10 Confessions Of A Progressive Insurance Rep

A former Progressive car insurance customer service rep has stepped forward into the light to give us the low-down on how his ex-employer works:

I worked at a call center for Progressive Insurance up until about a month ago. I hated my job so much, but I really can’t gripe about the company. It is a great company to work for and they are very good to their customers. So I’d like to share with you some inside knowledge about the company; like how to grossly extend your payment, get fees waived, and the logical behind rating factors.

1. Progressive uses a point system to determine your rate


Comprehensive Claims (0 points)…usually don’t effect the rate. In fact, I’ve never seen one effect someone’s rate. Comprehensive claims is fancy insurance talk for claims that are not accidents; like fires, thefts, vandalisms. Don’t be afraid to report these kinds of claims. I can virtually guarantee they have no effect on your rate at Progressive.

Not at Fault Accidents…(0 – 1 points)it is rare for a NAF to effect your rate, but it can. They may have a slight effect on your rate, depending on the state. I think this is unfair to hold against someone, but many companies are starting to do this.

DUI, DWI (0 to 2 points). Huh? Most companies won’t even insure a DUI. But they are barely a rating factor at Progressive. The logic is that most DUIs don’t result in terrible crashes, and most individuals are non-repeat offenders. And typically, repeat and malicious offenders don’t have respect for the law, including the law that you are required to carry insurance. If you have a DUI on your record, I can pretty much say you will never find a lower rate than Progressive.

Tickets (1 to 2 points). Usually all speeding, stop sign, defective equipment, traffic light, yield tickets go here. Usually 2 points a piece.

Worse Offenses, At Fault Accidents (3 to 4 points).

Jailable driving offenses (8 points). Drag racing, vehicular homicide, etc.

2. The biggest factors affecting your rate

AGE: Young drivers are much, much more expensive due to their inexperience and sometimes immaturity. As you get older, each year, this factor will help bring your ‘risk’ down.

GENDER: According to studies, males are higher ‘risk’ than females. However, new research indicates that females are catching up, so this isn’t as huge of a factor anymore.

LOCATION:
Urban areas pay more; with dense traffic, you are much more likely to get in an accident. Poor neighborhoods pay more due to the risk of crime; vandalism, break-ins, and thefts. Even very nice neighborhoods pay slightly more, since if you do get into an accident, you have much better odds of hitting an expensive E-class than an economic Escort. The best areas are middle to lower-middle class suburbs and rural areas.

CREDIT:
Unfortunately for some, this plays a very big role in your rate. The only state exempt from credit checks is California. I had to explain to some customers that their new rates went up because of their credit score. Not fun.

YOUR VEHICLE:
There’s a ton of factors that go into this; typically, the lowest risk is 4-door sedans, 2-door coupes, convertibles, minivans, trucks, SUVs. The bigger your vehicle, the more damage it has the potential to cause, which makes it a higher risk. If you hit a car in an intersection with an Cavalier at 25mph, it isn’t going to cause nearly same kind of damage as a diesel F-350. Foreign cars are slightly more to insure since replacement parts cost slightly more.

COLOR of your car does NOT effect your rate. This myth was created after a study you’ve probably read, that red cars are the ‘riskiest’. The logic from the study was bright colors, like red, make cars appear that they are going faster than dull or dark colors. As a result, an officer in a speed trap is more likely going to pull over a red car since it looks like it is going faster. And speeding tickets ARE an insurance factor.

YOUR DRIVING HISTORY:
Driving histories go back 36 months, except in New York (which is 40 months). Your history is composed from three reports; your MVR or Motor Vehicle Report, the state database of your ticketed driving history; your CLUE report, a collection of previous insurance companies reports stating the numbers of claims you’ve had, and YOU. If you say you got in an accident, were never sited for it and never claimed it on your insurance, but you still tell us, it’ll be put on your record with an approximate date.

There is no way to get something off of your insurance driving history, other than time. Let’s say you had a speeding ticket on 04/23/04. And let’s say your renewal date for the next term is on 5/1/07. This speeding ticket will fall off the account and help lower your rate.

However, let’s say the speeding ticket was on 5/15/07 when you renew on 5/1/07. That means, for the next six months, this ticket will effect your rate! So if you notice a violation that is a month or closer past the renewal date, tell them you are thinking about leaving because the rate is too high and ask to see if you can get the violation off the account a little early. As long as it’s close, they’ll try.

