Huge discounts and a plan for every budget — if you don’t mind picking up a phone
Progressive was one of the first insurance companies to launch a website (back in 1995!), as well as one of the first to offer comparison shopping.
And, of course, they’ve got Flo.
So Progressive really was one step ahead of the customer experience curve for decades. But now that insurtech startups like Lemonade have joined the fray with customer-first plans for less, can Progressive really find us better rates? How does their coverage actually stack up? Is the Progressive customer experience still reliable?
That’s what I wanted to find out. So I did what I always do when I’m testing an insurance provider I’ve heard good things about. I simulated insuring a real house from top to bottom, starting with my coverage.
Did You Know: Progressive launched comparison rate shopping back in the early ’90s. 1-800-AUTO-PRO was the industry’s first toll-free, 24/7 auto insurance comparison rating service.
Progressive doesn’t wander very far from the beaten path when it comes to home insurance coverage.
But one thing you may not know is that Progressive collaborates with 13 other insurance companies, including Nationwide, so it’s likely that the coverage I’m about to share with you will vary from company to company.1
Homeowner’s Tip: Homesite, one of Progressive’s top insurers, offered me a cheaper quote than I got from Progressive’s own HomeQuote Explorer (see below). So don’t rely on Progressive’s search engine alone. If you find an insurer you like, try getting a direct quote, too.
Here’s what came with my Progressive homeowners policy.
ACV or RCV? Two Abbreviations You Should Know: Generally, if there’s a choice between choosing actual cash value (ACV) — the cash my insurer thinks my stuff is worth however many years after I bought it — and replacement cost value (RCV) — how much it actually costs to buy it all back new at the time I lose it — I always go with RCV. Otherwise, the $5,000 designer couch I bought in 2016 is just $250 worth of used furniture when it’s time to replace it.
Progressive is a massive company and insures just about everything under the sun, so if you don’t see something you want on this list, it’s probably because Progressive sells it as a separate insurance, not extra coverage.
For example, Progressive offers phone and device insurance — think equipment breakdown coverage for your gadgets — for $158 per year. But they don’t offer additional personal electronics coverage like you’d find in a more customizable Lemonade plan.
Standard Replacement Versus Extended Replacement Coverage: If I estimate that I’ll need $350,000 to rebuild my house, and I cover myself for that amount — i.e., standard replacement — isn’t anything above overkill? Not necessarily. That extra boost of coverage, which we call extended replacement, is really just inflation protection that will cover me in case construction costs (labor, materials, demand) go up in the intervening years, which they almost always do.
Progressive’s HomeQuote Explorer is a comparison shopping engine. If you’re thinking Expedia for home insurance, I don’t want to dash your hopes, but HomeQuote Explorer isn’t that. It isn’t pulling quotes from the market at large, in other words. It’s matching your insurance profile to the best product from among its own plans and the plans of the 13 companies it partners with.
The other thing I’d like to point out is that HomeQuote Explorer gave me only a bare-bones sketch of my quote. The fine points I had to finalize with an agent. So there are no instant quotes and no tweaking.
HomeQuote Explorer did perform one really neat trick that I liked a lot. It asked me to choose from three priorities before it pulled up my premium: “Lower price,” “More coverage,” and “Both are important.” I found this very useful because even if I couldn’t go into the nitty-gritty of my policy online with Progressive, I could at least get a feeling for the range of rates I’d be looking at.
Did You Know: In 2017, Progressive was the first insurance company to support Google Assistant. Users couldn’t get a quote or file a claim, but they could ask for tips on home and auto insurance.
One thing I found out fast when feeling out my Progressive premium was that when my priority was more coverage, I ended up with, well, a lot more coverage.
To give a concrete picture, the home in question was a 1,884-sq.-ft. colonial in a low-risk area in New Jersey. The list price was $260,000, or just about the national average. My rate reflected a protective devices discount because the property had fire and security alarms, and deadbolts. Here’s what Progressive quoted me.
Yikes! That’s $152.50 per month, or about $30 higher than my Lemonade quote for the exact same house. Was Progressive trying to pull a fast one on me? They weren’t. They were just giving me what I asked for: risk-free dwelling coverage. To put that claim to the test, let’s see what happens when savings is my priority.
Homeowner’s Tip: Not sure how much home insurance you need? Here’s a quick way to estimate. Take the total square footage of your home and multiply it by the per-square-foot building costs in your area. You can leave land value out of the equation.
$98 a month is a number I like a lot better. Also notice that this quote comes from Nationwide, a Progressive affiliate. I’ve already written in detail about Nationwide’s rates, and these numbers do check out.
Here’s a breakdown of my first (more expensive) quote, so you can see exactly what it includes in broad brush strokes.
|Type of coverage||Amount of coverage|
|Temporary living expenses||$86,200|
|Medical payments to others||$1,000 per person|
|Wind and hail deductible||$1,000|
FYI: Progressive first launched “usage-based” auto insurance back in 2008. Today, Progressive’s Snapshot program follows in that tradition, basing customer insurance rates on how much they actually drive.
