Shuman Roy is an entrepreneur, business owner, and musician. He started RoysNoys, LLC in 2013 as a music production and education service company. He also offers small business consulting and advisory services to help businesses get from start-up mode to turn-key operations. Shuman earned his M.B.A from the Stern School of Business in 2001 and has an undergraduate degree from Manhattan College in ...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Joel...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Jul 19, 2021

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auto insurance

You must be living under a rock if you haven’t heard of Progressive Insurance.

Progressive started way back in 1937 and has been growing ever since. As the name infers, they pride themselves on being technologically savvy and being pioneers in insurance.

In fact, Progressive was the first insurance company to start a website back in 1995. So what makes Progressive Insurance unique?

How Progressive Sells Insurance

Progressive Insurance is relatively unique in the way they distribute their (and other company’s) insurance products. They sell insurance both direct to the public through Progressive Direct and via independent insurance agents.

Basically, if you contact Progressive directly via their website or by phone, you are purchasing their product through their “Direct” channel.

This means there is no insurance agent involved…if you need to talk to someone about your policy, you will have to dial an “800” number and speak with whoever happens to pick up the phone.

You can also purchase insurance from Progressive if you visit an independent insurance agent. If you take this route, you will at least have a single point of contact for your insurance needs.

Progressive offers both choices in almost every state, and pricing and product availability may differ depending on how you purchase insurance from them.

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What Types of Insurance Does Progressive Sell?

There are a couple of ways to answer this question. Technically, you can purchase auto, motorcycle, RV, boat, condo, homeowners, renters, commercial auto and umbrella insurance through Progressive.

However, the products they “offer” can be somewhat misleading. While you can purchase any of the types of insurance listed above via Progressive, they may not be your actual insurance company.

Similar to Geico Home Insurance, Progressive does not actually “write” much insurance beyond auto, commercial auto and motorcycle insurance. What do we mean by that?

Well, Progressive “acts” like an insurance agent when selling home, condo, renters and umbrella insurance. Specifically, they may “sell” you one of those policies, but you are actually purchasing insurance from another company.

Why do they do this? Basically the other companies are piggy-backing on Progressive’s well-known name and huge market presence.

Progressive makes a commission for selling these products (since they already have you on the phone), while not having to share in any of the potential losses paid out in insurance claims (how insurance companies make money).

They are good at auto, motorcycle and commercial auto…by “good” we mean super-profitable.

It is easier for them to sell someone else’s product (who is good and profitable) rather than spending the money to develop their own programs and take the risk of losing money while they try to get it right.

Why Choose Progressive Insurance?

Again, when it comes to the products they actually write (versus sell for a different insurer) Progressive is a great insurance company.

They are known to independent agents as a company who will “write anybody,” meaning they don’t turn many people for insurance, no matter what type of vehicle they drive or how spotty their driving record.

Progressive also offers industry leading discounts (good student, good driver) for their insurance products.

In fact, they lead the way in outside-the-box discounts. They even have a discount associated with accepting a “paperless” policy, which means all of your billing and policy documents are delivered via e-mail.

That cuts down on their expenses for paper and postage.

Additionally, Progressive also has concierge claims service, which is designed to make filing and setting claims as easy as possible for their insured.

Finally, they offer the name your price program and allow you to get quotes from their competitors online.

You may have also heard them tout the fact that they are the leading truck insurance company in the United States…not too shabby!

But as always, be sure to shop around for insurance quotes to ensure you get the best deal!

Learn more: Progressive bundling and Progressive Snapshot.