Progressive vs. USAA Car Insurance (2021)

Our Progressive vs. USAA car insurance guide will help you choose between these two financially stable companies. We look at rates for both companies based on age, driving record, and credit score. USAA car insurance rates are cheaper than Progressive on all of our comparison points, but Progressive has more generous car insurance discounts. Keep in mind that USAA is only available to military members and their immediate families.

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D. Gilson is a writer and author of essays, poetry, and scholarship that explore the relationship between popular culture, literature, sexuality, and memoir. His latest book is Jesus Freak, with Will Stockton, part of Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 Series. His other books include I Will Say This Exactly One Time and Crush. His first chapbook, Catch & Release, won the 2012 Robin Becker Prize from Seve...

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years

UPDATED: May 5, 2021

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The Highlights

  • USAA has cheaper car insurance rates than Progressive
  • USAA only offers coverage to active, inactive, and retired military members and their immediate family members
  • Progressive has an impressive number of discounts and substantial savings of up to 50%
  • USAA car insurance for teen drivers is 44% cheaper than Progressive
  • Progressive drivers that get traffic violations will have an increase in rates, but not as harshly as USAA’s increases

Our Progressive vs. USAA car insurance guide explains everything you need to know about how to compare car insurance rates, coverage options, discounts, and third-party ratings.

Just know that if you switch from USAA to Progressive, as a military member, your rates may or may not be cheaper. Many factors go into determining car insurance rates.

Before jumping into this Progressive vs. USAA review, enter your ZIP code to find affordable car insurance rates in your area.

Is Progressive or USAA car insurance cheaper based on age?

The older we get, the more driving experience we have. This is why car insurance companies use age as one of the most influential factors in determining your car insurance rates.

It’s legal to base car insurance rates on marital status and gender in most states; however, some have outlawed it. Let’s compare Progressive vs. USAA car insurance rates based on age, gender, and marital status.

Progressive vs. USAA Average Annual Car Insurance Rates by Age, Gender, and Marital Status
Age, Gender, and Marital StatusProgressive Average Annual RatesUSAA Average Annual Rates
Single 17-year-old female$8,690$4,808
Single 17-year-old male$9,625$5,386
Single 25-year-old female$2,698$1,989
Single 25-year-old male$2,759$2,126
Married 35-year-old female$2,297$1,551
Married 35-year-old male$2,175$1,540
Married 60-year-old female$1,991$1,450
Married 60-year-old male$2,049$1,449
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USAA insurance rates are 28% cheaper than Progressive car insurance rates for drivers 25 and older.

Coming in at 44% cheaper than Progressive, USAA is the better choice if you have a teen driver on your policy.

If you want a concentrated view of both companies, check out our Progressive insurance review and USAA insurance review for more details.

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Is Progressive or USAA car insurance cheaper based on driving record?

Speeding tickets, accidents, or DUIs on your driving record will raise your car insurance rates no matter what company you pick because you become a higher-risk driver.

Look below to compare affordable Progressive vs. USAA car insurance quotes.

Progressive vs. USAA Average Annual Car Insurance Rates by Driving Record
InfractionProgressive Average Annual RatesUSAA Average Annual Rates
Clean record$3,393$1,934
With one speeding violation$4,002$2,193
With one accident$4,777$2,516
With one DUI$3,970$3,506
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In general, USAA has cheaper car insurance rates than Progressive for drivers with any type of driving record.

However, USAA is less punitive with customers if they cause an accident.

If you cause an accident while with USAA, expect your rates to increase by 30%. Getting a speeding ticket will increase your USAA car insurance rates by 13%, and if you get a DUI your rates will increase by more than 80%.

But, if you cause an accident while with Progressive, your rates will increase by 41%, which is more than how much USAA will increase your rates (30%).

Strangely, Progressive’s rates increase more for causing an accident than getting a DUI. If you get a DUI with Progressive, expect your rates to increase by only 17% compared to USAA’s 81%.

Is Progressive or USAA car insurance cheaper based on credit score?

A good credit score can drop in a matter of months if you experience some type of financial trauma such as medical debt or going through a divorce.

In most states it is legal for car insurance companies to base rates on your credit score; however, some are outlawing this along with basing rates on gender and marital status.

Based on the assumption that those with higher credit scores are more responsible and overall safer drivers less likely to file a claim, car insurance companies justify using your credit score to determine your rates.

Let’s take a look at how Progressive and USAA address rates for drivers with low credit scores.

Progressive vs. USAA Average Annual Car Insurance Rates by Credit History
Credit ScoreProgressive Average Annual RatesUSAA Average Annual Rates
Good Credit (670-739)$3,629$1,821
Fair Credit Score (580-669)$3,956$2,220
Poor Credit Score (300-579)$4,738$3,691
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Again, USAA comes in cheaper than Progressive if you have bad credit.

