Progressive motorcycle insurance review
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- Insures 1 in 3 motorcycle riders in the United States
- Very broad range of motorcycle insurance coverage options available
- Prices generally higher than peers, customer satisfaction not outstanding
Though they don’t explain what metric they are basing it on, Progressive’s website makes the very clear claim that Progressive is the #1 motorcycle insurer in the country. They back it up by stating that 1 in 3 insured motorcycle riders choose Progressive. Even if we want to quibble over precisely how #1 is defined, the 1 in 3 statistic is definitely impressive, and it doesn’t leave a lot of room in the market for someone else to be bigger.
So how does Progressive command that kind of market share? Certainly marketing and name recognition is part of the story, because the company has virtually saturated the media with their advertising campaigns for their car insurance in recent years. The cornerstone of these campaigns is their humorous recurring characters and the company’s offer to provide quotes from competitors along with Progressive’s own quote. Progressive has grown to become the 3rd largest car insurer in terms of policies written, and it even airs television commercials specific to its motorcycle insurance line.
Progressive plays a bit fast and loose with its frequent claim that you can get motorcycle insurance for $75 a year. While this is not strictly untrue, it really only covers a bare minimum, basic liability policy. And this price is not available in all states. The reality is that you wouldn’t want to be riding around with only bare-bones liability coverage; a motorcyclist without medical coverage, to say nothing of a higher level of liability coverage, is just a recipe for disaster.
Still, it’s clear that Progressive is getting the word out. What else is contained in that word? The company offers a very broad and flexible range of coverages, putting it in a strong position relative to competitors (though Farmers does offer even more options.) For one thing, Progressive is available in all 50 states, which is not the case for many motorcycle insurers. Progressive will also cover any legal street bike or ATV, meaning they don’t turn anyone away. If your specific type of bike isn’t expressly listed on Progressive’s coverage list, the company says that it will work with you to find a way to provide coverage.
- Covers effectively all types of motorcycles, including vintage and custom
- Available in all 50 states
- Very broad range of coverage options
- Long list of discounts available
- Above average prices
- Customer service not highly rated, with more complaints than the industry average
Progressive’s coverage can be broken into three parts: (1) coverages that are automatically included; (2) standard coverages; and (3) extra coverages. We’ll give a brief overview of each.
Coverages that are automatically included
These coverages come standard with all Progressive motorcycle policies:
- Full replacement cost and no depreciation for parts – If your three-year-old handlebar is damaged in a covered loss, Progressive reimburses you the full $250 for a brand-new handlebar, not the $100 depreciated value of the existing handlebar that was damaged.
- Accessories and custom parts/equipment (CPE) - $3,000 of coverage is automatically included with comprehensive and collision to pay for upgrades, customizations, equipment, and accessories. If it's not enough, you can purchase up to $30,000 in coverage.
- OEM parts - If you choose comprehensive and collision coverage, Progressive always covers you with the same or better parts. So your OEM parts will be replaced with OEM parts, and custom parts will be replaced with custom. Or better.
These are the basic protections that are strongly recommended:
- Bodily injury and property damage liability (BI/PD) – Pays for damages incurred by other vehicles and injuries to others if you're liable in an accident.
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) - Uninsured motorist coverage helps you pay for damages caused by a driver who doesn't have insurance or has an insufficient level of insurance. Progressive suggests customers take on more than the state minimum level of this coverage, which 74% of its drivers do.
- Comprehensive and collision – Comprehensive pays for repair or replacement of your motorcycle if it's stolen, vandalized, or damaged in a fire or collision. Collision coverage pays to repair or replace your bike if it’s damaged in an accident.
- Medical payments - Covers your and your passengers' medical bills if you're in an accident, regardless of who’s at fault.
These coverages are optional, but they are popular with Progressive customers:
- Total loss coverage for a new motorcycle - Available for bikes no more than one model year old for new policies, and two model years old if renewing. If your bike is totaled, Progressive pays out the full manufacturer's suggested retail price for a brand new bike, minus the deductible on your policy.
- Roadside assistance and trip interruption - Your disabled bike (in the US or Canada), will be towed to the nearest repair shop for free.
