UPDATE: Some more information has come to light, along with one expert’s explanation for why Progressive might have done what the victim’s brother says it did.
The Twitter-sphere (and the Consumerist tipline) are blowing up this afternoon with the story of a man who claims that after his sister’s life was taken in a tragic car crash, her insurance company — Progressive — came to the aid of the man driving the other car.
As he details on his Tumblr page, in June 2010, Matt’s sister was killed in Baltimore when another car allegedly ran a red light and crashed into her vehicle as she crossed through the intersection.
According to Matt, the other driver’s insurance company settled with his sister’s estate “basically immediately,” but because that driver didn’t have much insurance, there wasn’t much to be gotten from his insurance company. However, Matt’s sister had a Progressive policy that he says was intended to protect her in the case of the other driver being under-insured.
But Matt claims that Progressive refused to pay out that policy. Left without other legal avenues to pursue, he says that his family sued the other driver in order to establish his negligence, which they could then use as leverage to compel Progressive to pay they believed was owed.
“Now my parents don’t harbor much venom for the guy who killed my sister,” he writes. “But kicking that guy around was the only way to get Progressive to pay.”
But, claims Matt, when the case came to trial, the other driver was defended by Progressive’s lawyers.
In the end, it didn’t matter, as the jury found the other driver responsible, which means the policy — at least according to Matt’s story — should pay out.
We’ve reached out to both Progressive and Matt to see if anyone will provide any further details on this story. If we hear anything from either party, we’ll be sure to update.
UPDATE: When reached for comment, a rep for Progressive issued the following statement to Consumerist:
“This is a tragic case, and our sympathies go out to Mr. Fisher and his family for the pain they’ve had to endure. We fully investigated this claim and relevant background/evidence, and feel we properly handled the claim within our contractual obligations. Again, this is a tragic situation, and we’re sorry for everything Mr. Fisher and his family have gone through.”