- Average savings of $231 per year
- Sign-up discount
- Real-time driving feedback
- Rate increases for risky driving
- Only available for new customers
- Not available in California
Bottom LineProgressive Snapshot is a usage-based insurance program that monitors your driving habits and adjusts your premiums accordingly. It’s worth exploring if you’re an occasional driver who avoids distractions and practices easy breaking and slow acceleration. But if you drive a lot and tend to brake hard and accelerate quickly, Snapshot may not be a good fit.
Progressive Snapshot is a car insurance program that rewards safe driving behaviors with policy discounts. It uses a plug-in device or smartphone app to get a sense of your driving behavior and may potentially lead to lower car insurance rates. But if you demonstrate high-risk driving behaviors while using Snapshot, your premiums will likely increase.
Our latest guide breaks down everything you need to know about Progressive Snapshot, including how it works, what real customers are saying, and how much you can save on your monthly bill. Keep reading to learn more.
What Is Progressive Snapshot?
Created in 2008, Snapshot is a usage-based car insurance program that uses telematics to track how you behave on the road. Depending on how you drive, you could get a significant discount on your monthly bill. But if you drive aggressively — speeding, hard braking, or sharp cornering — you could face higher premiums with Progressive Snapshot.
There are many similar programs offered by other car insurance companies, such as Allstate’s Drivewise, GEICO’s DriveEasy, State Farm’s Drive Safe & Save, Nationwide’s SmartRide, Liberty Mutual’s RightTrack, and Travelers’ IntelliDrive.
How Does Progressive Snapshot Work?
When you buy a car insurance policy from Progressive, your rates are based on factors like your age, ZIP code, driving record, and vehicle type. But if you sign up for Snapshot within 45 days of purchasing your policy, you might be able to lock in a unique auto insurance discount when your policy renews (plus an average discount of $94 just for signing up, according to Progressive’s website).
As you advance through the Progressive Snapshot program, you’ll receive emails that show your progress. If you practice responsible driving habits, your rates may go down (Progressive advertises average savings of $231 per year) — but you could see rate increases if you participate in any risky driving behaviors.
What does Snapshot track?
Progressive Snapshot keeps tabs on your driving performance and focuses on the following driving behaviors:
- Braking and acceleration: Snapshot monitors your speed to determine if you’ve braked or accelerated too quickly. It will reward you for easy acceleration and smooth braking.
- Time of day: Progressive considers midnight to 4 a.m. the most dangerous time for driving. You’ll be more likely to land the discount if you avoid driving late at night and choose safer times of the day.
- Mileage: Less driving reduces your risk for an accident. That’s why Progressive tracks mileage and gives bonus points to low-mileage drivers.
- Mobile phone use: Depending on your state, Progressive may look at how often you use your phone while on the road. The less you use your phone while behind the wheel, the fewer points you’ll lose.
How does Snapshot know who’s driving?
When you sign up for Snapshot, you’ll be required to download the mobile app on your phone. Depending on the state in which you reside, you may choose which vehicle you drive most often. Once you do, your phone will be associated with that vehicle. Progressive may also average the data from all of the smartphones associated with your policy.
If you and another driver in your household are in the car together, Progressive’s mobile app should be able to figure out who’s driving and only use data from that person’s smartphone. Either way, you can correct your trip information in the app if there’s an issue with the way the app tracks it.
Should you use the app or plug-in device?
If you participate in Snapshot, Progressive will let you choose between the mobile app or its proprietary plug-in Snapshot device. If you go with the app, you’ll need to sign up every driver listed in your policy. This is because the app won’t be able to determine which vehicle you’re driving.
If you opt for the Progressive Snapshot device instead of the mobile app, you won’t have to enroll all of the drivers in your policy since the device will stay with your vehicle.
The Progressive Snapshot app earns 4.4 stars out of 5 in the Apple App Store and 3.6 stars out of 5 in the Google Play Store. As shown by the reviews below, many users are pleased with its ease of use and tracking capabilities.
But several reviewers complained about battery drainage and the app occasionally tracking trips incorrectly.
How Much Can You Save With Progressive Snapshot?
In most cases, safe drivers save money with Progressive Snapshot. Progressive advertises that the average customer scores a sign-up discount of $94 and an additional $231 once they complete the program.
But keep in mind that the initial discount is only offered to new Progressive customers, and it’s not available in New York or Hawaii. It expires once your policy renews and is replaced with your new rate, which hopefully includes your performance discount.