3. If you are 21 to 30 years old, unless you are on a parent’s plan, Progressive is one of the best rates around.
They provide very good 24/7 customer service and, in my opinion, one of the best claims services ever. Progressive reps do NOT make any sort of commission, so if they try to upsell you, it’s for your own protection. One bad crash with only state minimums can ruin you financially for the rest of your life. It happens. No one gets into accidents on purpose, that’s why they’re called accidents. :)

4. How to pay late without penalty
Extend your due date. Progressive will allow customers to extend their due date up to 10 days later. The only time this doesn’t apply is on the first payment of a renewal term. So if your bill is due on April 1, you can extend it until April 11 without a late fee. Just call and ask.

5. How to get a late fee waived
Late Fees are only $5 and you won’t be penalized more than once per bill. As long as you are not consistently late with payments, you can usually get this waived if you call with some excuse. Just pretend to be concerned about the late fee on your account ruining your credit or good standing with the company (even though it won’t). Technically, Progressive reps aren’t allowed to waive any fees without talking to their supervisor first. And if for strange some reason the rep says no, ask for a manager.

6. If you can’t pay on time, we’re not going to cut you off immediately
Let’s assume you have a good payment history. The bill is due April 1. On April 2, you’ll get a second notice, giving you about another 7 days. After that, you’ll get a Final notice, which can be anywhere from 7 to 23 days. Since all insurance companies must be compliant with each state’s department of insurance, each state makes up their own “legal notice”, or the amount of a grace period you can pay your bill late.

7. Progressive honors the postmark date of a mailed payment
If you payment is due on April 1 and the envelope is postmarked on that day…even though by the time Progressive receives and processes it on April 7, it is still considered on time without a penalty. And there is no charge to pay over the phone with check or credit.

8. Mail your renewal payment on time
When you sign up, you essentially agree to six month terms, let’s say from Jan 1 to Jul 1. You can be late every month; Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun…but if you are late in July, which would be the start of your new term, your first payment is the one that binds coverage. It’s the only way to legally show that you agree to the terms of your new insurance contract. Without money, Progressive has no way of knowing you’re intentions to renew.

9. How to get a non-sufficient fund fee waived
Aka returned payment, usually $15 to $20. As long as you have a good payment history, just call and say your checkbook was stolen. Every once in a while, a supervisor will ask for proof from the bank. Although it probably won’t happen, just call after normal business hours when banks are closed, or anytime Sunday. Call centers are open 24/7. If they still press for proof (again, which they probably won’t), just keep pressing the fact that you shouldn’t have to wait until tomorrow to prove it and want to get this bill taken care of.

10. How to get an early cancellation fee waived
If you ever want to cancel midterm, you can. Many states have done away with cancel fees, typically about $50. However, if yours still does, when they ask you the reason for canceling, just say you moved out of the state or the country. They may ask you if you tried a rate in your new state, say you did but you found a much better one. No cancel fee will be assessed.

Sincerely,

Former Progressive Licensed CSR,
Dave

— BEN POPKEN

(Photo: simondhweller)

Comments

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  1. gibbersome says:

    I used to be on esurance last year but after how they treated me horribly after a claim (raised my rates for a hit and run), I have been at progressive. They’ve always been great and courteous, keep up the great work!

  2. tcp100 says:

    My only complaint when I had progressive is that they DID charge you for accidents that you didn’t even claim, even when they were tremendously minor. I realize technically this is still appropriate, but it seemed awfully nitpicky.

    I backed into a pole about 10 years ago (left progressive in 2001).. This was in a parking lot; I was only going about 5mph, but it left a hefty dent in my then new car. Minor thing, no big deal – and I had no previous tickets or accidents at all. I stupidly had an adjuster come out to just look at the car, and see what they’d pay in a claim. (I was young and dumb.)

    After taking the deductible into account, I figured it wasn’t worth it – so I paid it out of pocket, and never mentioned it to Progressive again.

    At renewal, however, Progressive went and listed this fender bender as an “at fault accident” – even though I made no claim, it cost them nothing, and the damage was minor – and my rates shot up.

    You’d figure they’d consider things on a case-by-case basis, but this $750 dent ended up costing me about $1200 in premiums over the next three years, even though Progressive didn’t pay a dime, and I never had an accident or infraction before or after.

