Just because an insurance company has Progressive in their name doesn’t mean they’re any different from the usual penny-pinchers.
Patty’s tale, inside, navigates the tortuous twists as Progressive tries to avoid paying her any more then the barest minimum after one of their clients hit her car.
Patty isn’t taking it lying down, though. She’s fought the Progressive agent at every turn, and now she’s taking her case to a lawyer.
But the process hasn’t been fun.
After the last go around with the Progressive agent, she says, “I felt like I drank a gallon of gas and ate 7 lit matches!”
- “September 30th at Midnight, so October 1, while I was sleep and my husband was working on a homework assignment for college on the computer, our car was parked outside for the night and locked up, a client of Progressive had her boyfriend borrow her car. He drove near our apartment complex after dropping off a friend and accelerated at an unsafe rate of speed. The speed zone is 35 m.p.h., my neighbor who witnessed the whole thing after hearing the glass breaking heard the cops say he was probably going 45-50 m.p.h.
He hit the brand new (this is important I believe and that is why I’m mentioning it) 2005/2006 Buick LeSabre parked car about a foot behind my piece of crap $1500 ’98 Neon that was a foot away from a No Parking Sign. He was going so fast, he hit the LeSabre and forced that into my Neon and my Neon came flush with the No Parking Sign. My neighbors window faces the street and came running to see if anyone was hurt. The girl’s car stalled out when her boyfriend tried to back it up so he could take off. So instead, he pulled the keys, left the door open, and took off leaving the car there. He ran to where his girlfriend must have been visiting someone here in the complex sleeping on someone’s couch because later when she was standing around outside with no shoes on, her boyfriend was saying, “Babe, you need to put your shoes on and say you were driving! I ain’t going back Babe. I just got out. You know I just got out. I ain’t going back. Fine, we’ll tell them it was stolen. That’s what we’ll do.” My neighbor, and friend, overheard the whole damn thing. Dipsticks.
Then, when the cops arrive, the boyfriend stands around, like, “Officer, Officer! I saw the whole thing! I the saw the guy who did it!” Thank God for my neighbor who really DID see the whole thing. When the cop asked for witnesses she said, “See that guy over there giving a witnesses statement to the cops over there to that cop? Yeah, that’s the idiot driver and on top that of that if his car didn’t stall, he would have taken off. And I heard them talking about how he wanted her to put her shoes on so she can say SHE was the one driving so he wouldn’t go back to jail. On top of THAT, they were both going to claim the car was stolen. I heard the whole thing.” The cop went to talk to them and before they did they cuffed him so he wouldn’t take off knowing he’d been to jail before. Once they started talking sure enough, the couple tried claiming the car was stolen and they didn’t know who’d been driving her car. Of course. Of course the cop was prepared and pissed! He told them he knew it wasn’t stolen because if it were, the steering column would be busted, and it wasn’t. Or, the keys would still be in the car. If the theif had taken off, they wouldn’t have taken the keys with them, they would have left the keys in the ignition because they don’t care about the keys.
Needless to say the cops didn’t buy it, he got arrested, the car got towed because her car was totaled, she was left bawling about how she was going to get to work as a nurses aide at a nursing home with my brother-in-law. “My car, wah, my car, wah, wah, wah….” Well what about my car? I have a daughter who has health problems who has to see specialists sometimes 30-60 minutes away. She sits in the back behind the passenger seat right on the gas tank. I’m going through a half a tank of gas in TWO days time, two bent rims on my back tires, I had a rusted muffler I was about to replace that had no holes in it, but now has 4 huge holes in it, a bumper about to fall completely off, and damage underneath the car. Now I had to call Progressive, which I didn’t mind, to start the claim, because I’ve never been hit before, so I didn’t know how things go. But they didn’t know the address and phone number of the LeSabre owners, I did. I went out of my way, to set the phone down, walk outside down the block, get that information for them, and relay that to them, which I didn’t have to do. Progressive came out checked the damage to my car, I told them about the gas, the bumper, and the muffler, we didn’t know about the tires at the time, but that I was willing to have it put up on the lift to check under the car. He said he could see about $800 on the bumper alone, then went to his car, I had to get my daughter to a behavioral therapy appointment, we think she may be autistic and she hits me when she gets picked on by others. I get back and my husband hands me the official estimate. HA! What a JOKE! They were willing to give me $150 for the bumper for the final estimate from some “You pick it, you pull it junkyard”, and $50 for paint, and $37.50 for labor. Did they expect me to put this damn thing on myself? LMAO!!! The final estimate came to $567.08 for parts and labor for the bumper and the muffler and that was it. This was about the 5th of October. Now I kept stressing to the idiot, I was willing to put it up on the lift and have THEIR mechanic look it over, they of course never get back to me, so I keep calling them and harassing the crap out of them. By the 10th, my daughter had an appointment with a specialist an hour away and there was no way I was going to have her sit on the gas tank. Not to mention, driving on the thruway there isn’t many gas stations on the thruway to fill your car $5 every 1/4 of a tank, is there? So I had to rent a car at $64. I was pissed because by now I should have had my car fixed. My LeSabre neighbor did. They were already driving a 2007 LeSabre because the agent told me personally that they had at least $13,000 coming to them, minimum. And that he was surprised they were still driving their car. He cut their check no questions asked. Me, I’m STILL fighting. And it’s the 23rd of October!
