The Underbelly of Underinsured Motorist Claims
In the last couple of days, Progressive has received plenty of bad public relations for its refusal to pay on a wrongful death claim. The Associated Press reported that a Progressive insured died in a car wreck after she was hit by a person running a red light. The insurance company of the person who ran the red light paid its $25,000.00 policy limit, but when the family tried to collect the $75,000.00 worth of uninsured motorist coverage from Progressive, the deceased’s insurance company, Progressive refused to pay. Instead, Progressive went to court and tried to present evidence that the car wreck was the deceased’s fault. Ultimately, the jury returned a verdict against Progressive.
While this story may seem unfair and unreasonable, it is a good illustration of how your insurance company will treat you if you try to make a claim on your Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist (UM) Coverage. In a scenario such as this, your insurance company turns into your adversary. Your insurance company, in many instances, actually starts representing the person that hurt you. So despite all these commercials promising that you are “in good hands” and “like a good neighbor” you are instead treated like someone off the street that cannot be believed. Even though you have paid premiums, your insurance company will oppose you and help a complete stranger that actually hurt you. Why would an insurance company do this? The answer is simple, money. Insurance companies simply do not want to pay claims and part with money if they can help it. So instead of giving you the benefit of the doubt, your insurance company will instead look for any reason to deny your UM claim.
This played out in the Progressive case highlighted above. Rather than believing a grieving family and a neutral eyewitness, Progressive tried to exploit the comments of a passenger in the deceased’s car who was brain damaged in the wreck. Progressive made the decision to deny a legitimate wrongful death claim and prolong a grieving family’s misery, rather than pay $75,000.00. Fortunately, a jury saw through this and made Progressive uphold its obligation.
If you ever have a question about UM Coverage or some other car wreck related issue, please contact us.
Posted in: Automobile Wrecks