    Their response? “In our system, an accident is an accident.” Hooray for that point system, I guess.

  3. Tallanvor says:

    For #2, it’s often not the age of the driver that increases the cost of the insurance, it’s the length of time they’ve been driving. –Remember, age discrimination is illegal as a general rule, and that specifically includes things like car insurance in some states. And if you don’t get your license until you’re 30, you’ll probably be paying more than people the same age who have been driving since they were 16.

    For #3, I can say that Progressive was definitely not the lowest choice for me when I was moving to Raleigh… Geico offered much lower rates. Then I switched to Erie and saved even more.

    Anyway, I can’t comment on the other points, these are the only ones I know about.

  4. dextrone says:

    With all of these comments, we should put

    *Results May Vary.

    with this post….

  5. AcidReign says:

    …..That was a very interesting post. If it was a shill for Progressive, it was a good one. I won’t switch, though, unless my current insurance company does something wonky.

    …..I will add that I’ve been with State Farm for auto insurance for 30 years, and they’ve always paid. I got a 10% accident surcharge for a couple of years when I pulled out in front of someone years ago (totally my fault), but they did pay a crapload of money to fix my car.

  6. dragonflight says:

    @Tallanvor: Geico is also offering my family much lower rates. Somewhat shocking, as they’re more than half off our old rates for comparable insurance.

    Anyone have any comments on Geico (good, bad, or horror?)

  7. swalve says:

    Hmm. Progressive quoted me a VERY high rate, as did GEICO. Higher than basically everyone else.

    I currently have insurance through AAA. It was the best deal around- cheaper than my previous company, and that’s including the AAA Plus membership. And also much higher coverage amounts than the minimums.

    Previous company was Insure One (I think that’s Chicago only), and while they were a little high priced, I had no problem with the service or anything.

  8. I didn’t see regional risk factored into this post; in Baton Rouge, where many of the cars are low-risk/low cost (lots of older American cars and SUVs) our insurance was twice as high as it is here in San Jose, where many newer, more epensive cars ply the roads.

    Of course, Baton Rouge/south Louisiana is home to some of the worst drivers and roads in the nation – and I figure this is why our insurance was so much higher.

  9. joopiter says:

    @dragonflight: I had a fenderbender (which was my fault). Geico tried to dump me off the “excellent driver” tier of insurance and down to a more at risk tier (with higher rates). I called and politely but firmly told them that that was bullshit considering I hadn’t had an accident save for this one in the ten years I had been driving and they reinstated me at the previous tier at the same rates. That’s really been my only experience with them – I haven’t had any car-related issues (accidents, vandalism, thefts) that required me calling them, so I have no idea how they act when you really need them.

  10. enm4r says:

    As a 23 year old with a clean record (one not at fault accident claimed on a previous car) and a credit score of 745, trying to insure a 10 year old a car that’s been paid off, for only liability, Progressive was the most expensive choice I could have gone with. Literally $1000 more than the company I finally decided on going with. I couldn’t believe it, and to this day still have no idea why Progressive was so much.

  11. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    I recently switched to Progressive from 21st Century. I’ve been with 21st for over 10 years, claimed only 2 accidents during that time, no moving violations, and have gotten very little reductions in my premiums. Their adjusters are impossible to get a hold of, never return your calls, and sound like they really don’t care. Also, they weigh heavily on your zip code. Your premiums will be lower if you live in an affluent area. And if your payment isn’t received exactly on the due date, they send out a policy termination warning letter the next day.

  12. ShadowFalls says:

    I find credit to be an insulting factor and a bs excuse to increase rates. What does credit have to do with you not paying your premiums? If you don’t pay, they cut you off, report you, and the state demands you get insurance or they take away your license.

  13. reeg2 says:

    If I read “effect” one more time when “affect” should be used….

  14. asherchang says:

    wow. they look at your neighborhood too?

  15. oldhat says:

    Just like the commercial, Progressive referred me to another company with lower rates…much lower rates.

    I have been with Liberty Mutual ever since, maybe 5 years. I never heard of them, thought they were some little guy…turns out they are pretty big, just little advertising.

    Every year I check the rates, and every year, my company is the lowest (of the 3 major companies I call)

    Progressive does not refer me to Liberty Mutual anymore, though…and all their referrals are more expensive. Maybe their once honest system is corrupted? Or flawed?

