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Car insurance is one of those things you don’t really want but really need to have. You know you need to have coverage in case you’re in an accident, but it’s natural to pay monthly premiums and wonder if there’s a better deal out there.

It turns out that there very well might be. Getting a good deal on car insurance means shopping around. Comparing rates for auto insurance lets you see that car insurance companies can charge similar drivers very dissimilar rates. Then there’s customer service: If you have an accident, are you sure your car insurance company will have your back?

That’s where we come in. We’ve analyzed representative rates for different types of driver profiles from the largest auto insurance companies in the country and asked real customers what they thought of their car insurance company. Armed with this information, you can make an informed choice about the right car insurance company for your needs. Let’s compare Progressive and State Farm, two of the largest car insurance companies, and two that are probably on your car insurance shopping list.

Progressive vs. State Farm: Pros & Cons

Progressive

    • Rates are about average

    • Customers don’t think it’s a great value

State Farm

    • Good choice for most drivers

    • Rates are lower than average

    • Good ratings from customers

    • High rates for profiles with poor credit

Progressive vs. State Farm 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 »

Progressive Auto Insurance Rating

Rating: 3.91/5

Progressive, with help from Flo in its long-running television ads, is known for providing its competitors auto insurance rates alongside its own rates. The strategy seems to be working. Progressive took over the No. 3 spot for market share from Allstate in 2017. Progressive now has 9.88% of the auto insurance market.

Progressive received one of the highest scores in our study for the ease of filing a claim. Customers also gave it high marks for customer service. Its lowest score was in the overall value respondents felt they were getting from Progressive, though about two-thirds were likely to renew their auto insurance policy.

Read more in our Progressive Review »

State Farm Auto Insurance Rating

Rating: 4.06/5

Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there as the largest auto insurer in the nation. With 18.13% of the market, State Farm has a comfortable lead over the competition.

Respondents in our survey gave State Farm high marks for the ease of filing a claim, resolving a claim, and overall customer service. As with Progressive and other auto insurers, people were least satisfied with the value they felt they were getting from State Farm insurance. Still, nearly 80% were likely to renew their policy, and 70% said they would recommend State Farm auto insurance to others.

Read more in our State Farm Review »

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. 

Sirijit Jongcharoenkulchai/EyeEm/Getty Images

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, 201 filed a claim with Progressive and 463 filed a claim with State Farm. 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

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.

Progressive and State Farm Car Insurance: Which Is Cheapest?

We calculated representative annual premiums for the largest car insurance companies in the country and found that State Farm’s average study rate of $1,234 was about $180 lower than the national average of $1,416. State Farm is the third-least-expensive car insurance provider.

Progressive falls in the middle of the list, with an average study rate of $1,373. That’s still below the national average rate in our study, but only by about $40. Progressive is more expensive than State Farm in almost every demographic we looked at, as you’ll see when we dive into the details.

The Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in 2020

Average Annual Rates:

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Progressive and State Farm Car Insurance: Which Is cheapest for Men? 

 

25-year-old male

35-year-old male

60-year-old male

Progressive

$1,670

$1,274

$1,174

State Farm

$1,469

$1,205

$1,098

The gap between these two auto insurers is narrow, though State Farm's average study rate is slightly cheaper for male driver profiles. State Farm's average car insurance representative rate for all male profiles is $1,257, while Progressive's average is $1,372. 

The difference is largely due to State Farm's lower representative rate for the 25-year-old male driver profile, at $1,469, compared to Progressive's $1,670. For the remaining ages in our study, these two insurers have average rates that are quite close, though State Farm’s are a little less expensive. Progressive's study rate for the 35-year-old male profile is $1,274, and State Farm charges the same profile a representative rate of $1,205. For the 60-year-old male profile, Progressive has an average rate of $1,174, versus State Farm, at $1,098.

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.

Progressive and State Farm Car Insurance: Which Is Cheapest for Women? 

 

25-year-old female

35-year-old female

60-year-old female

Progressive

$1,558.35

$1,285.99

$1,066.79

State Farm

$1,373.10

$1,237.06

$1,124.88

For female driver profiles, Progressive is more expensive than State Farm. Across all female driver profiles, Progressive's average study rate is $1,372, the same as for male profiles, while State Farm comes in at $1,211. 

