Chenoweth Law Group

Dealing with insurance companies can be a nightmare

Insurance is intended to provide its holders with a sense of security and peace of mind. When the unexpected occurs, insurance should be there to lessen the financial and psychological strain. This is why individuals pay such a premium to have it.

Too often, however, dealing with insurance companies after an accident can cause nothing but a headache. Policyholders may be subjected to unreasonable delays in getting their claims processed or forced to endure costly and fruitless litigation.

As a testament to the commonness of this plight, witness the recent viral popularity of the case of comedian, Matt Fisher, and his sister, Katie.

In 2010, the comedian's sister was killed in an automobile accident. She was insured by Progressive at the time. The driver of the other vehicle had inadequate insurance and negligently ran a red light. According to Fisher's policy, Progressive would pay the difference between her policy and the other driver's.

However, according to Matt Fisher's scathing indictment of the insurance company, Progressive not only failed to compensate the Fishers fairly, but paid for legal representation for the negligent driver. Since the law prohibited the Fisher family from suing Progressive, they had to establish negligence on the part of the other driver. Once negligence was established, the Fishers could use the ruling as leverage to get Progressive to pay.

In an attempt to protect its own interests, Fisher claims, Progressive supplied lawyers to argue in defense of the other driver. His negligence, it seems, was bad for the company's bottom line. At first, the insurance company denied that it had any involvement whatsoever in the driver's defense. Later, however, it admitted that a lawyer was active in the trial, but only on behalf of Progressive, not the other driver.

The judge awarded the Fisher family $760,000. They have yet to receive the money. And, if Matt Fisher's internet postings are any indication, they are not holding their breath.

Source: Huffington Post, "Matt Fisher Outraged by Progressive Insurance Defending Sister's Killer (2nd Update)," Ron Dicker, Aug. 15, 2012

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