Using a real-world example, we will further evaluate how is insurance used in a lawsuit.
In 2012, Business Insider reported on the Progressive and Matt Fisher case stating, “Comedian Matt Fisher took to Tumblr on Monday to call out Progressive Insurance for not only failing to pay when his sister died in a car accident but for allegedly defending the man responsible for the accident in court.”
This is an excellent opportunity to pull back the curtain on what you pay for when you buy auto insurance. When you buy auto insurance what you are really buying is a promise in the form of a written contract. In that contract there are several clauses that either give you financial protection or take it away. In the Fisher case the part of the contract that was being defended in court was the Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist clause:
“Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist – This pays for injuries to you and, in some policies, damage to your car if you are hit by a driver who doesn’t have insurance – or by someone who doesn’t have enough insurance to cover your losses.”
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Explained
How is insurance used in a lawsuit with uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage? It means that your insurance company steps into the shoes of the person who caused the accident. It’s their job to defend the other driver. Why? Because Matt’s sister (smart woman) bought more coverage than the other guy. The other guy only purchased $25,000 in liability limits. Matt’s sister purchased $100,000. Her financial loss was much greater than the insurance the other guy purchased. If her family wanted the Uninsured/Under insured coverage to pay the difference, they had to prove he was at fault.
What Does it Mean to be Legally Liable for the Financial Loss of Another?
You must be responsible for the financial loss caused to someone else. In this case, Matt’s sister lost her life due to the carelessness of someone else. Most of us do not intend to get into a car accident and kill another person. In fact, most people would insist on their day in court to prove them legally liable. That is exactly what happened. Matt’s sisters’ killer got his day in court, where the jury held him responsible for Matt’s sister’s death. Which meant that Progressive was now contractually liable to pay the damages from his sister’s policy…and they in fact did just that.
What You Need to Ask About Your Policy
Understanding your policy is HUGE!! This is the Value of Using an Insurance Agent. You might be thinking, I already understand insurance and know what I need. Well, the funny thing about that is that no one reads the contract they sign with any insurance company. In fact, most auto insurance customer’s only ask me one thing when they buy a policy. (How Much Is It Going to Cost?)
You should be asking the following questions:
1. Have you read the contract and can you explain the coverage to me?
2. Do you think I am buying enough coverage to protect me and my family from financial loss?
3. What happens if I have a claim?
You can always count on your Bancorp Insurance Agent to educate you on the coverages you are buying. We leverage our years of experience and our values to provide our customers with the best service possible to guide you in buying adequate coverage for your individual needs.
Should you experience a claim, we can advise you what it is you need to do, to get your claim paid by your insurance company.
Bancorp Insurance is an independent agent and does sell insurance for Progressive. But, when you choose to work with a Bancorp Insurance agent, we become your adviser and will be more than happy to explain what it is you are actually buying. If you purchased a policy directly through Progressive online, you deal with Progressive direct (not through and agent) they assume you read your policy.
Bancorp’s insurance agents are available to provide you with a free review and consultation of all your auto coverages to insure you are covered in the event of an accident. Contact Us – Bancorp Insurance Call 800-452-6826
Disclaimer: This content is provided for general information purposes and is not intended to be legal advice or in place of consultation with an attorney. Changes may occur in this area of law over time.