State Farm offers lower representative rates for both the 25-year-old female profile ($1,330) and 35-year-old female profile ($1,205). Progressive’s rates for these profiles are $1,627 and $1,353, respectively. When it comes to the 60-year-old female profile, Progressive’s average study rate, at $1,137, is a mere $40 more per year than State Farm's representative rate of $1,098. It’s worth noting that for the 35-year-old and 60-year-old profiles, State Farm has identical average rates for male and female drivers. 

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.

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

 

12,000 miles annually

Progressive

$1,373

State Farm

$1,234

State Farm offers a lower representative rate to the driver profile with 12,000 miles of driving annually, at $1,234. Progressive charges this profile about $140 more, with a study rate of $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.

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

 

6,000 miles annually

Progressive

$1,368

State Farm

$1,114

Study rates aren’t that much lower for the driver profile with only 6,000 miles on the odometer every year. Still, State Farm is the cheaper option for this profile by about 20%. At Progressive, the average auto insurance representative rate for this driver profile is $1,368, which is only about $5 cheaper than its study rate for higher-mileage drivers. State Farm’s representative rate for this profile is $1,114, which is $120 lower than its rate for higher mileage. 

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.

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

 

Good credit

Progressive

$1,365

State Farm

$1,231

Driver profiles with good credit see some of the lowest rates in our analysis, and between these two insurers, State Farm has the lower auto insurance representative rate for this profile. State Farm's average is $1,231, which is $170 less than the national average of $1,401. Progressive’s average car insurance study rate for the driver profile with good credit is $1,365. That’s only about 10% higher than State Farm’s rate for this profile.

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.

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

 

Poor credit

Progressive

$2,308

State Farm

$2,745

This is the one demographic profile where Progressive has cheaper car insurance study rates than State Farm. Progressive's average representative rate for the driver profile with poor credit is $2,308, while State Farm’s average is $2,745. State Farm’s study rate is more than double its rate for the driver profile with poor credit. Even though Progressive is often a little more expensive than State Farm, in this case its study rate is about 15% cheaper.

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. 

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

 

Clean record

Progressive

$1,373

State Farm

$1,234

It should come as no surprise that drivers who have a clean record have the lowest car insurance rates. It’s also probably not a surprise that State Farm's study rate for the profile with a good driving history is cheaper than Progressive's. State Farm’s representative rate is $1,234, while Progressive’s is $1,373. That’s a difference of about $140.

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.

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

 

With 1 speeding violation

Progressive

$1,803

State Farm

$1,375

Speeding can lead to crashes, and crashes lead to claims. Insurance companies are not keen on claims, so the rates for drivers with a speeding ticket on their record will be higher than those for drivers without one.

At State Farm, the average car insurance study rate for the driver profile with a single speeding ticket is $1,375, about $140 more than its representative rate for the one with a clean record. Progressive’s average study rate is around $430 more than State Farm’s, at $1,803.

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.

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

 

With 1 accident

Progressive

$2,324

State Farm

$1,487

Auto insurance providers also charge higher rates for drivers with an accident on their record. State Farm is by far the cheaper option for this driver profile. Progressive's average study rate for the driver profile with an accident on the record is about $2,324, while at State Farm it’s $1,487. That’s a difference of about $840.

Those who've had an accident will find stiffer penalties from Progressive than State Farm. Progressive's average study rate for this demographic profile is nearly 70% higher than its study rate for the driver profile with a clean record. State Farm’s average goes up by about 20%.

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.

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

 

With 1 DUI

Progressive

$1,793

State Farm

$1,681

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Car insurance companies charge higher rates for drivers with a DUI conviction whether there was a related accident or not. Both of these companies have some of the lowest rates in our study for profiles with a DUI. Progressive’s average auto insurance study rate for this profile is $1,793, while State Farm’s is $1,681. These representative rates are both significantly lower than the national average of $2,464 for the driver profiles with a DUI. Progressive’s study rate for the profile with one DUI is also lower than its rate for a profile with one speeding violation and more than $500 lower than its rate for a profile with one accident.

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 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.

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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