Is the Progressive Snapshot service all bullsh*t?

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Progressive claims to offer discounts to drivers based on driving habits but according to several customers who have used the Snapshot service, Progressive insurance appears to be concerned with gathering precise data based on your driving habits and distance. This data could be used to adjust your monthly payments and premiums to a lower or higher cost.  Think of it this way, your current policy is based on an unmeasured evaluation or guesstimate provided by you to Progressive.

One would argue that the Snapshot device is an attempt at progressive to obtain more accurate data from you, the customer. Its all about driver data and several  Youtube members claim they have also been charged a $30.00 “technology expense” during each policy term they have participated in the Snapshot service. The additional charges have resulted in a 6% increase in their rate due to their enrollment in the Snapshot program. Since your driving didn’t qualify you for a discount, end your participation in Snapshot and the $30 fee goes away.

Check out this YouTube video uploaded by a former Snapshot customer.

Has your policy fees increased since using Progressive Snapshot ?

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  • Susan

    I have 2 cars. I used snapshot for 30 days and got a 30% discount on one car. Returned it in 6 months as they requested. Ordered another for my other car. Used it for 30 days an got a 30% discount on that car as well. I pay quite a bit for insurance, mainly as I have a young driver on my policy (but less than through other companies), but with snapshot, I am saving $500 a year. How could I possible complain?

  • WEB3

    Good article. I recently also wrote a review of Snapshot on my blog. I think the fact that if you are not completely satisfied, you may return the Snapshot device, with no further car insurance purchase obligation is huge. I would say try it out you really don’t have anything to lose.

  • lisa


    I’m working for a start up company that is building an application for iphone users. It’s a lot like snapshot but we’re trying to learn more about our competitor and and how can be more effective for our users. If anyone is willing to share their experience and possible their snapshot report that would be really helpful. You’ll be helping with the building of a great application that can be beneficial for can insurance users.

  • James Shaffer

    I tried it for a bit, but it kept draining my battery. I had the Snapshot device in when the battery was drained. I called the Progressive customer service rep and he recommended I remove the device and see if I still had a discharge. I waited until the next day before starting the car again and it started with no problem. Then I reinstalled the device and waited until the next day to start it and the battery was drained again. Safe to say, I stopped using it and will not touch the thing againn

  • Danyale

    I installed snapshot and removed it within three days. The device caused my car to loose power and started defaulting my electrical system. It would not allow my car alarm to set and my panel was always red although the car was turned off. This device sucks!!!!!!

  • Danyale

    I installed snapshot and removed it within three days. The device interfered with my electrical system. I could not set my car alarm and my panel was always red although the car was turned off. This is not good for your car, it sucks!!!!!!!!

  • Dennis

    I’m a data junky. When I added a new young driver to my policy, this seemed like a great idea. Interestingly, my brand new Camry is WAY more sensitive than a 2000 expedition. My son and I switched vehicles, and we saw the same thing. Progressive doesn’t seem to adjust their stats based on the vehicle. The Camry is simply WAY more sensitive to “Hard Brakes” What out for the definition: 7 miles and hours per second.

  • Bigger Picture

    Could there be a bigger picture that we are missing out – when it comes to the collection of data (any type), there is usually something else the company is or will use it for. So if you can get a discount with it what makes you think they can’t up your rates? And, could it be a little “black box” like the those on airplanes? Since Progressive is owned by George Soros, I would reconsider before getting one. Actually, Progressive went up on my insurance at two renewal periods – but when I went to the website, I was quoted a lower rate. So I switched to Geico and they actually went down in two renewal periods and have amazing customer and claim service. Just know where you put your money before putting it with a company – that is any company.

  • Susan

    I have used Snapshot for one month. I find it totally ridiculous. It beeps no matter what I do, even when I turn in my driveway. After one month Progressive said I did not rate a decrease in my payment. I am thoroughly disgusted.

  • Vhyrus

    I had a ridiculous experience with snapshot as well. I added one to my secondary car that almost never gets driven. The first one that was sent to me did not work. I called them up and a second one was sent. When I got the second one it appeared not to work either. I called up slightly frustrated and the woman was very unhelpful and dismissive and without any troubleshooting told me its probably my car, and then sent out a third device. After I got off the phone with her, I tried the second device again and found out it worked after all, so I kept it and when the third one came in I simply repackaged it and sent it back. I recently got an email saying I had to return my snapshot or pay $50. When I called them asking what was up, the guy told me that the second device was un enrolled when the third was mailed out. He then told me he would have to send a FOURTH snapshot. Furthermore I would have to log in online and re signup for the program. I told him to forget the whole thing and just send me a box. I was skeptical of the program to begin with but they certainly didn’t make things easier. I may switch companies when my cycle is up.

