Most of the time, comedian Matt Fisher’s blog is funny. This time, though, it’s not — and for good reason. Two years ago, Fisher’s younger sister was driving north on Calvert Street when another driver ran a red light and hit her car, killing her. That’s plenty of tragedy for one family right there — but unfortunately, it gets worse: Katie’s own insurance company ended up using her money to defend the guy who killed her. Yep, you read that right.
Here’s how it happened: The driver who hit Katie was underinsured, and his insurance carrier quickly paid out as much as they were due. But Katie’s Progressive policy covered accidents by uninsured drivers, so they were obligated to pay the difference. But instead of doing that, Progressive refused to pay. Fisher’s family also earned an unpleasant fact about Maryland law: you can’t sue an insurance company when they refuse to fork over your money. Instead, the family filed a civil suit against the at-fault driver. When that case went to court, Progressive’s legal team was there — defending the guy who hit and killed Fisher’s sister.
“Here I address you, Prospective Progressive Insurance Customer,” Fisher writes, “someday when you have your accident, I promise that there will be enough wiggle room for Progressive’s bottomless stack of in-house attorneys to make a court case out of it and to hammer at that court case until you or your surviving loved ones run out of money… 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.”
Matt Fisher’s diatribe is getting national attention at this point; maybe the public shaming will cause Progressive to re-think their policies. So far, though, all they’ve come up with is an automated Tweet:
This is a tragic case, and our sympathies go out to Mr. Fisher and his family for the pain they’ve had to endure. We fully investigated this claim and relevant background, and feel we properly handled the claim within our contractual obligations. Again, this is a tragic situation, and we’re sorry for everything Mr. Fisher and his family have gone through.
We received this morning the following email from Chris Wolf, claims general manager at Progressive:
“In response to today’s story involving Progressive Insurance, we wanted to share Progressive’s statement. I’d like to take this opportunity to explain Progressive’s role in this complex case. First and foremost, our deepest sympathies go out to Kaitlynn Fisher’s family. To be very clear, Progressive did not serve as the attorney for the defendant in this case. He was defended by his insurance company, Nationwide. There was a question as to who was at fault, and a jury decided in the Fisher family’s favor just last week. We respect the verdict and now can continue to work with the Fisher family to reach a resolution.”