gives you that option.
You indicate where you live and it gives you a list of third-party insurance agents who sell insurance from Progressive.
But the company warns that the quote you get through the website and the quote you get through the agent will not be the same.
The agent's price includes a seller's commission.
Progressive's website price doesn't include commission but it does have to cover the sales centers' operating and staff overhead, and costs like marketing.
You can't get a quote online from State Farm and then go ahead and purchase your insurance online.
You're going to have to talk to an agent either over the phone or in person.
Bait and switch? But at least with State Farm the quote you get online will be the same as the one you get in person.
Progressive connects you with third party sales offices when you want to buy your insurance in person.
So the quote you get from the website will be less than the one you get from the sales agent.
The pricing and the sales experience are important when you're buying insurance.
But what are State Farm and Progressive like when something happens and you really need a service?
Claims with State Farm
Lots of options for submitting a claim. State Farm's claims can be submitted online 24/7 through its website.
The site's claims portal provides you with your coverage information, updates on repairs, and your payments.
You can also make a claim through a State Farm office via phone or in-person.
State Farm has a mobile app called the Pocket Agent where you can pay bills and file claims at any time of the day or night.
Customers have reported liking State Farm's no-hassle appraisal and payment process after an accident.
Claims with Progressive
The company runs its own repair shops. Progressive has claims Service Centers around the country. Just to be clear, that means it actually runs its own repair shops.
If you choose to go through a Service Center the company will coordinate all aspects of the claims process.
That includes giving you an estimate, getting your damaged car to a trusted repair shop, and scheduling pick-ups.
Your repairs are guaranteed for the life of your car if you go through a Service Center.
Manage your own claims. You can also choose to submit and track your claim through the Progressive App.
The Progressive App also provides instructions and how-to guides, and will also give you updates throughout the repair process.
The Progressive website also gives you the chance to log into your account to make and track your claim.
Some Progressive customers report satisfaction in how quickly their claims and payments are processed and received.
However, when it comes time to get repairs, there have been complaints about poor customer service at Progressive's Service Centers.
It's good to have an agent in your corner. One of Progressive's strengths is simplicity.
The company's Service Centers make it easy to not just make a claim, but also get the repairs you need.
Both Progressive and State Farm have convenient apps and an online portal for making claims.
But when problems happen, you're probably going to value having your State Farm agent to help you through the claims and repair process.
State Farm Wins in Customer Service
Different ideas of what "good" customer service means. For State Farm, it's the personal touch of an agent.
For Progressive, it's the ease of serving yourself.
What's most important to you when you're the customer?
State Farm's customer service
#1 in customer service. State Farm's biggest strength is its customer service.
When asked how satisfied they were with State Farm's customer service, 78.1% of people answered that they were either Very Satisfied or Somewhat Satisfied.
In a 2015 JD Power study of customer experience, State Farm topped all other US auto insurance providers.
The highest scores were given for people's experiences with local agents.
The online customer reviews for the company's customer service back this up.
Positive reviews talk about how customers like dealing with a local agent who works in their community.
The professionalism of the agents is appreciated.
Claims are handled in a timely way and the agents go over the customers' policies to make sure they are satisfied.
But there are some issues. However, there are also customers who claim that they were dropped by State Farm for reasons that were unreasonable or not their fault.
Convenience features like live chat or self-service support are not offered by State Farm.
Progressive's customer service
Customer service is not a strong point. There are no offices dedicated to selling Progressive products and services.
Progressive has negative customer reviews around reporting claims. The company is criticized for a lack of communication when people are making claims.
But not everyone thinks so. A survey measuring customer service for Progressive customers scored higher than 8 out of 10.
Positive reviews about Progressive say that their claims were handled efficiently and quickly.
No contest: State Farm. State Farm tops the list when it comes to car insurance companies and customer service.
Even if you get a lower quote from Progressive you need to consider that it might not be worth losing the service of an agent.
For Digital Services, Progressive Wins
With a name like "Progressive" you better hope to come out on top when it comes to the comparison for digital insurance features.
Progressive doesn't disappoint in this category.
State Farm's digital services
An agent in your pocket. State Farm's mobile app is called the Pocket Agent.
It gives you the option of everything from reporting a broken windshield, to filing and checking on claims, to paying your bill.
You can also create an account on the company's website that lets you manage your claims, payments, and bills.
Behind the cutting edge. But State Farm doesn't have more innovative features like texting for bill payments or paying through PayPal or online checks.
Progressive's digital services
On the cutting edge of digital leadership. Progressive was the very first company to offer iPhone and Android apps for its customers.
The company also has an online portal that customers can use to do everything from getting quotes to submitting claims.
When you sign up for the Snapshot program you get a smartphone app that tracks your vehicle usage and lets you check in on your progress and discounts.
Don't dig in your glovebox again! Progressive has also been leading the way for electronic insurance ID.
That means instead of having to dig your insurance documentation out of your glove box, you have it on your phone.
Use your phone for digital payment options. Another innovative choice that Progressive offers is to pay your bill through texting.
Progressive also gives you the unique options of paying through PayPal or online check.
Progressive takes this category easily. The company certainly lives up to its name!
Frequently Asked Questions
What areas does each company serve? Are there restrictions?
Progressive is available everywhere in the U.S., and State Farm has agents and offices in all 50 States and the District of Columbia.
What are the payment options for each company?
State Farm has multiple payment options.
You can walk into your State Farm insurance agent's office.
You can call to pay your bill over the phone using your credit or bank account.
You can send your payment through the mail.
The State Farm website gives you the option of setting up an account and signing in to pay your bill, but you can also pay online without even logging into your account.
If you are getting used to doing pretty much everything through your phone you can also pay your bill through the Pocket Agent mobile app.
Progressive's payment options include most of the same channels as State Farm, but there is no option to pay in person.
They have an online customer service site that you can log in to and pay your bill.
You can make your payment over the phone or through the mail.
There is also an option to pay in installments through an automatic payment plan.
And you can now pay through text or through PayPal or via online check.
How do I get started with these companies' car insurance?
You can get a quote from State Farm by visiting its website.
The online quote process lets you pick from the available options and customize to suit your needs.
But you won't be able to buy the insurance you get quoted online through the website.
You'll have to connect through an agent over the phone or in their office.
Progressive is all about convenience when it comes to getting started.
You can get a quote and buy insurance through their website, or you can get a quote and buy your insurance over the phone.
It's not recommended to get a quote over the phone and let them refer you to a third party insurance salesperson.
How do I cancel with these companies?
It's not surprising that State Farm wants you to cancel through your agent.
Not just because most of their customer service flows through the agents.
It's also because the company wants to have the chance to talk you out of canceling and show you your options.
The agent will likely ask that you submit a formal request to cancel your insurance in writing. But when you do cancel, there is no fee.
Progressive is also consistent with the rest of their convenient DIY services when it comes to canceling.
You can cancel over the phone, by logging in to the website, or through email, but Progressive recommends the best way is over the phone.
You should know there is a fee of $50-$65 for canceling with Progressive.
Sure, Progressive surpasses State Farm when it comes to new and innovative technology, and depending on where you live, it actually may be cheaper than State Farm.
Its convenience is also superior for those who value self-service.
But State Farm has a huge advantage when it comes to its industry-leading customer service.
When you combine stellar customer service with an agency that can provide every kind of insurance you'll need under one roof, the winner is clear: State Farm.
Do you use either State Farm or Progressive?
How has it worked out for you?
Any great tips (or nightmares) to share with the rest of us?
Let us know in the comments below!