Progressive Insurance Company
In 1937 Progressive Insurance began writing insurance policies mostly for automobiles, trucks and commercial enterprises. Most of its insurance today if for cars, bicycles, trucks and boats. Including Illinois, Progressive insures more than 11 million cars and truck across the United States. Progressive has made good use of the internet to sell its auto, truck and bike insurance policies.
Like many of the other major insurance producers of car insurance policies, Progressive has both well-trained, courteous and respectful adjusters, but also some that are not very realistic when they evaluate claims. Kreisman Law Offices has been handling Progressive insurance claims for our clients for most of our 40 years of experience.
In Illinois, Progressive’s insurance policies for most of auto insurance are at the low end of coverage. That means that most of the claims we have made with Progressive show that their insurance limits are usually low or near the minimum allowed by Illinois law; $20,000 or $25,000 per occurrence. In a very serious injury or death caused by a Progressive insured, we may be looking at policy limits that are low. That means that a claim for the client’s underinsurance policy would be in order if available. For example, if the Progressive policy limits were say $25,000, but the claim has value at more than $100,000, the Progressive policy amount would be tendered. That is the $25,000 would be offered, but then we would make a claim for the underinsurance of our client’s auto policy as long as that underinsurance limit were greater than $25,000. Illinois prohibits the “stacking” of insurance policies. That is to say that if the client’s underinsurance coverage were $250,000 maximum, we would make claim on that, but would be subject to a credit or reduction of the $25,000 received or to be received from the Progressive policy. In short, if the claim could be reasonably valued at $150,000, Progressive would contribute $25,000 (its policy limit) and the underinsurance would make up the difference of $125,000 to complete the $150,000 settlement.
Unfortunately it remains true that Progressive adjusters are known to be unreasonable in evaluating Chicago area auto claims. Many times over these years a claim is evaluated unreasonably which leads to an impasse. When that occurs we have no choice but file the lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Cook County or any of the other neighboring counties where venue would lie. I would advise the client of the circumstances of the settlement discussions all the way through.
Not surprisingly after we have filed the lawsuit and even after Progressive has hired its own counsel to represent its insured, the adjuster will contact me. Sometimes it is then, for the first time since we have been talking about this claim that the adjuster begins to become more reasonable in the way they look at the case.
Progressive is aware that most of its insurance policies for car accidents have low limits. Where lawsuits are filed against one of their insured in our cases, we will make a written policy limits demand. That protects our clients and gives us the possibility of bringing a later bad faith claim should a jury verdict be in excess of the policy limits. For example in one case in Maryland, the jury entered a verdict in a wrongful death case against a Progressive insured for $760,000. Progressive had refused to even offer its policy limits of $100,000 thus exposing itself to the rest of the verdict in a bad faith claim. In another case reported in Wisconsin, Progressive settled for its policy limits in a three-car crash on Highway 41, which enters into Illinois in Lake County.
At Kreisman Law Offices we have found that after a lawsuit is filed against one of Progressive’s insured’s it settlement posture changes for the better. Progressive’s adjusters become much more reasonable in how they now assess the claim when they know that much greater exposure is yet to come at trial.
If you or someone you know or love has been injured by a Progressive insured call us for an immediate free consultation and evaluation of your claim. Kreisman Law Offices has been handling car accident cases for more than 40 years and has experience handling insurance claim adjusters of all kinds. Call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 312.346.0045 or toll-free 800.583.8002.