  16. cgarison says:

    Was this the confession of an angry insurance rep? No new news in this for me. The only thing I question is the “weight” vs. “insurance rate” of a vehicle due to the fact that full size premium automobiles (Crown Vic/500/Lucerne/Avalon) tend to have the cheapest rates followed by compact domestic luxury cars (MK-Z/CTS).

  17. CharlesJBarry says:

    “GENDER: According to studies, males are higher ‘risk’ than females. However, new research indicates that females are catching up, so this isn’t as huge of a factor anymore.”

    This is the biggest load of bs ever. Traditionally this was calculated based on total accidents by gender, not a percentage of total drivers. At the time, male drivers outnumbered female drivers by a significant amount so they had “more” accidents. Now, with more female drivers on the roads, it doesn’t matter how they run the numbers, it is evening out.

  18. MauriceReeves says:

    Nothing in particular against Progressive, they’re a fine agency, but they always seemed to want to charge us an arm and a leg. We ended up going with Erie Insurance in PA.

    However, Progressive REALLY overcharged my mother-in-law, in her 50′s, driving a Pontiac, no tickets, no accidents, she was paying MORE than we had paid for two people with tickets under 30.

  19. AcidReign says:

    …..@ShadowFalls: Not in my state(Alabama). They’ll issue licenses and tags to illegals happily, as long as they pay the fees. “Proof of Insurance” amounts to checking a little “yep, ah gots ‘surance” box on the county website when you renew your tag.

    …..Where you’ll get nailed for no proof of insurance, in Alabama, is on traffic stops. Typical behavior when a Central American gets pulled over south of Birmingham is for them to just run like hell on foot. They can get another car. Getting deported would cost real money!

  20. MeMikeYouNot says:

    @dragonflight: I wouldn’t even ASK Geico for insurance coverage, due to the F*&^#@-ing cavemen on TV. And to a lesser extent the lizard,(Yah I know it’s a gecko) and to squirrels who like to cause people to swerve on the road. I despise most commercials on TV but these really annoy the hell out of me. And you call call me cranky.

  21. informer says:

    One thing to keep in mind is that a lot of these rules can vary on a state to state basis. My state, for example, forbids basing the rate on age if you have had no accidents.

  22. ogremustcrush says:

    I really like USAA. I’m on my mom’s policy now, and the prices certainly isn’t bad. But I did a quote for a policy of my own, as I will be moving out soon, and it came out to $180 for a 6-month premium for an 18 year old driver. Course this was for liability only, my car isn’t worth enough for comprehensive to be worth paying for, but even with comprehensive it would be roughly what I am paying now. Gotta love USAA…

  23. yg17 says:

    @CharlesJBarry:

    I agree. Every time someone in their H2, yapping on their cell phone, thinking they own the road and not paying attention nearly hits me, it’s always some soccer mom who shouldn’t have her license.

    Plus, it seems like sex discrimination to me. You wouldn’t do it with race….they don’t charge Asians more because all of the dumb jokes and stereotypes say that they’re horrible drivers, or charge African Americans more because stereotypically, they’re more likely to live in the ghetto where there’s more auto theft (of course, I’m not saying either of those examples are true, I’ve got nothing against anyone), but no company could get away with that. So how come they can do it with gender?

  24. FLConsumer says:

    I don’t use Progressive (too expensive!) but thank you to the poster/rep who provided this.

  25. Turbo Driver says:

    To all you using GEICO-

    Geez, thanks for giving that cop that just nailed me with a LIDAR gun his tools. Now, my rates with GEICO will go up. GEICO gives cop LIDAR, cop uses LIDAR to nail me, GEICO can then charge me more.

    Does anyone see a conflict of interest here???? GEICO gives out more of these than anyone..

    Turbo

  26. othium says:

    @Turbo Driver: You got caught speeding and got a ticket. Then don’t speed if you don’t like the results.

    In my experience you don’t even need to be speeding to get pulled over. Just last month I was returning from a visit with my daughter and was stopped. The officer asked why I was going so fast. I replied that I was going the speed limit or under as I watch it very carefully. He replied that he “clocked me going 87 MPH in a 70 zone”. That was funny I told him, as my car couldn’t go that fast if it was dropped from an airplane. (1984 Ford Tempo -69k miles-been in storage for 20 years) He seemed miffed and gave me a “warning” ticket and told me to get my speedometer fixed. Maybe he was waiting for me to admit I was speeding and make his job easier? Never gonna happen. He also didn’t like the way I just slipped my ID and insurance cards out a crack in the window. He probably decided to look for an easier target to fill his quota for the day.

