Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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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. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: Jul 23, 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. Progressive was one of the first to offer cheap car insurance through a usage-based insurance program called Snapshot. Progressive promises discounts of up to 30 percent with the program.

Is Progressive Snapshot worth it? Can Progressive Snapshot increase my rates? How does Snapshot by Progressive work? You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers. This Progressive Snapshot review will cover how it works, the Progressive Snapshot app, and what sort of discount the program provides.

Enter your ZIP code above to compare car insurance quotes and then read on for everything you need to know about Progressive Snapshot.

Table of Contents

About Progressive 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. You may also choose to use the Progressive Snapshot app, which runs on your phone. This requires a Progressive Snapshot login.

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.

Progressive also offers the Road Test program, which allows anyone to give the program a try.

You don’t need to be a Progressive car insurance customer to use Road Test. It will run for 30 days and tell you how much you could save if you switched.

How long does Progressive Snapshot stay in your car if you are a customer? Progressive will record data for six months to determine your discount.

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Possible Savings of Snapshot

The possible savings for people who use this device to monitor their driving is up to 30 percent off your current policy total. Progressive Snapshot grades each driver’s performance over the test period.

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 car insurance rate.

You will even get a discount just for trying the program.

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.

According to the Progressive Snapshot rules, your rate could also go up. If you turn out to be a terrible driver, it is possible that Progressive could 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.

That said, there is a risk of increased rates with Snapshot. In addition, if you switch car insurance 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.

Some people do try to find Progressive Snapshot hacks to get a better discount. It’s pretty hard to trick the program, in spite of the efforts of the Progressive Snapshot Reddit users who have continually tried to do so.

So, if your goal is to figure out how to get an A on Progressive Snapshot, the best approach is to drive very carefully.

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

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Progressive Snapshot: 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 and your rates go up instead.

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!