  • john

    DON’T USE IT IN THE SNOW! If you’re trying to get out of a snowbank and your wheels are turning, you’ll rack up a HUGE number of hard breaks- I just got nine ‘hard breaks’ at once while my car was stationary, stuck in the snow.

  • Steve H.

    I applied for Snapshot, plugged the device into my dash and I didn’t touch it until Progressive emailed me asking that I return the gizmo (about six and a half months later)….
    Bottom line: I’m saving about $40 per month over what I was paying before I tried Snapshot… Also, my policy has renewed since I returned the device and my discount remained, WITH NO premium increase whatsoever…
    I live in a relatively congested metro area (downtown Orlando), but have always been a conservative driver…. I DID NOT make an effort to “change” my driving habits at all…. in fact, the only time I remembered the gizmo was active was the 5 or 6 times it beeped over the 6.5 months I had it plugged in…
    I cannot help but think those who are dissatisfied are not giving us the complete story (no disrespect intended, but based on my personal experience with the program, that’s what I’m led to think)

  • Carlos

    I am another customer who has been TRICK by this device and by Progressive.
    When I talk to customer service to see if it was not right calibrated because the device keep beeping when you drive in snow, ice or pushing the brakes slightly hard, customer service told me, the only think they want to know is, when you drive your car from 1 AM to 4 AM… Not my case so I thought to give it a try to get the 25 % Off they promise.
    I try this in my Vue, I drive less 0.8 miles to work and 10 miles when I drive around; and some days I don’t even drive it.
    Today after dealing with this beeping c$#%$ every time I touch my brakes or drive in snow, Progressive send me an email telling me after my 6 months trial, I won’t get a discount because my driving habits. This people are full of you know what.
    Pretty much if you drive your car you won’t get a discount or you will get your insurance go UP like a friend of mine.
    This is a total FRAUD by Progressive. Don’t put this beeping devise in your car if you don’t want to be aggravated every time you approach a stop light, driving in snow, ice or driving in rush hour traffic.

    I hope this help some one to do not make the mistake I made.

  • Derek @

    I did a review of the snapshot service over at my website.

    I have saved 30% on my car insurance and my wife saved 7% on hers. Definitely not a rip-off and not some type of scam. I am not sure why everyone is so scared of these types of devices…

  • Austin Grandma

    I learned about Progressive Insurance’s “Snapshot” trial through an advertisement on my iPhone. At 62, I don’t drive much. I drive in the daytime, at moderate speeds. I filled in the application and requested the free trial. The application did not ask if I was a Progressive customer.

    I installed the device. I soon was being heaped with praise by them: “What are you? A robot?” (because I drove so smoothly, no fast starts, no slamming on brakes). I got badges and stars–the whole shebang. They loved me. I was all lined up for a 30% discount.

    Then a question put me on the phone to Progressive. I explained that I was already a Progressive customer. The silence was deafening. The young lady told me that I couldn’t use the device they sent, they’d have to send me a different one and I’d have to start the trial over. “Why?” you might ask. I certainly did, but I got no sensible explanation.

    So … they sent me a new device. Now, I’m still 62, still drive the same roads to work, still don’t drive at night. My driving style has not changed at all. But the device in my car certainly behaves differently from the one I had before. My colleague, who occasionally rides to work with me, has laughed in amazement when the device beep-beep-beeped at me, for really nothing. I’ve had it beep when I began making a right turn from a dead stop. I certainly wasn’t accelerating rapidly. It has beeped when the road had potholes. In other words, this device is FAR more sensitive than the one they declared I couldn’t use since I was already a Progressive customer.

    My trial is over, and the discount I get is 15%. Apparently my driving skills shrunk by 50% in a few short weeks. I firmly believe they issue devices with “lenient settings” to non-customers, to “rope them in,” and “highly sensitive settings” once you are on board, so you don’t get much discount at all. I think it’s a scam.

  • Shawn Harrington

    When are you people going to learn? Insurance companies only do something like this to increase THEIR profits. They don’t care about YOUR profits.

  • Duhbrat

    In short: Flo is the DEVIL!

