We've all seen the commercials: quirky Flo and the Gecko with his adorable accent and witty quips. They want to help you stay safe while driving and make you a better driver. Both characters are memorable, which is a good thing for Progressive and GEICO, the companies that have spent millions of dollars on ads designed to ingrain these characters - and the companies they represent - into our brains. The ads are catchy, for sure, but what about the companies behind them? Are they all flash and no substance? And is one company any better than the other?
Clearsurance set out to answer this very question. But our findings are not based on profitability, financial ratings or reviews from third-party organizations. Instead, our ratings are based exclusively on feedback from real policyholders who have reviewed these auto insurance giants on Clearsurance. GEICO and Progressive claim to offer superior service and low insurance rates, but do their own policyholders agree?
The customer satisfaction rating of a company is important when looking for an affordable rate in terms of coverage. Just because a company offers you a low insurance premium doesn't mean they'll be the best fit. If you need to compare insurance companies, we offer an online, free tool to help you.
GEICO and Progressive: overall car insurance rating
There are multiple factors that go into determining what you'll pay for insurance. Your credit score, your driving record, as well as more details about you as a person. On the flip side, there are questions you should ask before settling on an auto insurance policy. That's why comparing companies can help you. With the market being as vast as it is, you can look around for affordable car insurance rate.
This is also why customer reviews are vital. We asked policyholders from GEICO and Progressive to rate their car insurer's performance on various factors, such as the buying process, price, customer service and more. Scores, based on a five-point scale, were compared to determine if and how service levels varied.
The good news is that both companies earned high marks overall, as shown in Exhibit A. The results for the two companies are close, but there is a clear pattern. GEICO consistently received higher scores than Progressive in all areas, with the most notable differences in the ratings for price and claim service.
Exhibit A: Car Insurance Company Customer Satisfaction Ratings (Scale of 1-5, 1=Poor, 5=Excellent)
Exhibit B: Scores for Company Rating, Since April 2017
According to the 2020 U.S. Auto Insurance Satisfaction Study, Geico outranks Progressive in all of the 11 regions it surveyed (except Texas). Both car insurance companies are also rated by BBB with a score of 1.0 and each with 3000+ complaints. 3000 may seem like a lot, but considering Geico and Progressive are the second and third car insurance companies respectively, that number is small in comparison.
Claims service just might be the most important aspect of any car insurance company, as handling claims really is an insurance company's principal purpose. While we hope we never need to file a claim, we need to have confidence that our insurance company will handle our auto claim properly when we do.
At first glance, the scores for claim service look very similar for GEICO and Progressive. GEICO earned an average score of 4.23 from its policyholders, while Progressive averaged a 4.15 on a five-point scale. While those numbers are similar, GEICO's slight edge stands up upon closer examination.
Comments provided by customers highlight the differences between the two companies. We looked at the reviews where policyholders had filed a claim to see what else policyholders revealed. Common themes were ease, helpfulness and speed.
As shown in the table below, GEICO and Progressive policyholders used descriptive words like "ease", "helpful" or "speed" at about the same rate. However, a higher percentage of GEICO's policyholders discussed how they filed a claim and used the company's website or mobile app. The positive experience with GEICO's website and app appear to have helped give the company an edge.
Exhibit C: Frequency of Topics Provided in Policyholder Reviews
|Focus of Review||Geico||Progressive|
|Claim + Ease||21%||21%|
|Claim + Helpful||15%||16%|
|Claim + Speed||30%||31%|
|Claim + Online Capabilities||12%||9%|
A common question we hear runs along the lines of "Is GEICO cheaper than Progressive" or on the other side, "is Progressive cheaper than GEICO". Both questions are relevant to this overview.
While both companies received their lowest marks from policyholders for price, GEICO again performed better in this area. The company received an average rating of 3.97, compared to Progressive's score of 3.91. While these scores are close, they are statistically significant. Overall, 73 percent of GEICO's policyholders gave the company a favorable rating for price, compared to 69 percent for Progressive.
Interestingly, these scores appear to be less influenced by the initial cost to purchase auto insurance and more by how the price changes over time. Progressive had a slightly higher percentage of reviews that focused on rate increases when compared to GEICO.
Both Geico and progressive offer the standard auto insurance policy, which includes the following:
- Medical Payments
- Personal Injury Protection
- Uninsured Motorist
They also offer other coverage options, such as:
- Rental car reimbursement coverage
- Rideshare Insurance
- Usage-based Insurance
But Progressive insurance offers coverage options that GEICO doesn't cover:
Gap insurance — covers what you owe on your car in case your vehicle is totaled or stolen. Custom parts and equipment insurance — repairs or replaces items added to your vehicle. Disappearing deductible — if you're accident-free, you can get a lower deductible
Similarly, GEICO also has coverage options that Progressive doesn't, namely:
Mechanical Breakdown Insurance — a policy that specifically covers cars that are less than 15 months old or has less than 15,000 miles.
In order to measure loyalty, we asked policyholders if they plan to renew with their current company and if they would recommend their car insurance company to friends or family. Here too, GEICO gained a slight edge. The percentage of policyholders reporting they plan to stay with their company is close - 79 percent for GEICO and 78 percent for Progressive - but policyholders were more likely to spread the good word about GEICO, with 57 percent reporting a high willingness to recommend the company versus 53 percent for Progressive.
Exhibit D: Policyholder Loyalty
The ads touting GEICO and Progressive are cute and effective. People recognize the company mascots - and, more importantly, remember the company names. But you shouldn't base your insurance choices on advice from Flo or a talking Gecko alone. At Clearsurance, we believe it's important to consider the experience of other policyholders. By listening to current and former customers, you can look beyond the marketing spin and consider actual customer experience to get a true measure of how a company performs.
And based on what Clearsurance users have to say, GEICO and Progressive are comparable in several areas, and both earned strong overall ratings. In the end, though, the Clearsurance community gave GEICO a slight edge over Progressive.
When comparing insurance companies just like this GEICO vs. Progressive comparison, don't forget to ask them about your potential discount opportunities on your auto policy. Those can vary depending on what sort of driver you are. Safe drivers can sometimes gain the advantage with discounts. There is also our comparison tool, which will help you to compare auto insurance coverage quotes from dozens of auto insurance companies.
The content on this site is offered only as a public service to the web community and does not constitute solicitation or provision of legal advice. This site should not be used as a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an insurance company or an attorney licensed or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. You should always consult a suitably qualified attorney regarding any specific legal problem or matter. The comments and opinions expressed on this site are of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the insurance company or any individual attorney.