Progressive Insurance: Claims and Settlements
Progressive Insurance insures about 11 million cars and trucks in the United States. Progressive has come a long way since it began selling car insurance in 1937. It has made good use of the Internet as a means of decreasing the costs of selling insurance and has a hip and appealing advertising campaign that seeks to position itself as, not surprisingly, a "progressive" company.
Dealing with Progressive on Settlement of Injury Claims Before Filing a Lawsuit
In Maryland, Progressive has good adjusters that respond promptly and professionally to our accident lawyers. But Progressive’s settlement offers in auto accident cases in Maryland are simply below offers you would expect from the average car insurance company in an accident case. In most Maryland accident claims against Progressive, the statistics for similar accident cases will dictate filing a lawsuit.
Typical Size of Progressive Insurance Policies
Another thought on Progressive Insurance, at least based on our experience in Maryland: it writes smaller liability policies. Progressive seems to write a lot of $30,000, $50,000, and $100,000 per victim policies for injury claims. So if you are a personal injury lawyer with a serious injury claim against Progressive, do not be surprised if the coverage is limited and you need to turn to your client's uninsured motorist policy to make up the difference (or stack on top in some states). Given these small policies, as tough of a stand as Progressive takes on settlements before a lawsuit is filed, if you are an accident lawyer with a case that could exceed the policy limits, you need to send out a bad faith letter as soon as you realize the policy may not cover the loss.
Dealing with Progressive on Settlement After a Lawsuit Is Filed
Progressive Insurance in Maryland is far more reasonable after a settlement offer has been rejected and a lawsuit has been filed. A part of the reason for that is practical: its in-house counsel, the Law Office of Donald Speidel, based in Owings Mills, has only four lawyers. While they are good lawyers, four lawyers can only handle so many cases given Progressive's market share in Maryland. Accordingly, lawyers typically get more reasonable offers after suit has been filed. (We may hate this practice but it may well be a good business model for Progressive.)
Jury Verdicts and Settlements involving Progressive Insurance
Below is a sampling of jury verdicts and settlements with Progressive in motor vehicle crash cases. We complied this list from a variety of sources, including our lawyers' own settlements and verdicts with Progressive and/or their insureds. There is no scientific methodology to this sampling - they are cherry picked cases that are certainly not a clear reflection of the value of your injury claim. There is no reason to believe that your lawsuit will be more (or less) successful than these. Certainly, we think the comparisons have value or we would not be putting up this information. But they are just one piece of the puzzle of determining the value of an individual claim.
2013 Jury Verdicts and Settlements
- Settlement in Nevada for $21,009. A vehicle is involved in a collision on an interstate in Las Vegas, and a young child, a passenger, suffers a skull fracture. The driver, insured by Progressive, has $50,000/$100,000 in coverage. Progressive Insurance agrees to pay the child $21,009.
2012 Jury Verdicts and Settlements
- Verdict in Pennsylvania for $110,000. Plaintiff is involved in a collision with an uninsured driver. Plaintiff sues the uninsured motorist and settles for $25,000. Plaintiff then files suit against Progressive Insurance, the carrier of her uninsured/underinsured motorist policy, for $100,000. Plaintiff argues that her policy was in full effect at the time of the accident and that Progressive breached her policy by failing to investigate her claims and offer fair compensation. The jury finds for plaintiff and renders a verdict for $110,000.
- Settlement in Wisconsin for $230,000. Plaintiff is involved in a three-car collision on U.S. Highway 41. Plaintiff is stopped at a red light and is rear-ended by defendant 1. Defendant 2 then collides into defendant 1. Defendant 1 was insured by Progressive Insurance. Plaintiff files suit against both defendants and their insurance companies, including Progressive, alleging that both defendants failed to drive at a safe speed, have control of their vehicles, and maintain a proper lookout. Plaintiff claims that he has suffered personal injury, pain, suffering, loss of quality of life, lost wages and earning capacity, medical expenses, loss of consortium, and loss of companionship. The insurers agree to settle with the plaintiff at $230,000.
- Verdict in Maryland $760,000. This wrongful death accident on Calvert Street in Baltimore earned national interest because Progressive took the case to trial as opposed to tendering their $100,000 uninsured motorist policy. Arguably, it was Progressive at its most typical: sticking its chest out because it was protected by a small insurance policy.
