17 Aug Why Did Progressive Defend Matt Fisher Sister’s Killer in Court?
Great question and 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.
OK what does that really mean. 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.
I want to talk about being legally liable for the financial loss of another. What does that mean? You must be responsible for the financial loss caused to someone else. In other words 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 sister killer got his day in court. The jury held him responsible for Matt’s sister’s death. Progressive is now contractually libel to pay the damages from his sister’s policy. That’s what they are doing.
I Want to Thank Social Media In Pushing Progressive to Pay?
Did Social Media pressure really cause Progressive to do the right thing? Not really they lost the case in court. They were contractually obligated to pay. But I think Social Media deserves a nod of appreciation, because as an insurance agent I try to explain to people what they are buying all day long. But everyone thinks they already know what they are buying. Funny 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 me 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?
I do my best to educate you on what it is you are actually buying. I use my years of experience to guide you to buy adequate coverage for your individual needs. If you should have a claim, I will advise you what it is you need to do, to get your claim paid by your insurance company or the other guys. That’s what I do for a living. That’s why I am an insurance agent.
PS: In full disclosure I am an independent agent and I do sell auto insurance for Progressive. But when you deal with me, I am your adviser and will be more than happy to explain what it is you are actually buying. When you deal with Progressive direct (not through and agent) they assume you read your policy.