Progressive vs. USAA: Pros & Cons (2021)

Our Progressive vs. USAA auto 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 auto 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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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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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 insurance...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years

UPDATED: Mar 5, 2021

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What You Should Know

  • USAA has cheaper auto 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 percent
  • USAA auto insurance for teen drivers is 44 percent cheaper than Progressive
  • Progressive drivers that get traffic violations will have an increase in rates, but not as harshly as USAA’s increases

In our Progressive vs. USAA auto insurance guide, we examine rates by your particular characteristics: age, gender, marital status, driving record, and credit score. We also compare discounts and ratings from credible agencies that rate all of the best auto insurance companies.

Keep reading to compare Progressive insurance and USAA insurance, or enter your ZIP code to find affordable auto insurance rates in your area.

Is Progressive or USAA auto insurance cheaper based on age?

The older we get, the more driving experience we have. This is why auto insurance companies use age as one of the most influential factors in determining your auto 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 and USAA auto insurance rates based on age, gender, and marital status.

Progressive vs. USAA Auto 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 auto insurance rates are 28 percent cheaper than Progressive auto insurance rates for drivers 25 and older.

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

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Is Progressive or USAA auto 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.

Progressive vs. USAA Auto 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 auto 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 percent. Getting a speeding ticket will increase your USAA auto insurance rates by 13 percent, and if you get a DUI your rates will increase by more than 80 percent.

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

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 percent compared to USAA’s 81 percent.

Is Progressive or USAA auto 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 auto 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 Auto 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.

Before you judge these two companies’ rates based on credit score alone, read about your state auto insurance requirements and examine rates from a variety of companies.

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

Does Progressive or USAA have better auto insurance discounts?

Auto 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 Auto 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
Garaging/StoringN/A90
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 auto insurance discounts while USAA has 12 discounts.

USAA’s best auto insurance discounts are 75 percent for young drivers and 90 percent 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 percent) is for going paperless. Other notable Progressive auto insurance discounts are for being a safe driver (31 percent) and using its driving device or driving app (20 percent).

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What types of auto 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 auto insurance coverages that go beyond the standard six coverages which are listed below.

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

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

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

Large auto 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 or USAA login will work with both the general app and the driving app.

Read our Progressive SnapShot review to learn how to use your Progressive login with the app and compare it to USAA IntelliDrive to decide if usage-based auto insurance is right for you.

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

Buying auto 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.

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 auto insurance companies. Both USAA and Progressive have reasonable complaint ratios.

Ready to buy auto insurance? When you’re unsure which company to choose, you can always use our free comparison tool to compare auto insurance quotes from the auto insurance companies in your area.

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