The Progressive Corp. insurance group proved itself a despicable company after it tried to avoid paying $75,000 to the family of a client killed in a car crash and then tried to blame the wreck on her. The story began with a tragic car accident where Progressive insurance customer, Kaitlynn Fisher, was killed in a June 2010 car crash in Baltimore. Progressive had overwhelming evidence to believe that Kaitlynn was indeed the victim, as well as a legal obligation of good faith toward its client. The evidence included testimony from an independent witness at the scene confirming the other driver, Ronald K. Hope III, ran a red light and caused the accident. Even Hope’s insurance company, Nationwide, also did not dispute that Hope was at fault and paid $25,000, the limit of its coverage, to the Fisher family.
What happened in court is best described by her brother Matt Fisher, “If you are insured by Progressive, and they owe you money, they will defend your killer in court in order to not pay you your policy.” Progressive Insurance refused to acknowledge that Hope was at fault because if the crash was ruled Kaitlynn Fisher’s fault, it would not have to pay the $75,000. (Kaitlynn Fisher’s policy covered the actions of an uninsured or underinsured driver that caused injury or death up to $100,000. Because Nationwide had paid $25,000, Progressive owed the Fishers the remaining $75,000)
During the trial, Progressive’s attorney coordinated with the defense and put on witnesses who tried to undermine Kaitlynn Fisher’s case. The Progressive attorney led the opening, the closing and cross-examined the witnesses–all for the defence! After first denying this, Progressive had to admit that their lawyer was indeed working in the court as a third-party to combat the Fisher family’s claims.
Ultimately, the jury sided with the Fisher family at the end of the three-day trial, awarding them $760,000 in damages. Sadly, it’s not necessarily unusual for an insurance company to go into court as an adversary of its client. At least in this case, the driver was found at fault and now Progressive should have to pay with negative press.
We shouldn’t expect much from a company that is named after its founders broken ideology. The chairman of the board for The Progressive Corp. insurance group is billionaire Peter Lewis. He took over the company which was co-founded in 1937 by his father back in 1965 and as CEO grew the company to the third largest auto insurer in the United States.
It’s a crock that after making a fortune as a result of capitalism, Lewis now finances and supports progressive movements attempting to destroy the free enterprise system. Lewis is a liberal hippy, even described in print as a “functioning pot-head” in Hoover’s Handbook of American Business 1999. Lewis has donated millions to the ACLU, and over 12.5 million to the George Soros groups MoveOn.org and American Coming Together. These groups are key components of the socialist left and finance much of the Obama political network. Peter Lewis even decorates his home with an elaborate series of paintings of Chinese communist Mao Tse-tung by Andy Warhol.
Maybe it is time for Geico…