A range between $98 and $152 per month is obviously quite large. Just keep in mind that I insured a 16-year-old $260,000 house in a low-risk location. Your situation will likely be different. You may also find a better deal from one of Progressive’s partners. Remember, HomeQuote Explorer didn’t always show me the best rates.
|Amount of coverage||Estimated monthly rate|
Is partnering with Progressive as fun as watching Flo from the Progressive TV commercials? Yes and no. In 2020, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) reported a serious spike in Progressive consumer complaints. Progressive was perched uncomfortably high at 9.02, or nine times higher than the industry average.2
But Progressive works with a bunch of different insurance companies. For example, Nationwide, a Progressive partner, tallied up a squeaky clean .53, or half the industry average. The good news is, with Progressive, you’ll have the option to choose your home insurance provider. My advice is to check out those NAIC consumer complaint ratings by code and choose wisely.3
Did You Know: In their latest Digital Experience Study, J.D. Power ranked Progressive second in overall customer satisfaction.4
FYI: AM Best, the top name in insurance industry financial ratings, awarded Progressive an A+ (Superior) financial stability rating.
Progressive writes policies in most states, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be able to match you with the insurer of your choice. The easiest way to find out if Progressive writes policies in your area, and whom it partners with there, is to take the HomeQuote Explorer out for a spin. It takes only a few minutes.
|Provider||Lemonade||Liberty Mutual||Nationwide||Progressive||State Farm|
|Availability||22 states||50 states||44 states||Most states||48 states|
|BBB rating||Not rated yet||B||A+||A-||A-|
|Years in business||6||110||95||85||99|
Progressive is an insurance superstore overflowing with plans, perks, and discounts. They also partner with 13 other top U.S. insurance companies, so I was almost guaranteed to get a competitive rate. The online quote process was simple, if bare, but Progressive has a terrific online knowledge base, and an agent in my area was only a telephone call away.
Homeowner’s Tip: Insurers calculate your premium based on credit and claims histories, so your insurance score may affect your home insurance rate. The idea is that credit history can predict insurance risk. The higher your insurance score is, the cheaper your premium will be.
I’m really into the nuts and bolts of my insurance policies, and I like to do as much tweaking online as possible. Progressive didn’t give me much room for fine-tuning.
Preferably, I’d also like to be able to finalize my quote on the web. With Progressive, I couldn’t. It required a phone call. Ditto for filing a claim, which may be taking a step backwards in time for anyone who’s filed a video claim. (Check out my Liberty Mutual homeowners review for an inside look at video settlements).
Did You Know: Thinking about gliding to work? Progressive writes Segway insurance policies. In fact, you can score a discount on your homeowners insurance by bundling the two.
Progressive is kind of like Walmart: If you’re in the market for insurance, they probably have it on their shelves. Plus, they let you bundle it for extra savings. Unlike Walmart, though, Progressive’s comparison shopping engine finds you the best deal whether they have it in stock or have to order it from another provider.
And that isn’t hypothetical. I’ve got the numbers to prove it: a $98 monthly premium on a real house, which is incidentally about five bucks below the national average.
Did I feel a little lost at times trying to keep insurance providers and coverages straight in my head? Did I want to experiment a little more with my online quote and finalize with a click? I did, but on balance, that wouldn’t have stopped me from choosing Progressive if the rates were right.
No. You’ll need to file your Progressive home insurance claim by telephone, and not necessarily with Progressive. You’ll have to contact the company underwriting your insurance (13 providers in total). So keep that number handy.
Yes, but Progressive’s app is mainly for keeping track of payments in and out.
Progressive partners with 13 U.S. insurance companies, some of them well-known names in the industry like Nationwide, so Progressive’s rates are generally competitive.
Yes, with the possible exceptions of high-risk areas. You can find out if Progressive serves your areas by typing your ZIP code into the HomeQuote Explorer.
Yes and no. You can get a bare-bones quote online, but to finalize (and tweak) your quote, you’ll need to speak with a Progressive agent.
Progressive. (2022). Progressive Home Program Companies.
National Association of Insurance Commissioners. (2022, February 9). Results By Complaint Index.
National Association of Insurance Commissioners. (2021, December). Listing of Companies Summary.
J.D. Power. (2021, May 25). Property & Casualty Insurers Stuck at Providing Only “Good Enough” Digital User Experience, J.D. Power Finds.
As Managing Editor for SafeHome.org, Rob Gabriele has written and edited over 1,000 articles in home security. His expertise is in smart home automation and home protection with thousands of hours of testing and research under his belt. Formerly a reporter and producer for the USAToday network, Rob has been a writer and editor for over 10 years. He holds a Master’s of Science with an emphasis on writing from the University of Montana, and he currently lives in the Reno/Tahoe area of Nevada.