Car insurance may seem like a necessary evil. You buy it because your state or your car loan company requires it, and aside from paying your bill, you forget about it. However, when you really need car insurance – when you’ve had an accident – you’ll be glad to have it.

That said, what you pay for car insurance and how you’re treated by your insurer can vary quite a bit from company to company. Even two people of the exact same age and gender, with the same yearly mileage on their car, can pay radically different car insurance premiums. It pays to shop around.

To help you find the right car insurance company for you, we put together this head-to-head comparison of Geico and Progressive. They’re two of the largest car insurance companies in the country, and if you’re shopping for insurance, they’re likely on your list of companies to check out. 

The short answer is that Geico is a better choice for most drivers, based on a combination of factors. We found Geico’s rates to be more affordable than Progressive for almost all demographic groups in our study, regardless of age. Geico also gets the nod for customer satisfaction, with better scores for customer service, claim resolution, value, and more.

Here are the details you need to know.

Geico vs. Progressive: Pros & Cons

Geico

    • Lower study rates

    • One of the highest ranked companies

    • Big rate increases for a DUI

Progressive

    • Cheaper for profiles with a DUI

    • Higher average study rates

    • Customers less satisfied with value

Geico vs. Progressive Customer Satisfaction

The Best Car Insurance Companies in 2020

Our Car Insurance Ranking

  1. USAA
  2. Geico
  3. Allstate
  4. State Farm
  5. Farmers
  6. Progressive
  7. American Family
  8. Nationwide
  9. Travelers

Read more about the Best Car Insurance Companies »

Geico Auto Insurance Rating

Rating: 4.17/5

The Geico gecko has been telling us for years that in 15 minutes, you could save 15% or more on car insurance. Our study found that Geico’s national average rates were among the lowest in the country for the driver profiles used to gather data. That may be helping to increase Geico’s growing market share. At the end of 2017, Geico was the second largest insurance company with 12.83% of the overall insurance market.

Geico ranked second only to USAA in our study, scoring better than almost all competitors for ease of filing a claim, customer service, status updates, claim resolution, and value. More than two-thirds of those who answered would recommend this car insurance to a friend, and 73% said they were likely to renew with Geico.

Read our full Geico review to learn more »

Progressive Auto Insurance Rating

Rating: 3.91/5

Progressive is known for offering the rates of its competitors along with its own rates, thanks to help from friendly spokesperson Flo. It was enough to move Progressive past Allstate to the number three position of largest insurers in the nation, with 9.88% of the market in 2017. 

Survey respondents gave Progressive mid-pack scores in response to most questions in our survey, with the exception of value. Here, satisfaction lagged most competitors. The result was a sixth place score for overall satisfaction. About half of respondents said they were likely to recommend the company to others, and 63% said they were likely or very likely to renew their own insurance policy with Progressive.

Read our full Progressive review to learn more »

How We Did This Comparison

At U.S. News, we’re all about helping people make life’s important decisions. Our college rankings, launched in 1983, set the standard in educational rankings. Our rankings in other fields, like healthcare, government, and the automotive sphere, help people and thought leaders make choices that make lives better. Now we’re continuing to empower you with the information you need to make the right choices for your life with our Best Car Insurance Rankings. 

We surveyed 2,732 consumers who filed a car insurance claim in the last five years, asking questions about their car insurance company. Of the survey respondents, 285 filed a claim with Geico and 201 filed a claim with Progressive. These questions covered satisfaction with the ease of filing a claim, customer service, claim status communication, claim resolution, and overall value. We also asked whether they’d recommend the company and if they planned to renew their policy. We used their responses to build our Best Car Insurance Companies Rankings and this head-to-head comparison.

Our Study Rates

Bill Oxford/Getty Images

To get comparative insurance rates for this study, U.S. News also worked with Quadrant Information Services to analyze a report of insurance rates in all 50 states from the 10 largest national car insurance companies, though not every company operates in every state. Quadrant obtained publicly available rate data that car insurers file with state regulators. Our study rates are based on profiles for both male and female drivers aged 25, 35, and 60. Vehicles used include the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150, with annual mileage ranging from 6,000 and 12,000. Three car insurance coverage levels were used, as were credit tiers of good, fair, and poor. Clean driving records and records with one accident, one speeding violation, and one DUI were also used in the calculations of certain driver archetypes. 

To get the study rates shown here, we computed the mean rate for male and female drivers aged 25, 35, and 60 who drive 12,000 miles per year and have medium coverage, good credit, and a clean driving record. The rates shown here are for comparative purposes only and should not be considered “average” rates available by individual insurers. Because car insurance rates are based on individual factors, your car insurance rates will differ from the rates shown here.

