It's just my desk, so there's no telling what you might find on it.

Progressive sides with killer to avoid paying claim to victim

Well, this is just sad.  And quite frankly, a little disturbing.

Basically, the story goes like this:  Matt Fisher’s sister, Katie, died in a car crash on June 19, 2010 in Baltimore.  Apparently, another driver ran a red light, and struck Katie’s car.  Sadly, that act resulted in her death. That, in itself, is bad enough, but the story didn’t end there.

Fisher was understandably upset and heartbroken over the loss of his sister, and like many others, he turned to social media.  But here’s the rub:  Katie Fisher was fully insured by Progressive; and her policy stated that if she was killed by an at-fault, under-insured driver, Progressive would pay the difference in the claim.  Now, I have simplified this, but you get the idea. Needless to say, Progressive did not want to make good on that $100,000 policy, so here we are.  To quote Matt:

“Carrying Progressive insurance and getting into an accident does not entitle you to the value of your insurance policy. It just pisses off Progressive’s lawyers.”

Reports have stated that Progressive claimed Katie was at fault, and refused to pay.  In Maryland, policy holders are not allowed to sue an insurance company for denying a payout, so this resulted in Fisher and his family having no choice but to file suit against the offending driver to establish negligence.  To add insult to injury, the family stated that Progressive was active in the defense of the other driver, who was insured with Nationwide.  Honestly, I could just hurl!  To quote Matt again:

At the trial, the guy who killed my sister was defended by Progressive’s legal team.  If you are insured by Progressive, and they owe you money, they will defend your killer in court in order to not pay you your policy.”

Progressive Insurance wrote in a statement:

“To be very clear, Progressive did not serve as the attorney for the defendant in this case. He was defended by his insurance company, Nationwide.”

Chris Wolf, Claims General Manager, stated:

“We respect the verdict and now can continue to work with the Fisher family to reach a resolution.”

Yes, the jury found that Katie was not at fault, and awarded the Fisher family $760,000 last Thursday. Hmmm… Seems like a lot of time, money, and heartache could have been saved if Progressive had done the right and honorable thing from the beginning, and just honored Katie’s policy and paid the claim.  But who are we to expect that from an insurance company?  Clearly, we consumers have to honor our part and make timely payments on a policy (which is a contract), but insurance companies don’t have to honor their part and ACTUALLY DO what the policy has outlined.  And in some states, you can’t even sue them!

Fisher decided to blog about this on Tumblr in a post (I highly recommend you read it!) titled “My Sister Paid Progressive Insurance to Defend Her Killer In Court“, and the firestorm began.  Good for you, Matt!  That post went viral (yep), and Fisher was eventually interviewed by CNN.  For even more info, check NY Daily News.

On August 16th, Progressive released a statement. CYA medicine? Yep!  And look at their recent tweets! LOL!

We all know insurance companies suck.  (Sorry to use that term, but that’s the only one that seems to do my sentiment justice.)  They are a business; and they are in business to make money, not to take care of, or be honest with, their policy holders.  The government has decided that we, the American people, have no choice but to “do business” with these crooks.  In most cases, having insurance can be a life saver.  In other cases, we could actually save money (and the stress of dealing with insurance companies) if we didn’t have insurance, and just paid for damages.  I’m not saying insurance is bad.  It isn’t, and like I said, it can be a life saver.  I am saying insurance companies are beneath reproach; and will usually fight tooth and nail to avoid paying a clear-cut claim.  Their job is to make money, not shell it out.  If they were honest, they’d likely lose money.  Right?

For an interesting POV from an ex-Progressive Claims Adjuster, check out this post. NOTE: When you arrive on this page, you will land on “Replies” to “ProgressiveRefugee”.  Click on the “Comments” tab/link to read his story.  Weird, I know.

I am happy to say I’m NOT a Progressive Insurance policy holder.  A few years ago, I did have them for a minute, and I couldn’t wait to drop them like a hot potato.  After this incident, I will never even consider using these criminals again.  I would hope the rest of the country feels the same way, but we all know the public has a short memory.  Progressive will likely lower rates a little, and put cute (extremely annoying) commercials on the air, and people will once again consider their wallets.  It’s human nature.  Whatcha gonna do?

Katie Fisher
Courtesy of Matt Fisher:
Provided to

Well, we could spread the word.  We could keep this alive for Katie!  We could remember for her, as well as for all of the other people who have been wronged by insurance companies.  We could raise our voices!  We could finally say, “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!”

Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to RAISE YOUR VOICE!



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