What Is the Progressive Snapshot Hack?

Last Updated on February 23, 2023

Progressive’s Snapshot program tracks your driving behavior, then rewards you with discounts.

Safe drivers with low mileage could save 20% to 30% on car insurance premiums with Progressive’s Snapshot. Progressive also gives all drivers a reward just for signing up.

It may be possible to “hack” Progressive’s Snapshot to get lower rates on car insurance. By hacking Progressive’s Snapshot, you could trick the system into thinking you’re a safe, mistake-free drive.

Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about Progressive’s Snapshot hack and how it works.

Table of Contents:

How Progressive Snapshot Works

Progressive’s Snapshot personalizes your car insurance premiums based on your actual driving. It’s like usage-based insurance: you pay for insurance based on your specific risk factors and mileage.

Progressive tracks drivers in one of two ways:

  • An on-board diagnostics type 2 (OBD-II) device
  • The Progressive mobile app

If you choose to use the Snapshot OBD-II device, then you plug a small device into your car’s OBD-II connector (typically located on the lower left side of the steering wheel). That device features a micro SD card, a mobile radio, and an on-board GPS to track your location. When you drive, the Snapshot device sends driving data to Progressive, and Progressive uses this data to charge customized rates.

You can also use the Progressive mobile app with Snapshot. The mobile app uses your phone’s sensors to track driving data.

No matter how you use Snapshot, the purpose is the same: to help drivers pay a fair price for car insurance based on their unique driving habits. As Progressive collects more of your data, the company gets a more complete picture of your driving habits, making it easy to charge custom rates based on risk.

Can You Hack Progressive’s Snapshot?

Progressive’s Snapshot device has been criticized for its lack of encryption. As NextDoorSec.com explains, one security analyst disassembled the Snapshot OBD-II device and found it lacked many basic security features, including electronic verification signs, traffic data encryption, self-authentication, and built-in encryption.

In fact, that security analyst proposed a Snapshot hack that would allow an attacker to gain control of a vehicle’s brakes, steering, and acceleration. By reverse engineering the Snapshot OBD-II device and re-installing it into a vehicle, it’s possible you could take over control of the vehicle.

Progressive’s Snapshot device also relies on raw text messages sent from the device to Progressive. It’s possible for a hacker to build a fraudulent cell tower to execute a “man in the middle” attack. Your Snapshot device sends all vehicle text messages to the cell tower, and the hacker can access this raw data to track your activity.

Progressive, however, has disputed all of these claims. According to Progressive, there’s no proof someone could control a car after hacking into the Snapshot OBD-II device.

How to Hack Progressive’s Snapshot for a 30% Discount on Car Insurance

You can find reports online of hacking Progressive’s Snapshot to get a permanent 30% discount on car insurance.

The maximum available discount with Progressive is 30%. If you’re a safe driver who drives low mileage at safe times of the day, you could save close to the maximum of 30%, which could help reduce your annual premiums by hundreds of dollars.

Since its launch, you can find mixed reports online of people trying to hack Progressive’s Snapshot system. However, Progressive has improved its security over the years, making it harder to hack Snapshot.

Some things to note about hacking the Progressive Snapshot system include the following:

Snapshot Reads the VIN Number Via the OBD-II Port: Some drivers believe they can hack Progressive’s Snapshot system by placing the Snapshot device in a lesser-used vehicle. Progressive sees low mileage, giving you a discount on car insurance. However, the Snapshot device reads the vehicle identification number (VIN) using the OBD-II port. You can insert the device into another vehicle, but Progressive will know if it’s different from your primary vehicle.

You Can Flag Trips If Someone Else is Driving: If you use the Snapshot app to track driving, then you may need to flag trips if someone else is driving. Let’s say you’re a passenger in someone else’s vehicle or you’re riding public transit. You flag these trips to avoid higher premiums. It’s possible to “hack” this system by flagging your own trips. However, this is against the terms of service. And Progressive may disqualify you from Snapshot if you flag too many trips.

Monitor the Beeps for Safer Driving: When using Snapshot, the device beeps at you when it detects unsafe driving behavior. If you brake or accelerate suddenly, for example, then the device might beep at you. Regular beeps could mean higher insurance premiums. Increase your following distance and drive more cautiously to reduce your beeping.

Progressive May Request Photos of the Odometer: If Progressive believes you are hacking Snapshot, they could request photos of your odometer – especially if you’re making a major insurance claim. If your Snapshot device recorded 1,000 miles of driving over the last three months when your odometer showed 5,000 miles, Progressive may disqualify you from Snapshot.

Avoid Driving Between Midnight and 4 am on Weekends: Statistically, the most dangerous driving times are between midnight and 4 am on weekends. If Progressive’s Snapshot catches you driving during these times, you could pay higher rates for car insurance.

Reduce Overall Mileage: The more time you spend on the road, the more likely you are to make a claim. Drivers with low mileage pay less for car insurance with Snapshot than drivers with high mileage, all else being equal.

Avoid Hard Brakes & Rapid Acceleration: Hard braking is one of the essential metrics for Snapshot. If you frequently brake hard, you could pay higher car insurance premiums than someone who maintains a safe following distance and avoids hard braking. The fewer hard brakes you make, the more you can save with Snapshot.

Be Wary of Online Tutorials on Hacking the Snapshot Dongle: You can find tutorials online about hacking the Snapshot dongle. You could open up the device, run wires into it, and trick the device into thinking you’re driving (or not driving). However, hacking into the Snapshot device violates the terms of service, and it’s not recommended.

Final Word – Progressive Snapshot Hack

Progressive advertises Snapshot as a way to save money on car insurance. Safe drivers with low mileage could save 30%.

Some drivers “hack” Snapshot by spoofing trips, flagging trips, or manipulating the Snapshot device. However, Progressive is getting smarter about Snapshot hacking, and Progressive may disqualify you from the system if you are caught hacking Snapshot.

James Shaffer
James Shaffer James Shaffer is a writer for InsurancePanda.com and a well-seasoned auto insurance industry veteran. He has a deep knowledge of insurance rules and regulations and is passionate about helping drivers save money on auto insurance. He is responsible for researching and writing about anything auto insurance-related. He holds a bachelor's degree from Bentley University and his work has been quoted by NBC News, CNN, and The Washington Post.
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