Geico vs. Progressive Car Insurance: Which Is Cheapest?

Of the top nine nationwide insurance companies we looked at, Geico had some of the lowest car insurance representative rates. Progressive’s rates in our study were squarely in the middle of the group. The overall average for Geico was $1,168, while Progressive’s average was $1,373, about $200 more.

The Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in 2020

Average Annual Rates:

Read more about the Cheapest Car Insurance Companies »

Geico and Progressive Car Insurance: Which Is Cheapest for Men?

 

25-year-old male

35-year-old male

60-year-old male

Geico

$1,269

$1,134

$1,067

Progressive

$1,670

$1,274

$1,174

For younger driver profiles, we found the potential savings with Geico to be particularly appealing compared to Progressive. With Geico, the average study rate for our 25-year-old male profile was $1,269, compared to $1,670 with Progressive. That’s about $400 in savings annually, or about 25% less. 

The savings with Geico weren’t as great for our 35-year-old male profiles, but still amounted to about $140 per year. Geico’s average for our profiles in this demographic was $1,134, while Progressive’s was $1,274. The trend continued for our 60-year-old male profiles, where we saw a $1,067 average auto insurance study rate with Geico, compared to $1,174 with Progressive. That’s a difference of about $110.

To find the average rates in our study based on gender and age, we created driver profiles for males in each of the following ages: 25 years, 35 years, and 60 years. The profiles also have a clean driving record, insurance coverage for 12,000 miles per year, a medium level of insurance coverage, and a good credit score. We used three vehicles for our driver profiles: the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150.

Geico and Progressive Car Insurance: Which Is Cheapest for Women?

 

25-year-old female

35-year-old female

60-year-old female

Geico

$1,365

$1,119

$1,053

Progressive

$1,627

$1,353

$1,137

Geico also proved the more affordable choice for our female driver profiles across all age groups. For a 25-year-old female profile, we found an average annual study cost of $1,365 for auto insurance. With Progressive, it was $1,627 – about $260 more than Geico. While the difference was not as great as with male drivers of the same age, it still amounted to about a 16% savings annually with Geico. The difference in auto insurance representative rates for our 35-year-old female driver profiles narrowed considerably, but still left Geico with a significant advantage. We found an average annual study rate of $1,353 with Progressive, and $1,119 with Geico. That’s a little more than $230. At the age of 60, our female driver profiles had rates of $1,053 with Geico, and $1,137 with Progressive, a difference of about $85.

We created driver profiles for females in each of the following ages: 25 years, 35 years, and 60 years. The profiles have a clean driving record, 12,000 miles per year, a medium level of insurance coverage, and a good credit score. We used three vehicles for our driver profiles: the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150.

Geico and Progressive Car Insurance: Which Is Cheapest for High Mileage?

 

12,000 miles annually

Geico

$1,168

Progressive

$1,373

Putting 12,000 miles on the odometer each year is fairly common in the United States. We found an average auto insurance study rate of $1,168 with Geico for driver profiles with this annual mileage. The average with Progressive was about $205 higher, at $1,373. 

To find the average rates in our study based on annual mileage, we created driver profiles for customers who drove 12,000 miles per year. The profiles have a clean driving record, a medium level of insurance coverage, and a good credit score. We used three vehicles for our driver profiles: the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150.

Geico and Progressive Car Insurance: Which Is Cheapest for Low Mileage?

 

6,000 miles annually

Geico

$1,107

Progressive

$1,368

If you drive half as much, car insurance rates are lower, but maybe not by half. For our driver profiles with 6,000 miles of driving a year, we found an average annual car insurance study rate of $1,107 with Geico. With Progressive, it was $1,368. That’s about $260 more than Geico. 

Note, though, that we found little difference with either company between average representative rates for miles driven. In the case of Progressive, the difference was only about $5.

To find the average rates in our study based on annual mileage, we created driver profiles for customers who drove 6,000 miles per year. The profiles also have a clean driving record, a medium level of insurance coverage, and a good credit score. We used three vehicles for our driver profiles: the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150.

Geico and Progressive Car Insurance: Which Is Cheapest for Good Credit?

 

Good credit

Geico

$1,175

Progressive

$1,365

Drivers with a good credit history will generally receive lower auto insurance rates than those with poor credit. Between these two companies, we found a significant cost advantage with Geico for driver profiles with good credit. With Geico, we found an average rate for those with good credit was $1,175. Progressive’s average car insurance rate for profiles with good credit was $1,365, about $190 more. 

