Progressive Insurance insures about 11 million cars and trucks in the United States. The company also writes some commercial policies and insurer bikes and boats. But its bread and butter is car insurance.
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.
On this page, we discuss:
- Trying to Settle with Progressive Out-of-Court
- Progressive's Typically Small Policies
- How This Insurer Acts After Suit is Filed
- Sample Settlements and Verdicts Against Progressive
- How You Can Fight Back
In Maryland, Progressive has good adjusters that respond promptly and professionally to our accident lawyers. But Progressive’s settlement offers in traffic 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 it 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 Before a Lawsuit Is Filed
It is cliche for a personal injury lawyer to say that insurance adjusters are unreasonable. They think we are crazy, we think they are crazy, and so forth. So let's be clear: Progressive may have the most unreasonable adjusters in all of Maryland when it comes to placing a fair value settlement value of motor vehicle accident cases.
They probably top State Farm in adhering to the "insurance companies are good and victims are bad" credo. The adjusters we deal with -- Sunny Kim, Janet Brown, Rick Riddle, Kristen Cauffiel, Heather Cutlip, Nathan Ryan, Julie Khan, Diane Moses, Holly Lent, Kim Fennington, Sharon Portier, Ginny Eaton, Karen Castelli, Kristine Pierson to name a few in Maryland we have seen recently-- are not bad people. Some of these adjusters are likable and are probably people you might enjoy at a party.
But the view from Progressive seems to be that no one gets all that hurt in motor vehicle accidents. In fact, I bet if you saw them at a party and started talking to you about their jobs, I bet most would tell you exactly that. Arguably, it saves time and energy just to file suit as opposed to waiting for them to respond to a demand letter, offer you nothing, and then filing a lawsuit.
Our firm's practice? It depends. Sometimes we just file suit, other times we send in a demand package. It depends on the case and, in the end, the client's wishes.Settlement with Progressive After Suit Has Been Filed
After a lawsuit is filed, Progressive's settlement posture is more reasonable. 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 attorneys, four lawyers can only handle so many cases given its market share in Maryland. Accordingly, victims 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 them, statistically, because so many attorneys and plaintiffs simply back down from the fight).Jury Verdicts and Settlements involving Progressive Insurance
Below is a sampling of jury verdicts and settlements with this insurer in motor vehicle crash cases. There are some Maryland cases in here but not many. Progressive write small policies in Maryland and rarely lets a case go to trial where there is any risk of a big verdict.
We compiled 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.
- 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, 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 this company at its most typical: sticking its chest out because it was protected by a small insurance policy.
- 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 car 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 the plaintiff, rendering a verdict of $328,067.66.
- Settlement in Virginia for $481,601. Plaintiff is in a car accident that results in a back injury. Victim 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.
- Settlement in Ohio for $400,000. Plaintiff is crossing the street when he is hit by a van driven by an uninsured driver. Victim suffers leg injuries due to the accident. He files suit against his uninsured motorist provider, Progressive Insurance. The parties settle at the $400,000 policy limit after mediation.
- Settlement in Maryland of $350,000. This case involved a commercial Progressive policy that, thankfully, typically has higher policies than what you typically see with this insurer. Our client was a passenger in a Hertz rental vehicle and was rear-ended by a bus who was rear-ended by a cement truck. She suffered serious ankle and knee injuries, requiring three surgeries.
- 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 the 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. He 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, 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 victim, 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, this insurer writes small policies, at least in Maryland. (Many of their policies only have a $30,000 per person limit.) Our firm handled this tragic fatal collision case.
- 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. Victim 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.
If you have been injured in an automobile accident in Maryland call us at 800-553-8082 or click here for a free consultation.