The best part was this week. I FINALLY convinced them to put it up on the lift at MY mechanic. Well, actually, I TOLD them it was going on the lift. They could either be there, or not. And I got two estimates, one from my mechanic, and one from another mechanic. I also got the police report in case I have to take someone to small claims court. Progressive keeps claiming over and over since the beginning that the gas is NOT related to the accident even though the agent himself could smell gas when he came out to assess damage. Now, while my car is up on the lift, Progressive authorizes a Rental car for me to use while my car is in the shop. Ok, no problem. Meanwhile, I get the report back from my mechanic. The rims are shot to hell, and so is the fuel assembly line and they found even more damage in the under belly of the car that Progressive is willing to authorize repair on, but not the rims or the gas. STILL. The supervisor used to work on cars. (Everything in quotes are things he told me personally.) He used to “work on cars and he knows a thing or two about them and he knows that even though the car moved a foot there’s no way it would have bent both back rims and somehow I must have done it. On top of that, 6 months to a year ago the last time my mechanic put a new fuel line on my tank, not saying he’s a bad mechanic and all that, but he must have messed up my car and even though I didn’t noticed anything then, my car must have been leaking small amounts over time and I just didn’t notice it until the day of the accident when all of a sudden, by coincidence it started gushing more gas, but that doesn’t mean the accident caused it.” He also stated my mechanic wasn’t being “straight” with him. I said you calling my mechanic a liar? He says, “Your putting words in my mouth, Ma’am.” I said, “No that is what you said, you said he wasn’t being straight with you, meaning he’s lying. No matter what language you use, that’s how the word goes. Straight means honest, not straight means lying.” He again says I’m putting words into his mouth but if I want to put words into his mouth, that’s ok. Then he tells me that the muffler is a gift and that if I keep it up, they’ll remove the muffler and the muffler labor, about a $100, from the estimate, and (forcefully) “is that what I what them to do, is it? Well is it ma’am?” Then he has the balls to tell me I should have had the muffler fixed before the accident. I said excuse me, for one, we were about to when your drunk client’s boyfriend hit MY car! I’m the innocent party and you’re treating me as if I’m the one who caused the accident and I don’t appreciate it one bit and hung up on him. I don’t know who they think they’re threatening, but you DON’T threaten someone who can be a bitch. First thing I did was call my mechanic and told him what they were saying about him. And what they tried pulling with the muffler. He told me, that they told him the same thing AND they wanted HIM to call me the day before to call me to tell me the muffler was a gift and I “should be thankful I was getting it.” He flat out told them, why the hell should I call her? For one, what are you going to do for me? Nothing. For two, it’s not up to me to call her, it’s up to you to work out the estimate with her, not the mechanic.
I call the supervisor back and tell him I want the gas fuel assembly line and the rims added to the estimate AND that I have two estimates that state that at minimum that the gas IS from the accident. He says, any mechanic will tell me what I want to hear to get my business. (this is important) He says the $500 is their final offer. He asks me what do I want to do about the repairs and the $500 estimate they gave me and I said let me think about it. I swear, not more than 30 minutes later, the rental company calls and says I have to return the car now. Huh? I find out from Enterprise when the car is due back, he says as long as the keys are in the drop box by midnight, we’re ok. I call my mechanic and tell him to put our car keys under the driver seat so we can pick up our car and immediate get on the phone to rip an agent a new one once again. I call the supervisor and tell him it was nice of them to personally us and let us know that it was time to return the car. He says “you didn’t expect to keep it forever did you?” Ooh, now I was really fuming! I said, “No I didn’t expect to keep it forever, but I was under the impression I had it while the car was on the lift and while it was repaired. Am I mistaken?” He said, “You wouldn’t call me back.” It was a HALF AN HOUR! Let me think on it means just that? You think you’re going to bully me into taking what you’re willing to offer and I’m going to roll over and play dead for you? Oh hell no!
So I told him I was on the phone, I didn’t realize I had to call you back within 2 seconds, but hey, now I see how you run a business. You can’t even be bothered to call me yourself when it’s time to turn in the car. You have the rental company do it for you.
“Oh I’m sorry ma’am, I thought the agent handling the claim contacted you.”
Well obviously he didn’t. Not to mention, I give you two estimates which state the damage is from the accident, which you blow off and tell me their lying and telling me what I want to hear just to get my business.
“I didn’t say they were saying what you want to hear.”
You know what, what is the final estimate?
Send me out a check for that amount. I will be taking that unsigned check, the police report, and those estimates, as well as a few others to a lawyer’s office next week. Thank you for your time. And I hung up because I felt like I drank a gallon of gas and ate 7 lit matches. Ugh!