#1 Posted by Barrock (3525 posts) -

http://gawker.com/5934436/comedian-calls-out-progressive-for-defending-his-sisters-killer-progressive-responds-in-heartless-robot-fashion

With a title as provocative as "My Sister Paid Progressive Insurance to Defend Her Killer In Court," comedian Matt Fisher's Tumblr post was bound to get attention.

And that's a good thing: Fisher details the kind of bureaucratic insurance company nightmare that sounds too awful to be real.

In June of 2010, his sister Katie was killed in a car accident. She had a green light and the other driver ran the red — fault was clear. The other driver's insurance company settled with Katie's estate immediately, but because the driver was underinsured, the payment was not much. Based on the Progressive policy Katie had purchased, Progressive was required to pay the difference.

At which point we learned the first surprising thing about Progressive: Carrying Progressive insurance and getting into an accident does not entitle you to the value of your insurance policy. It just pisses off Progressive's lawyers. Here I address you, Prospective Progressive Insurance Customer: someday when you have your accident, I promise that there will be enough wiggle room for Progressive's bottomless stack of in-house attorneys to make a court case out of it and to hammer at that court case until you or your surviving loved ones run out of money.

Progressive refused to pay, which meant Katie's parents had to pursue legal action. But in Maryland, you can't sue an insurance company for denying compensation. The parents' next move was to sue the other driver — something they did not want to do — just so they could establish his negligence and force Progressive to pay Katie's policy.

That's when things took a turn for the "you've got to be fucking kidding me."

At the trial, the guy who killed my sister was defended by Progressive's legal team.

If you are insured by Progressive, and they owe you money, they will defend your killer in court in order to not pay you your policy.

Incidentally, the other driver was found to be negligent, which means Progressive will be forced to pay at some vague point in the future. That's after putting the Fisher family through a tremendous amount of emotional and financial strain.

OK, insurance companies are evil. This is, sadly, nothing new. But Matt Fisher's documentation of such an extreme case got the internet's attention — his post was reblogged, tweeted, and shared, until Progressive was finally forced to respond.

They did an impressively crappy job of it.

Here is the automated response tweeted from Progressive's account:

This is a tragic case, and our sympathies go out to Mr. Fisher and his family for the pain they've had to endure. We fully investigated this claim and relevant background, and feel we properly handled the claim within our contractual obligations. Again, this is a tragic situation, and we're sorry for everything Mr. Fisher and his family have gone through.

I say automated, because this was tweeted over and over again to Progressive's critics. No variation, just the TwitLonger link. As of this writing, it has been posted 16 times.

It doesn't help that Progressive mascot Flo's smiling face is next to each copy-pasted tweet. Though surely unintentional, it adds insult to injury.

This is kind of disgusting and heartless.

#2 Posted by Inkerman (1448 posts) -

I saw this from Justin McElroy's twitter, it's pretty fucking shocking and weird. But I like their ads.

#3 Posted by darkdragonmage99 (740 posts) -

Not surprising in the least

an issuance company isn't there to pay you're bills they are there to not pay ever period and they will sink to any level to assure that

#4 Posted by TobbRobb (4408 posts) -

This actually made me feel a bit sick. I mean, I like to think of myself as fairly cynical. but every once in a while a new low appears...

This has to be an isolated case right? Or at least bound to this specific firm? I refuse to believe there are more insurance companies that would do something like this.

#5 Posted by joshthebear (2700 posts) -

That's seriously fucked up.

#6 Posted by GreggD (4444 posts) -

@darkdragonmage99 said:

Not surprising in the least

an issuance company isn't there to pay you're bills they are there to not pay ever period and they will sink to any level to assure that

Tell that to my pharmacist.

#7 Posted by McGhee (6091 posts) -

I've had Progressive car insurance for many years and all I can say it's one of the best companies I've ever dealt with. A deer jumped into my car and destroyed the whole passenger side and they fixed it up for over three thousand dollars in damage. Two years later the same car was completely wrecked in a massive hail storm. They took care of the claim super quick and totalled the car out. I paid off my loan with that fat check and now I don't have a car payment. I just drive a beat up car. They were awesome to me.

#8 Posted by Brendan (7518 posts) -

This kind of makes me want to blow up a building. Is that bad?

Online
#9 Posted by darkdragonmage99 (740 posts) -

@GreggD: lol they don't care about 50 bucks go into the hospital and run up $300,000 bill and see how fast that insurance company will be "investigating" ways not to pay.

