Target: Progressive Insurance Company
Goal: Fully fill life insurance policy to family of woman killed by a negligent driver and apologize for mishandling her case
Matt Fisher, a fairly popular New York comedian, took to social networking site Tumblr recently in order to publicize the legal battle recently faced by his family in attempting to get Progressive Insurance to fully pay his late sister’s insurance policy. Katie Fisher died in 2010 when a driver ran a red light at an intersection in Baltimore, MD and collided with her car. Following the accident, the insurance company of the driver who collided with Katie’s car settled with her estate immediately. However, the payment didn’t amount to much since he was uninsured.
In case of such an accident, Katie Fisher held a policy with Progressive which would require them to pay the difference between the value of the underinsured driver’s policy and Katie’s policy. But, in hopes that the court case would hang or Katie would be found at fault, Progressive refused to pay out Katie’s policy. In retaliation, the Fishers attempted to sue Progressive only to discover that Maryland law does not permit you to sue an insurance company if they refuse to fill your claim. They were instead forced to sue the other driver, a fate they had wished to avoid for his sake and theirs. When Progressive still refused to settle for the full amount, the case went to court, where the Fishers suddenly found Progressive’s lawyers defending the other driver as part of the continued attempt to avoid payment.
Although the jury found the other driver negligent, Matt Fisher continues to worry that Progressive may not fulfill their obligations regardless: a reasonable concern, given the circumstances. So far, Progressive’s response to the debacle has consisted of no more than a pre-packaged tweet extending sympathies to the Fishers and stating that they feel they properly handled the claim within contractual obligations. Ask Progressive Insurance to pay out Katie Fisher’s policy in full and issue a more complete apology for how they handled her case.
Dear Progressive Insurance,
I recently heard news of how your company handled the case of Progressive Insurance holder Katie Fisher after she was killed in a car accident some time in 2010. Katie’s brother Matt reports that you failed to fill your contractual obligations under her policy. When Katie was killed by an underinsured driver, her policy with Progressive should have ensured that you would pay the difference between the other driver’s policy and Katie’s policy to her estate after her death. This you refused to do, despite the fact that the other driver’s insurance company had settled with Katie’s estate immediately. When the Fishers were forced to sue Katie’s killer in an attempt to get you to settle, not only did you refuse to settle, but when the case went to court, you sent your legal team out to defend Katie’s killer in order to avoid payment on her policy.
Though the jury officially found the other driver to be negligent, Matt Fisher still fears that your company may try to weasel out of paying Katie’s estate for her remaining policy value some other way. I ask you now to fulfill your contractual obligations by paying the remainder of Katie’s policy to her estate. Moreover, Progressive Insurance should issue a complete apology to the Fishers for the unethical way they have handled Katie’s case, thus causing the family further distress in what was already an extremely devastating emotional time.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Flickr via anyjazz65