Not So Progressive

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If you’ve never had to deal with the inadequacies of an insurance company, consider yourself lucky. 

Gawker reports on a terrible instance of auto insurance failure, in which Progressive not only refused to honor a car accident victim’s policy, but sent its legal team to represent the driver of the other vehicle.

The news broke after the victim’s brother, comedian Matt Fisher, posted about the incident on his Tumblr:

…[M]y parents don’t harbor much venom for the guy who killed my sister. It was an accident, and kicking that guy around won’t bring Katie back. But kicking that guy around was the only way to get Progressive to pay. So they filed a civil suit against the other driver in hopes that, rather than going to court, Progressive would settle. Progressive did not. Progressive made a series of offers (never higher than 1/3 the amount they owe) and then let it go to a trial.

At the trial, the guy who killed my sister was defended by Progressive’s legal team.

It gets worse.

In response to the Gawker article, a former Progressive employee recounts what it’s like to work for the company. In brief:

I have been screamed at, had my death wished on me, had the suffering and agony of my loved ones prayed for, physically threatened, and actually told that they would find me and kill me in my sleep– all because I’ve been ordered to do the bare and insulting minimum for every claim that came across my desk. I’ve listened to the sobbing, life rendering tales of parents who’ve lost children, spouses who’ve lost partners, parents who have lost children and the best I’ve been forced to tell them, compliments of my supervisors, was something like: “I’m sorry for you loss. This was a terrible tragedy. There’s nothing more I can do. I can transfer your concerns to another representative…” only to dump them in voicemail purgatory, where those designated to deal with them next just don’t.

Always good to know your insurance company will be on your side when the going gets tough.


Rebecca Rubenstein is the Editor-in-Chief of Midnight Breakfast. When not reading books made of paper, she can be found thinking aloud on Twitter. She resides in San Francisco and maintains a healthy relationship with the fog. Rebecca is Interviews Editor Emeritus for The Rumpus. More from this author →