If your credit score tanks while with USAA, expect to pay more than twice as much as drivers with good credit. Progressive increases rates by less than a third as compared to drivers with good credit.

Hopefully, if you have bad credit, you live in a state that has outlawed this practice.

Does Progressive or USAA have better car insurance discounts?

Car insurance company discounts vary widely and are usually based on a company’s values and philosophy. That’s why it pays to shop around, especially if you have a bad driving record or low credit score. Discounts can help offset high rates.

Progressive vs. USAA Car Insurance Discounts
DiscountsProgressive Discounts Offered (Percentage)USAA Discounts Offered (Percentage)
Claim FreeN/A12
Defensive Driver103
Driver's Ed103
Driving Device/App205
Early SigningN/A12
Family LegacyN/A10
Good StudentN/A3
Military GaragingN/A15
Multiple Policies12N/A
Multiple Vehicles10N/A
Newer VehicleN/A12
Online Shopper7N/A
Paperless Documents50N/A
Paperless/Auto BillingN/A3
Safe Driver3112
Young DriverN/A75
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When comparing all discounts that the companies offer, Progressive has a total of eight car insurance discounts while USAA has 12 discounts.

USAA’s best car insurance discounts are 75% for young drivers and 90% for keeping your car in a garage while deployed.

Even though USAA has cheaper rates, Progressive has some competitive discounts.

Progressive seems to be very environmentally conscious; its highest discount (50%) is for going paperless. Other notable Progressive car insurance discounts are for being a safe driver (31%) and using its driving device or driving app (20%).

You may find that discounts for you are better with Progressive. USAA discounts can also stack up in your favor. This is why comparing car insurance quotes is so important.

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What types of car insurance coverages are offered by Progressive and USAA?

Since both Progressive and USAA are two of the 10 companies that make up the most of the market share, they have the means to offer a wider variety of car insurance coverages that go beyond the standard six coverages which are listed below.

Be sure you understand the various car insurance coverage types before purchasing each one:

  • Liability car insurance coverage – bodily injury and property damage
  • Comprehensive car insurance coverage
  • Collision car insurance coverage
  • Uninsured/Underinsured car insurance coverage
  • Medical Payments (MedPay) car insurance coverage – particularly important in states that require no-fault car insurance
  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP) car insurance coverage

Be sure to take a closer look at any specialty coverages such as rental reimbursement, roadside assistance, guaranteed auto protection (GAP), mechanical breakdown, and insurance for recreational vehicles such as ATVs or boats.

Does Progressive or USAA have better car insurance mobile apps?

Usage-based car insurance has become an individualized trend in the last decade or so, and all of the bigger car insurance companies have a driving app that uses your mobile phone or a device installed into your car.

Large car insurance companies also provide a more general app to enable you to view your policy, make changes, and pay your bill. Usually, your Progressive insurance login will work for access to your policy with Progressive.

For USAA members login, the same password should work with both the general app and the driving app.

How do Progressive and USAA car insurance compare in financial strength and customer satisfaction?

Buying car insurance is a big financial responsibility, so you want to make sure you are choosing the right company that will be there for you when you need it.

A company’s financial strength, customer satisfaction with the claims process, and customer complaints should be examined before you make your decision.

The following three agencies provide insight into these factors:

A.M. Best scores companies based on their ability to meet their ongoing insurance obligations, such as balancing premiums collected and claims paid. The highest score A.M. Best awards is Superior A++.

Consumer Reports collects annual data from its subscribers regarding customer satisfaction of the Progressive claims process and the USAA claims process, step by step. In their 2017 survey, 27 insurance companies were rated, and scores ranged between 86 to 96.

And the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) calculates a complaint ratio based on the total number of customers against the total number of complaints. In 2017, the national average complaint ratio was 1. The lower the ratio, the better.

You may be wondering, “Is USAA and Progressive the same company?” The answer is no, and that’s because both companies have different ratings from these third-party agencies.

Should you buy Progressive vs. USAA car insurance rates? Let’s take a closer look at external ratings for Progressive and USAA.

Progressive vs. USAA Company Ratings
Rating AgencyProgressiveUSAA
AM Best RatingA+A++
Consumer Reports8795
NAIC Company Complaint Ratio0.750.74
NAIC Total Complaints120296
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Progressive and USAA are on top of things when it comes to external financial rating agencies. In fact, USAA holds the highest score from A.M. Best.

USAA has one of the best reviews of customer satisfaction through the claims process, but Progressive customer service is still fairly good hovering around the same score as most other car insurance companies. Both USAA and Progressive have reasonable complaint ratios.

Ready to buy car insurance? Now that you’ve finished this Progressive vs. USAA review, use our free comparison tool to get quotes from multiple companies in your area.

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