    And yes, I am a GEICO customer and I LIKE the caveman commercials. They crack me up. “Roast duck with mango salsa.”

  27. TDJ says:

    I have been an All State customer off and on and soon to be off again for twenty years. About eight years ago, I asked my current All State agent why All State was costing more and more each year when I had no tickets or claims and other insurance companies were showing me considerably lower rates. He told me that insurers generally take their customers for granted and he then begrudgingly advised me to take myself out of the All State system for six months by going elsewhere and then come back and give them another chance. I could not believe that he was telling me this at the time. He was almost sure that this would work. So, I did it. I left for six months and saved at least twenty percent compared to what All State was going to charge me. Six months later, I went back to my old All State agent with my new lowered rates and told him that we were going to test his theory. All State proceeded to beat those rates by another eight percent. My old agent was right. In six months time, All State showed me a 28% rate drop for the same coverage and the same identical driving record. My agent laughed and I rejoined All State. At least at that time, All State valued new customers (new money) with good driving records much more than their loyal customers with the same driving records.

    On a side note, Geico has always shown me a rediculously high rate for auto insurance until now. I recently priced Geico and for the time being, they are by far showing me the cheapest rate. So, it looks like I’m going to be leaving the All State system again.

  28. virgilstar says:

    They’re great until you get a ticket…

    I was paying $900 a year with them (26 year old driving a 2 seater sports car). I got one ticket and the renewal went up to $1400/yr. Been with state farm ever since and 6 years later am paying $900/yr for 2 cars.

  29. CaptainConsumer says:

    I had a very GOOD experience with Progressive. Wife got into an accident (not her fault) but the front end was smashed up–mostly cosmetic damage. The claim center in Livonia Michigan sent the car to one of their repair shops twice and both times the work left something to be desired (rattles, squeaks etc). At this point, the claims rep allowed ME to choose which shop the car went to on THEIR bill. Instead of having to ask for this, they offered it. It was done when I had the work done by a professional finisher at the dealership I bought the car at. It probably cost Progressive more for me to pick the shop but MY satisfaction was paramount to them.

  30. chimmike says:

    I am 24. I was with progressive. They were expensive. I switched to State Farm who have so far saved me over $600 every 6 months, and I have a CLEAN driving record with no accidents/claims and no fancy cars!

  31. mmcnary says:

    @othium: Two things.
    First, ABC is airing a sitcom this fall featuring the cavemen from the Geico commercials.

    Second, Turbo Driver, you should use a lawyer to fix the ticket. You will still pay the same fine plus court costs and the lawyer fees, but it will not affect your insurance rates. Also, it looks better when a cop is checking your record and it comes back with ‘No priors’.

  32. Nytmare says:

    Gender discrimination is illegal. Wasn’t this factor eliminated from car insurance some 20 years ago? Or was that ruling limited to PA?

  33. John Stracke says:

    @tcp100:

    Their response? “In our system, an accident is an accident.”

    Well, yeah. Their system is designed to predict the probability of you having an accident, not of you deciding whether to make a claim.

  34. Raanne says:

    Progressive has always been very expensive every time I’ve looked at them. I had AAA for a long time, now I have State Farm – I was happy with both, and both were cheaper than Progressive was.

  35. @AcidReign: I second satisfaction with State Farm, although from what I hear, experience with State Farm varies a great deal by agent, so make sure you have a good one.

    I also like insuring with State Farm because it’s comprehensive, so I get a discount on my homeowner’s insurance, car insurance, and valuable items rider for having all three with State Farm. I think it’d be pretty difficult for a car-insurance-only company to pull me away from a comprehensive one.

    My agent has me in once a year for a sit-down where we go over my coverage on all policies and discuss changes in coverage I could make. He’s chopped my bill down twice during those sit-downs so far!

  36. ArtlessDodger says:

    @dragonflight

    When I called Geico to get a lower rate, it was about 100% higher than what I’m currently paying with State Farm. When the rep told me the quote, I actually laughed — it was so much worse and she seemed to think it was a “fabulous deal.”

