DEALING WITH PROGRESSIVE ON ACCIDENT CLAIMS

Progressive Auto Accident Claims

This page will look at what to expect when handling an auto accident claim with Progressive. Progressive is now the 3rd largest personal auto insurance carrier in the U.S. The company has grown rapidly over recent years thanks to a massive marketing campaign and its tech savvy, direct to consumer insurance model. Like GEICO, Progressive does not have agents and it sells insurance directly to consumers through its sophisticated website and mobile apps. Progressive focuses on delivering lower prices to consumers, both through cheaper rates and allowing insureds to manage their own coverage directly. This approach has earned Progressive high marks in customer satisfaction, at least on the purchasing side. The claims side is a much different story.

Progressive Claims Process – What to Expect

AVG. PROGRESSIVE OFFER vs. MEDICAL BILLS

Taken from a random sampling of 17 auto accident claims in which Progressive was the insurer for the at-fault driver

Progressive Will Never Make Fair Initial Offers

When in comes to handling accident claims the one word that best describes Progressive’s approach is cheap. All insurance companies try to minimize the amount they spend on claims, but Progressive takes corner cutting and cheapness to a new level. Progressive’s absurd cost cutting tactics are most noticeable in the early stages of the claims process. Progressive will NEVER make a fair or reasonable initial settlement offer.

We looked at a random sampling of 17 recent auto accident claims with Progressive in Maryland. For each claim we compared the amount of the claimant’s medical expenses (usually the minimum for a fair settlement) with the amount of Progressive’s first settlement offer on the claim. In 8 out of the 17 claims, Progressive’s first offer was actually LESS than the total medical expenses. Overall, Progressive’s initial offer to settle claims was 30% below the amount of medical expenses. Progressive justifies these extremely low offers by nickel and diming claimants on their medical treatment.

Progressive Rarely Takes Cases to Trial

In Maryland, Progressive has a very small in-house attorney staff which significantly limits the number of contested accident cases that they can take to trial. This means that if you file a lawsuit against Progressive’s insured driver, their claims department will be under tremendous pressure to negotiate a settlement before going to trial. Progressive becomes dramatically more reasonable as soon as a lawsuit gets filed in a claim. There is usually no transfer of the claim to a new adjuster (like you see with some companies like USAA), but once litigation is pending the adjuster will start to bend on things he or she seemed totally inflexible on before. Medical treatment that was supposedly “unnecessary” before, will suddenly seem more acceptable once a case is filed.

This doesn’t mean that Progressive will simply roll over and give you whatever you want as soon as you file a lawsuit. Their cheap, cost cutting approach to claims negotiation will continue at least through the discovery phase of the case. Once a trial date gets set and that date starts approaching, however, Progressive’s in-house attorneys will usually step in and make an effort to get cases settled.

Progressive does not have the staffing in Maryland to take many contested accident cases to trial.


Scouting Report on Progressive Claims

Lowball First Offers


Most insurance companies make low initial settlements offers to varying degrees. However, Progressive is one of those insurers that has made first offer lowballing part of its strategic doctrine for handling claims. Progressive’s first offer to settle a claims will often be less than the incurred medical expenses. We estimate that Progressive first offers average less than 60% of full claim value.

Rarely Goes to Trial


Progressive has a relatively small in-house team of attorneys in Maryland that handle of their cases in litigation. This puts significant limits on the number of contested auto accident cases that Progressive can take to trial. They simply do not have the staffing and manpower to call as many bluffs and bring as many cases to trial compared to other insurance carriers. This limitation puts major pressure on Progressive to settle as trial approaches.

Disputes Medicals


More than any other insurer, Progressive claims adjusters will aggressively dispute, question deny, and/or minimalize the validity or necessity of a claimant’s medical treatment. If you go to the doctor 3 times, Progressive will claim only 1 visit was needed. If you get physical therapy they will say you exaggerated your pain level. Progressive will bluntly accuse you of inflating medical expenses.

Jurisdiction Matters


There are certain judicial jurisdictions (counties) in Maryland that are notoriously plaintiff friendly. The most notable are Baltimore City and Prince George’s County. Going to trial in these venues can be dangerous for defendants. Progressive does not have the manpower to trial many cases in Maryland to begin with, so it tends to avoid going trial in these jurisdictions even more. If you have a case in one of these venues, you can expect Progressive to be highly motivated to settle.


Progressive Settlements & Verdicts

YEAR / STATE

CASE / INJURY SUMMARY

RESULT

2020 – Texas

Various soft tissue injuries to back and neck of minor who was passenger in vehicle. Progressive was UIM insurer.

$60,055 – Settlement

2020 – Pennsylvania

Progressive offered $45,000 policy limits settlement for wrongful death of 20-year-old motorcycle rider struck by Progressive insured.

$45,000 – Settlement

2020 – Washington

Middle aged male plaintiff suffered back, neck and shoulder injuries treated with physical therapy.

$30,652 – Arbitration

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