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2011 Jury Verdicts and Settlements
- Verdict in Louisiana for $328,067.66. Plaintiff and her grandmother are driving on U.S. Highway 190 near Mandeville, Louisiana. The defendant attempts to pass their vehicle on their right in his 18 wheeler and sideswipes the car. The vehicle suffers cosmetic damage, and the driver and passenger suffer permanent neck and spinal injuries. Plaintiff sues, alleging the truck driver had driven carelessly by speeding, making an illegal left turn, and failing to yield. The jury finds for plaintiff, rendering a verdict of $328,067.66.
2010 Jury Verdicts and Settlements
- Settlement in Virginia for $481,601. Plaintiff is in a car accident that results in a back injury. Plaintiff undergoes back surgery 18 months later for a herniated disc. While under anesthesia, plaintiff suffers an aortic rupture and is left in a coma. After the plaintiff’s surgeon settles with the plaintiff, Progressive Insurance agrees to settle for $481,601, which is the remainder of the policy limit.
- Settlement in Georgia for $500,000. Intoxicated defendant flees when he is alerted that the police have been called on him. While fleeing, he collides with the plaintiff’s vehicle. Plaintiff suffers lower back injuries and aggravation of pre-existing injuries. Plaintiff files suit, alleging the defendant was drunk and failed to yield the right of way. Progressive Insurance settled with the plaintiff for the $500,000 policy limit.
2009 Jury Verdicts and Settlements
- Settlement in Ohio for $400,000. Plaintiff is crossing the street when he is hit by a van driven by an uninsured driver. Plaintiff suffers leg injuries due to the accident. The plaintiff files suit against his uninsured motorist provider, Progressive Insurance. Progressive admits liability, and the parties settle at the $400,000 policy limit after mediation.
2008 Jury Verdicts and Settlements
- Verdict in Maryland for $332,474.45. The defendant is driving on 1-97 south and loses control of her vehicle due to intoxication. Swerving, she rear-ends the plaintiffs. The plaintiffs file suit, alleging the defendant failed to keep her vehicle under control due to intoxication. A jury finds defendant to be negligent and awards a verdict of $332,474.45 to the two plaintiffs, which is paid by the defendant’s insurance carrier.
- Verdict in Maryland for $309,197. Around 7 p.m., plaintiff is driving on Adelphi Road in Prince George’s County and is struck by a phantom vehicle. Plaintiff swerves into oncoming traffic, then rolls to a stop on the roadside. Plaintiff dials 911, as does an unknown witness who gives an incorrect license plate number. Plaintiff’s uninsured motorist carrier, Progressive Insurance, denies coverage, stating the accident was a one-vehicle accident. The plaintiff files suit against Progressive, and an expert for the plaintiff testifies at trial that the damage to the vehicle is consistent with a two-car collision. The jury finds for the plaintiff, rendering a verdict of $309,197.
- Settlement in Maryland for $100,000. Beautiful young woman is at a stop light in Lusby (Calvert County) and is rear ended and killed. Why only $100,000? Regrettably, Progressive writes small policies, at least in Maryland. (Many of their policies only have a $30,000 per person limit.)
2006 Jury Verdicts and Settlements
- Settlement in Maryland for $450,000. Plaintiff, a tow truck driver, is parked on the roadside, hitching up a distressed vehicle to his tow truck. While adjusting the steering wheel of the vehicle, defendant strikes the front end of the car. Plaintiff is hauled away in an ambulance due to a ruptured spleen. Plaintiff sues the defendant. Though the defendant argues that plaintiff had not turned on his emergency lights during the tow, the parties settle for an undisclosed amount. Plaintiff then sues his underinsured motorist carrier, Progressive Insurance. Plaintiff alleges that his injuries from the accident exceed the defendant driver’s policy limits, and plaintiff and Progressive settle for $450,000.
Accident Lawyers Handling Progressive Claims
If you have been injured in an automobile accident in Maryland where the at-fault driver is insured by Progressive, or if you are filing an uninsured motorist claim against Progressive and you have a question about your claim, call us at 800-553-8082 or click here for a free consultation.
More on Progressive Insurance Claims
- More on Dealing with Progressive (more detail on how claims with Progressive are handled)
- An Example of the Games Progressive Plays
- Progressive's PIP Application (in Maryland)
- Sample Interrogatories (questions you can expect from Progressive in a lawsuit - interrogatories from Progressive in a car accident injury insurance claim)
- Interesting Bad Faith Claim Involving Progressive Insurance