How to maximize your Snapshot discount
Here are a few tips that can help you save as much as possible on your insurance coverage with Progressive Snapshot.
- Limit late-night driving: If possible, don’t drive between midnight and 4:00 a.m., since Progressive can penalize you for driving during hours it considers dangerous.
- Drive less: Carpool, use public transit, or walk to work, errands, and social activities to lower your mileage and save more.
- Avoid hard braking and acceleration: Don’t slam on the brake pedal, and gently press the gas when rolling away from traffic lights or stop signs.
- Stay off your phone: Save texting and making calls for when you’re safely parked or at your final destination.
Can your rates go up with Snapshot?
Yes. Your rates may increase if you use Snapshot. In fact, Progressive states that approximately 20% of drivers face higher premiums as a result of poor driving behaviors.
If you frequently drive at night, accelerate rapidly, or brake abruptly, you’ll likely pay more for your car insurance coverage because of Snapshot.
Is Snapshot Worth It? What Real Customers Are Saying
Overall, Snapshot’s customer reviews are mixed. Some Snapshot users are happy with the program and believe it’s easy to participate and earn a discount. Many users also loved the feedback they received from the app to help make them safer drivers.
Others — like the one in the review below — are dissatisfied and note rate increases despite safe driving behaviors, or the program interpreting some safe behaviors as being dangerous — such as stopping abruptly because of a deer or a pedestrian crossing the street.
Another common complaint is confusing and sometimes contradictory numbers when it comes to total discounts.
And, ultimately, a lot of Snapshot customers aren’t happy with the fact that your rates can increase if you use Snapshot. There seems to be a lot of confusion specifically around phone usage and how hands-free devices affect your grade.
If you’re already considering switching to Progressive and consider yourself a safe driver or don’t drive often, Snapshot might be worth trying out (at least for your first policy term).
But if you’re concerned with battery usage or live in an area where you might have to brake or swerve often to avoid people or obstacles in the road, for example, it may not be worth the risk.
How to Sign Up for Progressive Snapshot
If you’re interested in the Snapshot program, here’s how to enroll:
1. Get an auto insurance quote from Progressive
Progressive Snapshot is only for new customers, so you’ll need to get a car insurance quote from Progressive first.
2. Opt in to Snapshot
You can opt in to Snapshot when you accept your quote. Another option is to sign up within 45 days after you buy a policy. All you have to do is call Progressive at 1 (877) 329-7283 and tell them you’re a current Progressive policyholder and want to give Snapshot a try.
3. Download the mobile app or plug in your device
Next, download the Snapshot app — compatible on iOS and Android devices — or wait for Progressive to send you the device and plug it in your car’s OBD2 port (typically found under the steering wheel).
4. Drive safely
Once Snapshot starts tracking your driving, be sure to practice safe driving habits as much as you can. Try to do most of your driving during the day, stay off your phone, and avoid hard braking and fast acceleration.
5. Monitor your progress
You’ll receive ongoing email updates that’ll show you how you’re doing. You can also log into your policy online or use the app to check your progress and view your current grade.
6. Collect your discount
As long as Progressive has collected enough driving data, you’ll receive your Snapshot results and the associated discount when you renew your policy — typically after six months. Just be aware that your rate isn’t set in stone and may eventually change if Progressive modifies the program.
Progressive Snapshot FAQs
Here are answers to a few of the most commonly asked questions about Progressive Snapshot.
Is Progressive Snapshot worth it?
That’s up to you. If you’re a responsible driver or someone who doesn’t drive often, Snapshot might be worth it. But if you tend to practice riskier driving behaviors and don’t want to risk higher rates, you might want to explore other options.
What data does Progressive Snapshot collect?
Progressive Snapshot tracks the time of day you usually drive, how often you drive, how hard you brake, and how you accelerate. All of the data is tracked through the Progressive Snapshot mobile app or plug-in device.
Does Progressive Snapshot actually lower your bill?
It depends. Snapshot saves the average driver $231 per year, according to Progressive’s website, but it can also increase your rates if you drive late at night or practice high-risk driving.
Data scientists at Compare.com analyzed more than 50 million real-time auto insurance rates from more than 75 partner insurance providers in order to compile the quotes and statistics seen in this article. Compare.com’s auto insurance data includes coverage analysis and details on drivers’ vehicles, driving records, insurance histories, and demographic information. All the quotes listed in this article have been gathered from a combination of real Compare.com quotes and external insurance rate data gathered in collaboration with Quadrant Information Services. Compare.com uses these observations to provide drivers with insight into how auto insurance companies determine their premiums.