A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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Written by Laura Berry
Former Insurance Agent Laura Berry

Melanie Musson is the fourth generation in her family to work in the insurance industry. She grew up with insurance talk as part of her everyday conversation and has studied to gain an in-depth knowledge of state-specific insurance laws and dynamics as well as a broad understanding of how insurance fits into every person’s life, from budgets to coverage levels. Through her years working in th...

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Reviewed by Melanie Musson
Published Insurance Expert Melanie Musson

UPDATED: Sep 28, 2020

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When considering insurance companies, it’s easy to assume that they’re all the same. After all, prices are generally regulated and all companies provide similar coverages. Nevertheless, it’s a good idea to compare features between multiple insurers in order to find the best match for your needs. While base rates are mostly consistent from one company to the next, some companies offer better discounts to certain groups than others.

An insurer may be perfect for younger drivers while another may offer better discounts to retirees. Because these factors change over time, it’s always a good idea to get new quotes every few years or after important milestones in your life; you never know how much money you might save unless you check. You can also compare companies side by side to get an idea of which may be a better match for your needs.

Two of the best known brands in auto insurance are Allstate and Progressive, the second and fourth largest companies respectively. Although they have many similarities, there are a few key differences that make each company stand out.

Allstate Auto Insurance

Founded in 1931 as a subsidiary of the Sears, Roebuck and Co., Allstate has grown to be the second largest insurer in the country. It provides auto, motorcycle, recreational vehicle, boat, home and life insurance products. It also offers extended health insurance benefits like cancer insurance or short term disability coverage. There are several features that make Allstate stand out from its competitors including:

— A vanishing deductible program that reduces the insured’s collision deductible with each year of safe driving
— Accident forgiveness. (2 types) one provides a single free accident, other forgives all accidents
— Drivewise, a pay-as-you-go policy utilizing telemetrics to monitor a driver’s mileage and driving habits

In addition to these features, Allstate also provides standard discounts for good students, safe drivers, vehicles with anti-theft devices, and people who pay their bills electronically.

Progressive Auto Insurance

Founded in 1937, Progressive only became fairly well-known in the past few decades thanks to its aggressive direct marketing strategy and transparent rate comparisons on its website. Progressive was the first insurance company to offer competitor quotes on its site. In many ways, Progressive lives up to its name: It’s often the first company to offer new and innovative features. A few of the things Progressive began offering before other companies:

— Ability to check competitor quotes on the company’s website to compare rates
— Pet injury coverage to pay for injuries sustained by pets in motor vehicle accidents
— The Snapshot program, Progressive’s telemetrics-based pay-as-you-go insurance policy
— A “name your own price” option allowing customers to set their rates and customize policies
— Mobile claims teams that arrive at the scene of the accident to take statements and assess damages.

Progressive also offers standard discounts for married couples, safe drivers, good students, homeowners and people with multiple vehicles.

Allstate vs Progressive

Allstate sells policies both online and through agencies, but Progressive sells the majority of its policies through direct sales online and over the phone. In terms of customer service, both companies are ranked similarly. JD Powers ranks both at three out of five stars, and they have similar financial strength rankings. Allstate does have a higher number of consumer complaints in some states.

In terms of price, Allstate and Progressive offer similar rates. Progressive tends to be slightly more expensive on average, but certain qualifying customers can get better discounts that will cause their rates to drop lower. The average policy in Texas costs $809 with Allstate and $1,164 with Progressive. In New York, the same policy would cost $1,165 with Allstate and $1,909 with Progressive.

Which Car Insurance Company is Better?

People who prefer having agency support may prefer to use Allstate. If you don’t mind having your customer service be handled entirely online or over the phone, Progressive may offer slightly better service experiences according to some reviews. Either way, for most people, the issue will come down to price. The company that offers the best discounts will most likely be the better insurer to suit your needs.

There is no single perfect insurance company. The best insurance company for you is the one that offers good rates and customer service you’re satisfied with. After you get a quote from a company, be sure to talk with a representative so you can get a feel for the customer service. If everything meets your expectations, you know that the company will be a good fit.