#10 Posted by BraveToaster (12590 posts) -

I had Progressive and it was good, though this is pretty fucked up. Most insurance companies are shit, so switching services would more than likely lead customers into the "loving" arms of another shitty company.

#11 Edited by _Zombie_ (1462 posts) -

Flo's annoying anyways.

@Brendan said:

This kind of makes me want to blow up a building. Is that bad?

Not at all. We should totally blow up buildings toget-

Did anyone else just hear a window get smashed in?

#12 Posted by phrali (646 posts) -

i have progressive and this would make me consider dropping them if i didnt know that every other insurance company is equally shady and full of shit

#13 Posted by bigsmoke77 (778 posts) -

I think companies have to be more aware of their normal practices because in this connected world stories can go viral pretty quick.

#14 Posted by MikkaQ (10225 posts) -

That's why I'm glad they don't make us cyclists buy insurance. It's a total scam. My family had to sue over a health insurance company refusing to pay my grandfather's hospital bills even though he should have been covered by all means. Luckily my family won, fuck those con artists.

#15 Posted by BabyChooChoo (4038 posts) -

Disgusting but not surprising. They, like countless other corporations and businesses, speak in money so they're going to do whatever it is they can not to lose any no matter what. Again, it's disgusting, but that's the world we live in.

#16 Posted by SockemJetpack (405 posts) -

If other insurance companies were smart they'd be offering a "switch from Progressive to us" discount at this point.

#17 Posted by Box3ru13 (700 posts) -

(If hell existed) there would be a special place for insurance companies.

#19 Posted by Devil240Z (3054 posts) -

This is even more reason for me to never get car insurance. If I kill some one i will have top lawyers defending me for free(this is the sarcasm part of this post dont fucking get mad at me you idiot.). Luckily I never run red lights. I don't even run yellow ones. If the light turns yellow and I still have time to stop I do. I get honked at alot for it.

#20 Posted by demonknightinuyasha (451 posts) -

Man this is a super shitty situation for that family :/ On one hand it makes me want to not use progressive anymore, but on the other hand if everyone actually did business with only companies that were ethical we'd all be living in the woods by our selves wearing nothing but leaves :/

#21 Posted by DonutFever (3515 posts) -

Fucking Flo.

#22 Posted by MariachiMacabre (6937 posts) -
@Brendan

This kind of makes me want to blow up a building. Is that bad?

My sentiments exactly. Also, now I have Where Is My Mind stuck in my head.
#23 Edited by Jumanji (447 posts) -

Let's review the victim's policy:

IF the victim is involved in a collision with an underinsured driver AND that other driver is at fault THEN Progressive will pay the difference on the settlement.

Given a legitimate dispute about the facts of the collision (here, it would certainly be about either the victim's negligence or the uninsured driver's), the victim and Progressive would either go to litigation or hash out a settlement. THIS IS COMPLETELY NORMAL. IT HAPPENS EVERY WEEK, IF NOT EVERY DAY, IN EVERY CIVIL COURT ROOM IN AMERICA.

BUT

Because of the law in Maryland, Progressive can't be a counterparty in a suit with the victim. The uninsured driver becomes the proxy for what would in any other state be a totally routine proceeding.

IF you want to avoid this kind of situation, get some no-fault coverage that doesn't turn on the other driver's error.

#24 Posted by NlGHTCRAWLER (1215 posts) -

@Brendan said:

This kind of makes me want to blow up a building. Is that bad?

Uh oh.

#26 Posted by ll_Exile_ll (1271 posts) -

@emsmith said:

Many people are disregarding of having a Progressive Insurance because of some news that brought outrage to people. The brother of a woman murdered in a vehicle accident states that Progressive Insurance tried to keep away from a legal claim for $75,000. Now the company is lamenting it, following a backlash in the social media.

This was a very productive necro. This post is utter nonsense, and that link goes nowhere.

#27 Posted by BaconGames (3133 posts) -

@ll_exile_ll said:

@emsmith said:

Many people are disregarding of having a Progressive Insurance because of some news that brought outrage to people. The brother of a woman murdered in a vehicle accident states that Progressive Insurance tried to keep away from a legal claim for $75,000. Now the company is lamenting it, following a backlash in the social media.

This was a very productive necro. This post is utter nonsense, and that link goes nowhere.

I know asking for more features always makes people like Alexis just giddy with joy but I wonder if a way to flag a post as "necro" for year+ old threads has been implemented if that has any use.