    Just kidding. Here is my experience in a nutshell. I tried the Snapshot discount program, quoted at a 30 % discount. When policy was written only received 22%. Took and act of congress and a threat to go to the insurance commissioner to get the rate I was promised.

    I am a safe driver, clean driving record and only drive 5000 miles per year due to working at home.

    Fast forward to ongoing snapshot. Rate dropped to 22% due to allowing my son to drive my car first Month. 16 hard stops over a period of three days. I expected the hit. The kicker is that this percentage never increased over the remaining 4.75 months. With no hard stops, no high risk driving times and no excessive mileage. It is not uncommon for my car not to be driven for more than a week.

    Fast forward to renewal. With all considerations above, and the 22% discount! my rate increased by more than 50%. Yes I said 50! From 50.00 a month to 74.00.

    Contacting progressive resulted I’m the same BS ‘reevaluated rates in your state.’ I read that this was common practice with this company and was warned by my State Farm agent when I made the switch. Of course thinking it was all sour grapes I was stupid enough to participate and got screwed over like the majority.

    I did contact our insurance commissioner and I just happen to live in a state where insurance companies can do what they will. Here’s the kicker, when I told the representative, who the company was, she said she was not surprised and that this is common practice for them.

    That being said I guess my next stop will be the consumer protection agency as the lure of the snapshot discount sounds like the old bait and switch.

    This may be an old thread but people… Be WARNED. I was too stupid to read the writing on the wall. Especially when they tried to screw me out of the original discount that had already been quoted.

  • jujubee6

    Steve – get real and stop being so self righteous. You must have had a faulty device. Either that or you work for Progressive. I have an impeccable driving record and drove without the radio to better understand how it could help me improve my driving. Moving up a car at a time for a right-hand turn – it beeped. Stopped at a stop sign, inch forward to see around bushes to turn left – it beeped. Sometimes it beeped twice. Once it beeped THREE times. I have a standard and I downshift as a rule and since I live in a small town, I often coast up to the stop sign. I challenge your “5 or 6 times it beeped over the 6.5 months” you had it plugged in. Have you even read the hundreds of reviews from pissed off people who obviously drive decently? Now my insurance went up. I wish I’d been smart enough to research it BEFORE I took it on.

  • jujubee6

    You are so right. I disliked the theory behind it but was seduced by a possible discount. I had no idea it was owned by Soros. I hate Google and I’d never get a Google Chrome. And yes, after 6 months with a device that beeped no matter what I did – even when I stopped while creeping forward in stop and go traffic, my insurance has gone up.

  • jujubee6

    obviously you haven’t read other people’s reports

  • Slowbreak

    First, let me just say this about Progressive, I had mortgage insurance with them for about 5 years and made no claims. Several years ago for who knows by what provocation they raised my premium (if I remember right, could have been 10, 15% less but you’ll get the idea here) 80%. I immediately voted with my feet and had new a new carrier the same day, and saved $150 with Farmer’s Insurance from what my plans was with Progressive before the increase.

    About driving. I’m 64, retired, I’ve had the snapshot going for about 45 days with no discount offered after 30 days. I’ve had no risky driving hours reported. I’m averaging about 18 miles driven with about 12 minutes actual drive time a day. In 45 days I’ve had 11 hard brakes, –city driving you’re just not going to avoid them, impossible.

    Less than 20 miles driven a day and less than 15 minutes average total drive time and that doesn’t warrant a discount? They’ve got virtually zero exposure with me, no risk.

    Given my mortgage experience with this company, I wouldn’t be surprised though if my car insurance at the end of this Snapshot program actually goes up. That likelihood aside, if I don’t get a discount within 6 months , I’m dropping this company, the Snapshot Program will have proven to be a sham, which is where so far it’s tending.

  • Poodle232

    I feel like a schumck. They tricked me into becoming a new customer using their aggressive Snapshot marketing campaigns. I barely even drive. I have not used my car in a month. When I did drive I drove very carefully at the same exact time about 3 miles a day. It’s a total scam to attract new customers and I have been scammed. They refused to give me a discount.

  • Melissa Hielscher

    Some say Snapshot is only good in rural ares. I live in rural Minnesota where there are many deer, as you can guess I heard that, your driving naughty… beep – beep – beep several times for only having avoided a collision with wildlife. I did receive an overall discount of 10% and SURPRISE, an overall increase for my area of 11%, to conclude rural areas are out. The use of Snapshot will likely give you a discount with the added bonus of an increase of around the same percentage of that of the discount.