- Carried Contents® - Covers personal belongings carried on your bike if they're damaged, stolen, or lost, including items like phones, camping gear, and hunting supplies.
- Enhanced injury protection – Motorcycle accidents come with increased risk of injury, and enhanced injury protection pays up to $250 a week for two years if you’re injured and can’t work. If you're in a fatal accident, the death benefits will pay your beneficiaries $25,000.
- Disappearing deductibles – With this optional coverage, every time you make it through a policy period claim-free, your deductible will be reduced by 25%, all the way down to zero.
Pricing and discounts
The price you pay is the price that matters. So if you’re not mathematically inclined, it’s possible to be wowed by some great discounts. But if the bottom-line price you pay is still higher than another company, all the discounts in the world are irrelevant, because you’re still paying more. So don’t let all of Progressive’s (or any company’s) bells and whistles distract you from your main objective, which is always to compare price, as well as other aspects of each company’s service.
Progressive’s motorcycle insurance pricing is generally higher than average among its peers. Of course, pricing varies widely depending on the specifics of your situation. The only way to know what pricing would be for you is to get a quote via Progressive Direct (online or over the phone), or from one of the company’s independent agents.
Note that the website clearly states that the price you are quoted could be different depending which of these channels you use. So it pays to get quotes from all of them. And don’t automatically assume that Progressive Direct will be cheaper, because we have found this is not always the case.
The company does offer an extensive list of discounts to help keep premiums somewhat under control. Some of the ways you can qualify for a discount include:
- Small accident forgiveness – From the start of your policy if you have a claim of $500 or less, your rate will not increase.
- Large accident forgiveness – If you’ve been a Progressive customer for at least four years and accident-free for the past three years, your rate won’t increase as a result of any motorcycle accident.
- Homeowner discount – You get a discount just for being a homeowner, even if your property insurance is not through Progressive.
- Claims-Free Renewal – If you make it through a policy period with no claims, your next period will be discounted. Your rates may still increase, but the rate will be lower than it would have been if you didn’t have a claims-free period.
- LoJack® – If you purchase comprehensive coverage, which covers theft, and you have the LoJack® theft recovery service, your rate will be less.
- Paid In Full – The more often an insurance company has to bill you, the more it costs, so when you pay an entire policy period in full from the start, Progressive shares some of those savings with you.
- Automatic payment discount
- Responsible Driver – You receive a discount for having a clean driving record.
- Experienced Rider – The longer you have been riding safely, the more of a discount you get.
- Discount for having a valid motorcycle license or endorsement
- Getting a quote in advance of your policy’s start date
- Completing a motorcycle safety course
Customer satisfaction – not outstanding
It is challenging to make a blanket statement about how an insurer handles claims, and whether customers are satisfied. Many of the reviews that appear online for Progressive’s service show a general lack of satisfaction from customers, and in some cases downright anger and outrage.
This same statement can be made for many insurers, so it must be put into context. When it comes to insurance claims, it is more likely that dissatisfied customers will write reviews. And no one wants to have to make a claim in the first place, meaning that almost by default the process starts from a less than desirable place.
It’s understandable that if the insurer is not 100% accommodating in covering or processing the claim, the customer who has been paying premiums with the intent of having all such problems smoothly and promptly taken care of is likely to be angry. In some cases the anger is completely justified, and in others it may not be. The point is, it’s critical that we all take these reviews with a grain of salt.
Generally speaking, Progressive seems to have a somewhat greater percentage of unhappy customers than many other large car and motorcycle insurers, and we do not rate it very highly in terms of claims service. You can find reviews of Progressive on TrustPilot.
One of the most important things to look for when choosing an insurance company is how it rates in terms of financial strength, which is a good way to measure whether it will be able to maintain solvency and pay out claims. This strength is particularly important in times of financial difficulty, whether in the economy as a whole, or in association with financial challenges specific to the company.
Progressive ranks highly in terms of its ability to maintain solvency and pay out claims. Its Financial Strength Ratio (FSR) from rating agency A.M. Best is “Superior: A+”, which is the highest rating possible and is due to Progressive's superior financial condition and operational performance. The company has a AA rating from S&P Global Ratings, which is one of the highest possible scores, the only higher being AA+ and AAA.