Not all insurance companies are created equal

Progressive Casualty Insurance is facing a class action lawsuit filed by a New York policyholder.  The lawsuit alleges that Progressive Insurance undervalues and underpays claims deemed a total loss.  Instead of using standards of appraisal, the insurer used a “projected sold adjustment” with deceptive and unclear methodology according to court documents.

Fire departments and first responders know all too well about being undervalued and denied by Progressive Insurance. Progressive was among the top carriers to rake in millions of dollars of profits during the pandemic (even after their meager distribution of refunds), while firefighters and first responders sacrificed themselves for their communities. And yet, Progressive consistently denies fire department claims; routinely shirking their obligation to reimburse the fire department for clean up and response to auto accident hazards on behalf of their insured and the communities in which they live.

Unfortunately, accidents sometimes happen; that is why we purchase insurance. And we pay our auto insurance carriers to cover the costs of “that which [we] are liable” as a result of driving our vehicles. When fire departments respond to hazardous materials, roadway debris and property damage on public roadways, they put themselves at risk while performing a service for their communities. They also perform a service to the individuals who are responsible for the accident and for cleaning it up. Taxes pay for access to and establishment of our safety infrastructure, but the resources used to do so should be reimbursed (just like a public utility, where taxes might provide access to water for example, but users also pay for their consumption). The costs of emergency response to individual accidents should be reimbursed by the insurance that we purchase for such emergencies – not by the public.

Practices such as those cited in the recent class action suit, and the routine denial of fire department claims, may help explain why Progressive was the only auto insurance carrier to post a profit in 2022, and has now surpassed GEICO as the number two auto insurance carrier in the United States. (GEICO, if you are wondering, regularly reimburses and supports fire departments.)

Not all insurance companies treat their customers and communities fairly. It’s good to know which carriers share your values.