Snapshot Discount with Progressive

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Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Mar 3, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Progressive is known for providing innovative driving programs
  • Snapshot is a program devised by Progressive that may result in an insurance discount
  • Snapshot may provide drivers with a discount but only if they have good driving habits

Progressive is the company that introduced pay-as-you-go driving, as well as name-your-price insurance packages.

Now the company has come up with something else they consider to be innovative, something called Snapshot.

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About Snapshot


Basically, Progressive sends you a device that you plug in below your steering column, and this device which looks like a larger version of a thumb drive records a few of your driving habits.

Before you worry about the idea of someone watching where you drive, you should know that this is not a GPS device. This device does not look at where you are going or where you have been.

The device is designed to record the things that affect your driving risks such as:

  • How hard you brake
  • How many miles you drive
  • The time of the day you drive

This device does not record your speed or location while driving or compare your driving to the traffic laws in your area.

If you fall into the category of a safer driver, you will receive a discount on your auto insurance.

Only current policyholders with Progressive can use the Snapshot program.

The company does not allow you to use it to determine the possibility of a lower rate if you switch to their company.

Possible Savings of Snapshot

Savings written on a graph with a calculator beside it.

The possible savings for people who use this device to monitor their driving is up to 30 percent off your current policy total.

This discount does not apply to your policy until it is time to renew your policy with Progressive, and Progressive wants you to use the device for at least 30 days before a discount is calculated.

The benefit to this program is that, if you are a great driver but you seem to have hit a stalemate on getting discounts on your auto insurance, you may have the opportunity to actually get a lower rate.

If you turn out to be a terrible driver, Progressive does not increase your rates and will not increase your rates when it comes time to renew your policy with the company.

According to the company, it is not their intention to punish drivers who have a poor driving record.

However, in Rhode Island, the information from Snapshot is used to increase the rates of drivers who prove to be high risk in their driving habits.

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Possible Downsides of Snapshot

A major downside to using this device is if you turn out to be someone who the company considers to be an unsafe driver. As mentioned above, the company isn’t going to increase your rates when you renew your policy.

However, if you want to add another car to your policy, that’s a different scenario altogether.

In addition, if you switch from Progressive and then decide to come back to the company, the data it collected while you were using Snapshot is used to determine your rates.

Perhaps you were getting great rates before, but if your Snapshot shows you to be a high-risk driver, your new rates are going to reflect that.

Another possible downside is simple technology failure.

Many people who use Snapshot claim that it recorded hard braking during times they weren’t driving. Someone else plugged in the device and their vehicle stopped working.

It turned out that the device triggered a failure in their computer.

Some people complained that they didn’t receive the discount offered in their Snapshot, although they may not have realized that the discount does not apply until after they renewed their policy.

Availability of Snapshot


Because Snapshot is available in so many states, it would be much easier to list the states in which Snapshot is not available.

These states include:

  • Washington
  • California
  • Alaska
  • North Dakota
  • New Mexico
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • West Virginia
  • Tennessee
  • North Carolina

The Bottom Line

Snapshot could be a good or bad thing depending on your driving habits.

For many, the idea of a company monitoring your driving is a revolting one, even in this small degree. The good news is that it isn’t mandatory, although some experts speculate that it will be one day.

If you are a great driver, this could equate to a deeper discount for you. The worst case scenario is that you don’t get the discount you are looking for.

You can find car insurance companies that offer you great discounts by comparing car insurance rates. All you have to do is enter your ZIP code below!

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