Progressive Insurance has been one of the fastest growing auto insurance companies in the country over the past twenty years. What was once a small company based in the Midwest that catered to riskier “nonstandard” drivers, Progressive has turned into the third largest auto insurance company in the United States with over 50,000 employees.
Besides auto insurance, Progressive sells a wide variety of insurance products, including motorcycle coverage, insurance for boats, recreational vehicles (RVs), snowmobiles, commercial vehicles and homeowners’ insurance.
Progressive has a sophisticated operation for handling Detroit car accident cases and claims. It employs hundreds of insurance adjusters in its medical department, or PIP (personal injury protection) department. These adjusters are supposed to help process the payment of first-party, PIP benefits following a crash.
However, Progressive does the exact opposite. Instead, Progressive auto insurance uses sophisticated software and technological tools to pay less benefits or no benefits to injury victims. Progressive has also become a leader in Michigan in denying claims based on fraud or “material misrepresentation”, as explained in more detail below.
Our team of Detroit car accident lawyers have battled Progressive auto insurance in getting compensation for our clients for years.
Progressive Insurance still writes policies for what is considered risker drivers. But it does so in a deliberate and often nefarious way.
Progressive Will Deny Accident Claims Based on Fraud and Misrepresentation
One of Progressive Insurance’s favorite tactics in not paying no-fault benefits is by claiming fraud or a material misrepresentation. These allegations typically mean they are alleging that important information was left out or hidden during the insurance application process.
The company then uses the application to later completely deny a claim after a car crash in Detroit occurs. Progressive does this so it doesn’t have to pay for medical bills, car damage and pain and suffering.
Progressive insurance will usually do this by sending a letter to the policyholder or claimant after a crash. The letter will say the policy is being “rescinded” or they are using an equitable remedy called rescission. This legal technicality permits Progressive to try and tear up the insurance policy and not pay anything. It is as if the insurance policy never existed. Progressive will also send a live check to the policyholder representing the premium for the remaining period still left on the policy. If a person cashes this check, Progressive can use something called “accord and satisfaction” as another way of getting out of paying.
Reasons Progressive Insurance Gives for Claiming Fraud After a Detroit Car Accident
Progressive will use a lot of different reasons to claim fraud or a material misrepresentation after a car accident occurs. Some of their more popular reasons include:
- Failing to list all individuals living in the household when the policy was taken out
- Failing to list all vehicles or cars
- Failing to write the correct address of where the car stays
- Not disclosing all drivers for the vehicles
It is important to give full and accurate information when buying car insurance. This is especially true in Michigan and when dealing with Progressive. They will use whatever they can to delay and then deny an otherwise valid claim.
Progressive Sells Policies Online and Through Independent Agents
Unlike State Farm or Allstate, Progressive sells its policies through independent brokers and online. In other words, the agents are not “captive” agents or employees of the company.
The company uses its sophisticated website to allow customers to comparison shop auto insurance rates versus competitors. However, what Progressive really is doing is taking your information and evaluating your risk. Progressive then takes this information and either offers a competitive premium or intentionally pricing you out because they do not want you as a customer.
Progressive Insurance Uses LA Insurance to Sell Auto Policies
In Michigan, in especially in Detroit, Flint and other cities, Progressive sells insurance through LA Insurance. LA Insurance is an insurance agency that has historically taken advantage of the individuals with poor credit or bad driving records to sell extremely expensive car insurance.
The problem with LA Insurance is rather than assisting its customers in accurately completing the insurance application, the sales agent won’t ask all the right questions. LA Insurance just wants to make a sale. They will leave important information missing from the application. The agent will fail to ask the applicant very important details that needs to be included so fraud can’t be claimed later on.
If you are using LA Insurance to buy car insurance, make sure you review the policy application first before signing. Make sure it includes all household residents, drivers, vehicles staying at the property and other important information.
Failing to do this can lead to a denial after a car wreck, and with it a lot of frustration and anger.
Progressive Makes Its Clients Go To Independent Medical Evaluations
Progressive is aggressive in defending car accident injury cases. It does not want to pay money for medical bills, wages or pain and suffering. One of the ways it does this is by sending claimants to multiple independent medical examinations, or IMEs.
Independent medical examinations are a medical appointment with a doctor that is set up and paid for by Progressive. However, the doctor is not there to make you better or give any medical advice. And these assessments are hardly independent.
Instead under the Michigan no-fault law, Progressive is allowed to send you to one of their doctors for a review. The doctor will then write a report. The report usually answers certain questions the Progressive adjuster asked the doctor before the exam. The doctor’s answers can then be used to deny further payment of all future no-fault and medical benefits. These letters are known as termination letters because they are used to terminate benefits.
Progressive will often send an injured person to multiple IMEs with different doctors from different specialties. For a few hundred dollars, Progressive attempts to save thousands by not paying anymore benefits. Fortunately, the Michigan car accident attorneys at the Lee Steinberg Law Firm is well acquainted with their tricks and knows how to counter them.
How to Handle a Michigan No-Fault Claim with Progressive Insurance
If you are injured in a car accident, and you or your family member that you live with has Progressive Insurance, you are required by the Michigan no-fault law to go through Progressive for the payment of benefits. As described above, these benefits include the payment of medical bills, lost wages (for up to 3 years) as well as other benefits.
Progressive must pay first-party benefits, even if you caused the accident. The other driver is responsible for paying your pain and suffering so long as they are least 50% negligent.
For example, if you have been involved in a crash, and you are a Progressive policyholder or insured, you must make a claim with Progressive Insurance. When you do report the claim, make sure you explain all the injuries you have and the pain you feel. Don’t act tough and tell the adjuster you feel fine when you don’t. Don’t tell the adjuster the accident was just a “fender bender” or a minor crash if it wasn’t. They are already going to try to minimize your case. Don’t add fuel to the fire.
When you discuss the crash with the Progressive representative, ask for a claim number. Then give this claim number to any doctor or hospital you see for the auto accident, along with your other health insurance information.
After that, contact and experienced and aggressive Michigan law firm who has been fighting Progressive Insurance and its tactics for decades. Tell the lawyer what your current situation is and what Progressive has told you. Ask the lawyer for guidance and their opinions. A little bit of information can go a long way.
At the Lee Steinberg Law Firm, P.C., we have a dedicated team of Detroit car accident lawyers available to speak with and answer questions about no-fault claims and insurance payouts. We can run through the available options Progressive Auto Insurance is offering so you can understand the future benefits and money and coverage you may be unknowingly giving up.
Are You Being Pushed Around by Progressive Insurance? Contact the Lee Steinberg Law Firm Today.
If you or a person you know has been in a Michigan car, truck, or motorcycle accident, and has Progressive Insurance, please have them contact our office at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733). The call is free, and there is never a fee until we win your case.