  37. jwissick says:

    AAA doubled my coverage at a price for a year that all the others wanted for 6 months. I doubt that anyone could ever beat it.

  38. IndyJaws says:

    Have had both Progressive and GEICO. Very good experiences with both, switched to GEICO because rates were significantly lower. However, my 22-year-old son is going to be on his own insurance soon, now that he’s graduated college, and I wouldn’t be surprised that Progressive will be cheaper than GEICO.

    Add another fan to the Caveman commercials!

  39. Anonymously says:

    Ben, I’ve heard horror stories involving accidents when both drivers were insured by the same company. Supposedly they are more reluctant to pay your claim / work with you. I think we need some investigative journalism into that.

  40. thomas_callahan says:

    Something I haven’t seen anybody mention here is that insurance companies typically have a ‘niche’ that they fit well with. You HAVE to check with more than one.

    When I got out of college and had to get my own insurance for the first time, my 6-month rates (with a clean record, cheap but new car (Neon), 5 years driving experience) ranged from $1300 (AIG) to $4000 (Allstate) with Progressive somewhere in between.

    I dutifully renewed with AIG for about 2-3 years, but the payments were really hurting my tiny paycheck, so I checked several other companies using their newly-available online quotes, and Progressive was then by far the cheapest.

    Now I run quotes at 3 or 4 companies every other insurance renewal (once a year) and it’s remained that way since (about 6 years now). Takes an hour or so but when I switched to Progressive it cut my rates by a couple of hundred bucks. Plus, Progressive has about a 10% pay-in-full discount — assuming you’re not charging it and paying interest, it’s a good deal.

    My parents, on the other hand, got significantly higher quotes from Progressive than Allstate despite flawless credit, driving records, etc.

    The explanation I got from their Allstate agent was that certain companies are just better set up to handle certain demographics — he actually warned me before giving me a quote that Allstate would not be the best choice for me even though it likely cost him a commission. He said try them again in 20 years, or once I had a house to insure also, and the situation would probably be different.

    This is one of the reasons they can all claim that people who switch to them save an average of XX%, because it’s technically true. May not be true for you, but for somebody it is…

    The only other thing I can say is buy a house in the boonies, get married, get older, and have kids, and after every one of these milestones, call the company and say “I just got married, does that help my rates?” (it did, significantly, for me). I called a couple of days after my wedding and they sent me a refund check for a percentage of the discount based on the remainder of my policy term. I think I also called the day after my 25th birthday and got a similar refund. I don’t think kids helped much, but buying a house did. Worth a call though, you never know.

    My rates these days are an eighth of what I paid for my first policy, even with two drivers, two cars, and ten years or so of inflation and rising rates!

  41. cornish says:

    @mmcnary: I’ve seen a preview clip. ABC will put the cavemen in the deep freeze within a month of their debut.

  42. cornish says:

    @thomas_callahan: “insurance companies typically have a ‘niche’ that they fit well with.”

    Very true. Progressive’s niche is they insure high-risk drivers. In fact, it’s damned near impossible to have your policy canceled (or not-renewed0 by Progressive. They’ll simply continue to jack up your rates until you get the hint and slink off somewhere else.

    I don’t have Progressive insurance, but I’ve seen their adjusters in action and, for the most part, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more professional group. Sure, if you’re on the wrong end of one of their adjustments they suck, but from the outside looking in they treat each of their customers fairly and impartially, almost to a fault. Should you be one of their customers and you’re ever sued, I can’t think of a better group to represent you in court.

  43. joopiter says:

    Does anybody have anything to say, good or bad, about Traveler’s insurance? So far, they’ve given me the best quote, with Progressive as a close second…

  44. rmz says:

    Hand-in-hand with the gender discrimination bit, marital status also often factors in. When my wife and I got married a few months back, we got a $200 check in the mail from our insurance company (not Progressive) because our premiums had gone down as a result of the marital status change for both of us.

  45. dohtem says:

    Great read. Ben and Co., thanks!!

    I had a question. I am 25, and have only had my driver’s license for just over a year. I will be getting a car and insurance soon. Since I haven’t had my license for that long, I understand I will be charged a lot more. People are advising me to lie to the insurance company about how long I have been driving to get better rates. This doesn’t sit too well with me. They say there is no way for insurance companies to verify I have only had a license for so long. Is this true? Anyone care to chime in? Thanks.