Our study reviewed the effects of credit score on car insurance rates using male and female driver profiles aged 25 years, 35 years, and 60 years. We created a profile for each level of credit score (good, fair, and poor) and assigned the profiles a clean driving record, a medium level of insurance coverage, and 12,000 miles of annual driving. The 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150 are the vehicles used in our analysis.

Geico and Progressive Car Insurance: Which Is Cheapest for Bad Credit?

 

Poor credit

Geico

$1,855

Progressive

$2,308

Those with poor credit will end up paying more for car insurance, though we found some savings with Geico over Progressive. Geico’s average study rate for profiles in this group was $1,855, while Progressive’s average was $2,308. That’s about a $450 difference, but represents a bump of about $680 with Geico and about $945 with Progressive, demonstrating what a big difference good credit can make in your auto insurance costs.

To compare the effects of credit score on car insurance rates, we used male and female driver profiles aged 25 years, 35 years, and 60 years. We created a profile for each level of credit score (good, fair, and poor) and assigned the profiles a clean driving record, a medium level of insurance coverage, and 12,000 miles of annual mileage. The 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150 are the vehicles used in our analysis.

Geico and Progressive Car Insurance: Which Is Cheapest for Good Drivers?

 

Clean record

Geico

$1,168

Progressive

$1,373

Average car insurance representative rates for our driver profiles with a clean record insured through Geico were less expensive than Progressive by about $205 per year. We found Geico's average auto insurance rate in our study for good driver profiles was $1,168, compared to $1,373 with Progressive. 

We compared driver profiles including those with a clean record, those with one speeding violation, those with one accident, and those with one instance of driving under the influence (DUI). These driving record representative profiles included 25-, 35-, and 60-year-old males and females with 12,000 miles of driving per year, a medium level of insurance coverage, and a good credit score. Vehicles used in the analysis are the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150.

Geico and Progressive Car Insurance: Which Is Cheapest After a Speeding Ticket?

 

With 1 speeding violation

Geico

$1,510

Progressive

$1,803

Speeding is more likely to lead to an accident, and insurance companies raise rates to reflect that fact. For driver profiles with one speeding ticket on their record, we found Geico was much cheaper than Progressive, with an average car insurance representative rate of $1,510. The average study rate for the same profiles was $1,803 with Progressive, or about $295 more. Whichever company you choose, it’s worth noting that our study found a substantial increase for a speeding violation with either company, amounting to $342 with Geico and $430 with Progressive.

To analyze these rates, we particularly looked at driver profiles with one speeding violation. These driving record representative profiles included 25-, 35-, and 60-year-old males and females with 12,000 miles of driving per year, a medium level of insurance coverage, and a good credit score. Vehicles used in the analysis are the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150.

Geico and Progressive Car Insurance: Which Is Cheapest After an Accident?

 

With 1 accident

Geico

$1,802

Progressive

$2,324

Having an accident on your record will also raise your rates. The average study rate for our driver profiles with an accident was $1,802 with Geico, and $2,324 with Progressive. That’s more than $520 higher than we found with Geico for this demographic. 

We analyzed driver profiles with one accident to find these average rates. These driving record representative profiles included 25-, 35-, and 60-year-old males and females with 12,000 miles of driving per year, a medium level of insurance coverage, and a good credit score. Vehicles used in the analysis are the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150.

Geico and Progressive Car Insurance: Which Is Cheapest After a DUI?

 

With 1 DUI

Geico

$2,958

Progressive

$1,793

Driving under the influence can lead to more accidents, so insurance companies will raise rates for a DUI conviction too. How much those car insurance rates go up, though, depends on the company. 

Here, we saw a big advantage with Progressive. Our driver profiles with a DUI faced a study rate of $1,793 on average with Progressive, compared to $2,958 with Geico. That’s a difference of about $1,165. The increase in study rates between profiles with a good record and those with a DUI was about $420 with Progressive, and almost $1,790 with Geico. 

We compared driver profiles with one instance of driving under the influence (DUI) to arrive at these average rates in our study. These driving record representative profiles included 25-, 35-, and 60-year-old males and females with 12,000 miles of mileage per year, a medium level of insurance coverage, and a good credit score. Vehicles used in the analysis are the 2015 Honda Civic, 2015 Toyota RAV4, and 2015 Ford F-150.

The Best Car Insurance Companies in 2020

Our Car Insurance Ranking

  1.     USAA
  2.     Geico
  3.     Allstate
  4.     State Farm
  5.     Farmers
  6.     Progressive
  7.     American Family
  8.     Nationwide
  9.     Travelers

The Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in 2020

Average Annual Rates:

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