With over 11 million covered vehicles, Progressive is one of the largest auto insurance carriers in the United States and in Maryland. Progressive has the 3rd largest market share in Maryland behind State Farm and GEICO. Our law firm deals with a large number of cases against drivers insured by Progressive. Elsewhere on this website, we talk about our experiences in dealing with Progressive Insurance. Here, we discuss some of the most commonly asked questions about how Progressive handles car accident claims.
Personal injury lawyers generally think that all insurance companies and their claims adjusters are cheap and unreasonable. But there is a food chain. Chubb Insurance, for example, is reasonable in relative terms.
Progressive, on the other hand, is awful. The claims adjusters at Progressive are the most unreasonable of them all when it comes to giving fair value offers in accident cases. The adjusters we deal with at Progressive consistently offer the lowest possible amounts for all claims. So if you are handling a claim with Progressive be very skeptical of any settlement offer you might get from one of their adjusters. Progressive is so consistently unreasonable in their offers that our firm frequently does not even bother to submit demand letters to them before filing suit.
There are is no exact formula for calculating exactly how low of an initial offer you can expect to get from adjusters at Progressive. It depends on various factors and circumstances that are unique to each case. You can generally expect, however, that the offer you get from Progressive will be much lower than what you would get offered by another insurance company. We recently reviewed initial offers on our Progressive cases and found that at least half of the offers were actually below the total amount of documented medical bills. Think about that. This gives you an idea of exactly how unreasonable they are before a lawsuit is filed.
The across the board consistency of Progressive's low initial settlement offers suggests that it is the product of a deliberate company strategy.
One explanation for this deliberate strategy of initial lowballing could be that Progressive tends to write smaller limit policies (at least in Maryland). The liability limits on Progressive's policies in Maryland tend to be smaller compared to other large insurance carriers.
This means that Progressive has less potential risk on the back end of claims which might explain its policy of aggressive lowball offers at the front end of the claims process. In other words, Progressive's lower average policy limits means that it is less risky for its claims adjusters to gamble with ultra-low initial offers.
The paradox of it all is that Progressive is one of the last insurance companies who is willing to let a case go to trial that might exceed their policy limits. So they are afraid to go to trial but they are tough before trial and even over the course of a lawsuit.
How can that be? Progressive can do this because it knows that no matter what happens over the course of a case, they can always just pony up their measly policy and be done with the case.
A lot of our law firm's cases with Progressive involve an uninsured motorist policy that is much larger than the Progressive policy. So our accident lawyers have to wait out Progressive's nonsense until they cave before trial. It is frustrating but there is no path around it except beating Progressive over the head during the litigation process.
It sounds like an odd question to throw in here, right? But in our experience, the Progressive adjusters are extremely nice people who are easy to deal with on every single front except the value of the claim. The cynical view is that they are trained to be nice to trick the unsuspecting opposed to being just kind people. The true answer probably lies somewhere in between these two extremes.
Progressive's lowballing policy only applies with the most force to initial, pre-lawsuit settlement offer. Sometimes, the best strategy for handling a claim with Progressive is to file suit right away and then try to negotiate a settlement. Progressive becomes dramatically more reasonable about settlement values after a lawsuit gets filed.
This is particularly if the lawyers defending the case are Progressive employees. Progressive only has a limited number of in-house attorneys in Maryland which means there is a very real limit to the number of active cases they can actually litigate at once. These personal injury defense lawyers also do not bill by the hour. They have no motivation to drag out a claim. This means that once you file suit, Progressive becomes more motivated to get your case settled.
As mentioned above, Progressive currently has a very small office of in-house attorneys available to take cases to trial. More importantly, if the verdict exceeds Progressive's limits, they may have to pay the full verdict and not just the amount of the policy. This means, as we discussed a bit above, that Progressive does not try a lot of cases. They cases Progressive is willing to try are usually the smallest claims. As a result, the percentage of cases that Progressive takes to trial is almost always lower compared to other insurance companies. For example, State Farm is probably five times as likely (if not more) to take a case to trial compared to Progressive.
If you have car insurance with Progressive, you might eventually have to submit a claim against your own policy. For instance, if you are the victim of a hit and run or get in an accident with someone who has no insurance, you will probably end up making an uninsured motorist claim on Progressive. In our experience, Progressive is somewhat more reasonable in handling these types of claims. This is true for most insurance companies. If Progressive is your insurance company, they are naturally less likely to accuse you of dishonesty.
But we have seen Progressive take some pretty unbelievable positions against its own policyholders, too. So it is a crapshoot that depends to some degree on the insurance adjuster you draw. Moreover, even a more reasonable version of Progressive is still very unreasonable when it comes to valuing personal injury claims.
Before you file a claim with Progressive, you have to decide whether you need a lawyer. If you have no injuries or small injuries, you may want to consider proceeding with a lawyer and call them directly at 800-776-4737. If you have serious injuries, call a lawyer first.
More than many other insurance companies, Progressive will make you a quick settlement offer to resolve the claim if you do not have an attorney. This offer is usually extremely unfair. Do not be fooled into thinking an offer that sounds ridiculous is not ridiculous.
Progressive does not take long to respond to a demand letter to settle an injury claim. Our lawyers usually get a response from Progressive within a month of submitting a demand package.
Progressive is quick to pay on claims. They are slow in making a reasonable offer to fairly compensate personal injury accident victims.
Car insurance companies are difficult about giving personal injury victims a rental car. But our lawyers' experience is that Progressive is more reasonable than most when it comes to supplying a rental car if its insured is responsible for the crash.
It is always a good idea to hire an experienced accident attorney to handling your insurance claim if you are injured. The accident lawyers at Miller & Zois have handled thousands of claims with Progressive (and other insurance companies) in every county in Maryland. Our lawyers know the claims adjusters and have the skills, experienced and reputation necessary to get the best possible result. Contact us online or call 1-800-553-8082.Insurance Claims & Settlements