  46. alterboy says:

    I have used progressive in the past and I just recently signed up again with them. I change insurance at least once a year and I jumped at the chance to be with progressive again. They had the cheapest rate, but even if it was a few bucks more I would have signed up too. The reason I’m such a big fanboy is because when I had to cancel my progressive premium after moving and my rate went through the roof, is because the rep i spoke with was super friendly and it was completely painless. If you’ve dealt with insurance companies as much as I have it’s an utterly refreshing change.From sign up to cancellation I was never hassled. Stack that on top of a great rate and better coverage than I had before and you’ve got a winner.

  47. royal72 says:

    like others have said, the best thing to do is shop around every time your policy is up and there’s a very good chance you will save money, even a few bucks. if it’s a marginal amount, call back your current company (if you like them) and ask them to match the price. has worked for me on many occasions and if not i say, “thanks, but i won’t be renewing. i’ll give you a call next time my policy is up and see how your pricing is.”

  48. toddkravos says:

    for those curious about why credit is used for car insurance:

    http://www.progressive.com/shop/credit.asp

  49. TDJ says:

    I have a little Progressive story from about 12 years ago. Myself and my wife were hit from behind by a teenager in a jeep who had dropped his pepsi in the jeep and was attempting to retrieve it. We stopped suddenly and he plowed into us. My wife happened to be looking out of the passenger side window with her head turned when we were hit. Her neck still bothers her to this day. Anyway, the kid had Progressive insurance and the Progressive claims agent met me at a nearby gas station about a week later to see our car. The Prog. agent didn’t even look under the car for frame damage and tried to get me to accept a check on the spot for something like $900. By this time, we had both been to the doctor, had xrays and we were both seeing a chiropractor (my wife for her neck and myself for my back). I told the Prog. agent that we were going to have medical bills and we were not going to accept his offer today. He did not like that. He immediately became very short with me and his voice was filled with disbelief over our injuries (mine were minor compared to my wife’s). At the time, I was managing a gym. A few months after the accident, a guy comes in with a video camera and says that he wants to film the gym to show his wife what it looked like. This was very odd but it was fine by me. I later learned that this guy was a private investigator hired by Progressive to catch me in the act of physical labor or lifting weights. All I could do at the time because of the accident was walk on the treadmill and they did try to use that against me. They also filmed me picking up the news paper in front of my house like that meant something. In the end, the damage to our car was over $3,000.00 (we took the car to the body shop that Progressive wanted us to take it to). The medical bills for both of us ended up costing over $8,000.00 (most of it for my wife). That was over $11,000.00 in damages and that doesn’t even take into account missed work and pain/suffering because their client dropped a soda in his jeep. Progressive treated us like crooks from beginning to end when we didn’t take their $900 check less than a week into this ordeal. I will never be a Progressive client after the way they treated us. I realize that this could have been any insurance company doing this to us as part of their day to day operations in an attempt to payout as little as possible no matter how wrong they are. But Progressive was very nasty about this and in the end they lost the case and potential future business from us forever.

  50. jennieb307 says:

    I have also worked for Progressive. The rating factors are somewhat different on commecial policies than they are on personal auto policies. Gender is not even taken into consideration. Age is considerred on every policy except in Massacusetts (which asks for years of driving experience). In response to the DUIs, they may not be charged if you have an otherwise clean record, but once you have anything else show up they will begin charging for the dui- the best bet is to not dink and drive because it is irresponsible and the bottom line is that irresponsibility means that the company is more likely to pay out on a claim- which increases your rates. Back to age, on commercial policies expect to pay more for a driver under forty or over, say 58. You’ll see a decrease year by year, but there is no drop off point like there is on a pesonal policy (like 25 years old).

  51. kate says:

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  52. mazdaman says:

    Don’t go with Progressive! Not only are they hundreds more than Geico and State Farm (I checked), they treat people that file claims horribly. My mom’s van was hit by a driver with Progressive and they refused to pay any verifiable amount to total her car, or fix it. We showed them blue book, Edmunds and NADA values and they continued to deny the amount. We handled it through State Farm (our insurance company) and we got a letter that State farm has to take them to court to get them to pay. We will also have to take them to court for a few thousand dollars in medical expenses as a result, all for an accident where their driver was completely at fault. Awful company that I would NEVER do business with