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Insurance

Progressive: A top auto insurance provider for high-risk drivers

Progressive is one of very few auto insurers offering coverage to drivers with serious DUI offenses.

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There are a few factors that may categorize you as a high-risk driver, including having a history of speeding or parking tickets, accidents, DUI/DWI violations, or simply being young or having bad credit.

Not all auto insurance companies will insure those after a serious offense like drinking and driving, however, we found one big-name insurer that will in the hopefully unlikely case you find yourself in this position.

Progressive makes the ranking on CNBC Select's list of the best car insurance companies for high-risk drivers, particularly for those with a DUI or DWI on their driving record because, simply, it insures drivers with this type of severe violation — though premiums are much higher. As far as high-risk drivers go, Progressive also offers Accident Forgiveness programs that can help drivers avoid a rate increase after an accident. (Read more on our methodology of how we chose the best car insurance companies for high-risk drivers.)

Below, we review Progressive to give you all the details on things like its offerings, features and fees so you can decide if it's the right insurance choice for when you hit the road.

Progressive car insurance review

Progressive Auto Insurance

  • Cost

    The best way to estimate your costs is to request a quote

  • App available

    Yes

  • Policy highlights

    Progressive offers a number of lines of insurance to allow for bundling, and convenient tools to help you keep your coverage in your budget.

  • Terms apply.

Pros

  • Quotes available online
  • Available in all 50 states

Cons

  • Above average NAIC complaint index score
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Progressive overview

Drivers insured by Progressive can customize their car insurance coverage. Coverage offerings vary by state but include liability coverage to protect drivers who cause an accident, comprehensive and collision coverage to protect drivers' cars from the unexpected (theft, vandalism, fire, etc.), uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage to protect drivers from others who can't pay for damages and roadside assistance coverage for drivers needing services like towing and flat tire changes.

Progressive offers gap insurance, which covers the remaining balance on your loan or lease if your vehicle is totaled or stolen and worth less than what you owe, as well as an add-on for rideshare drivers. It also has a disappearing or "vanishing" deductible option that gets lower over time if you drive without violations or an accident.

Progressive falls a bit short when it comes to customer satisfaction, however. The auto insurer has below-average ratings from J.D. Power — a ranking by the market intelligence firm that analyzes consumer data — for claims and car insurance shopping.

Like with all car insurance companies, rates and one's overall policy cost depend on their driving history, credit score, type of coverage, deductibles and discounts. Generally, though, high-risk drivers often pay higher insurance premiums than the average driver.

CNBC Select calculated Progressive's average premiums with data based on a 40-year-old driver with an otherwise clean driving record (more on this calculation in our methodology below). We found that the average full-coverage premium after a DUI or DWI is $2,049.

Drivers with this offense on their record are covered up to their policy's limits when there's an accident including car and property damage as well as injuries, regardless of who's at fault or if the driver was under the influence. Progressive will also file an SR-22 Form — proof that one's auto insurance policy meets the minimum responsibility required by state law — on their behalf when requested.

Features

Progressive has a dedicated section online with articles covering car insurance resources and advice on how to file a claim, insure a new car, lower your rate and more.

Plus, Progressive's mobile app (available on the App Store and Google Play) lets users view their policy information and insurance cards, make bill payments, report a claim or see claim status updates and request roadside assistance.

Discounts

With Progressive, drivers have various discount options available to them (they vary by state) — and customers earn an average of seven discounts, Progressive's website claims:

  • Bundling auto and property insurance (homeownersrenters or condo) saves an average of 4% on auto insurance. Plus, there are multi-policy discounts (average 5% savings) for RV, boat, motorcycle, etc.
  • Having more than one car listed on one's policy saves an average 12%
  • Adding a teen driver to one's policy
  • Having a "good student" (maintains a "B" average or better) on one's policy saves an average 10%
  • Owning a home, even if not insured through Progressive, saves an average of nearly 10%
  • Progressive's Snapshot® program rewards safe drivers, and customers who save with Snapshot save an average of $156 per year, Progressive's website claims
  • Progressive's AutoQuote Explorer® lets drivers get a free car insurance quote, as well as compare rates across different insurers to save even more
  • Progressive's Name Your Price® Tool puts customers in the driver's seat, allowing them to state how much they want to pay for their auto insurance and showing coverage options that work within that budget

Other insurance offered

Progressive offers all sorts of other insurance products in addition to auto, including property coverage, personal insurance (life, jewelry, pet, travel insurance, etc.), business insurance, plus financial services like car loan refinancing and personal loans.

When you bundle auto and home insurance, Progressive's website claims new customers can save over 20% on average.

How it compares

Progressive's auto insurance coverage options and discounts are in line with what its competitors offer. While the insurer stands out for high-risk drivers, State Farm also ranked on our list of the top auto insurers for high-risk drivers, and it has better customer satisfaction ratings.

Military members and veterans looking for high-risk coverage should consider instead USAA, which offers competitive rates for those with at-fault accidents and speeding tickets on their records. The company is also rated very highly for customer satisfaction.

State Farm Auto Insurance

  • Cost

    The best way to estimate your costs is to request a quote

  • App available

    Yes

  • Policy highlights

    State farm is one of the largest auto insurers based on market share and has an excellent reputation for customer satisfaction. It offers 13 discounts, including ones for safe driving and young drivers.

  • Terms apply.

USAA Auto Insurance

  • Cost

    The best way to estimate your costs is to request a quote

  • App available

    Yes

  • Policy highlights

    USAA's auto insurance is available in all 50 states, Washington D.C. and some international locations. In addition to low rates and coverage options for unique circumstances, such as for active-duty members, customers have access to an intuitive mobile app.

Terms apply.

Bottom line

Progressive is a top choice for drivers struggling to get coverage after a poor driving record, specifically DUI/DWI violations, and its discounts offer ways to lower higher premiums.

Catch up on CNBC Select's in-depth coverage of credit cardsbanking and money, and follow us on TikTokFacebookInstagram and Twitter to stay up to date.

Our methodology

To find the best insurance companies for high-risk drivers, CNBC Select looked at dozens of insurers offering coverage to high-risk drivers.

When selecting and ranking these companies, we focused on the average premium data from Bankrate, since the cost of insurance as a high-risk driver is often higher than for the average driver. Quoted premiums were based on a 40-year-old with an otherwise clean driving record and a 2020 Toyota Camry, commuting five days a week for a total of 12,000 miles, and including the following coverage:

  • $100,000 bodily injury liability per person
  • $300,000 bodily injury liability per accident
  • $50,000 property damage liability per accident
  • $100,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per person
  • $300,000 uninsured motorist bodily injury per accident
  • $500 collision deductible
  • $500 comprehensive deductible

We also considered average customer satisfaction ratings from J.D. Power and financial strength ratings from AM Best.

After reviewing these factors, we sorted recommendations based on three common infractions and the best overall and for those with military affiliations.

Note that the premiums and policy structures advertised for car insurance companies are subject to fluctuate in accordance with the company's policies.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.
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