My firm has to deal with Progressive Insurance hundreds of times per year because they are the largest auto insurer in RI. Unfortunately, except for maybe Allstate, they are one of the most difficult insurance companies to work with. Some body shops won’t take their cases and attorneys groan when they know they are involved. One could argue that from the insurance perspective, that they are doing their job if body shops and attorneys don’t like them…. But it is not so simple. An insurance company’s obligation is to protect their insured from lawsuit and damages. Often times, Progressive’s decisions mean that their insureds are unnecessarily sued and brought into Court.
In just the past few months, I have experienced Progressive: arguing liability when my client was rear-ended by their insured (they alleged my client stopped short without cause… as if that matters. To their defense they did drop that ridiculous argument); I have been told that the emergency room bill for my client, a pedestrian who was HIT BY A CAR was excessive; and, they have denied a claim on behalf of my clients simply because their insured said no one was in the parked car. On that last one, it is worth noting that my clients who WERE seated in the parked car are the ones who obtained their insured’s license plate after she ADMITTED to striking the car and fleeing the scene. So, in other words, the testimony of a woman who admits to breaking the law by hitting a car and fleeing the scene, carries enough credibility to deny damages for a poor woman who was sitting in a parked car waiting for her kid to come out of school. But as long as they don’t have to pay… they’re happy.
BUT WHY I AM I WRITING THIS? HOW DOES IT AFFECT YOU? You should know that if you pick up a police report following an accident and find out the at-fault driver has Progressive, that you are in for a battle. You not only need an attorney, but you need one ready to fight and go the distance. My office settles less than half of our cases with Progressive without having to file arbitration or a lawsuit. If you’re attorney isn’t willing to fight, you are going to be disappointed. If you try to work with them without an attorney, you are likely to be disappointed.