Brian White | February 26, 2021 | Car Accidents
Progressive is the second-largest insurer in Texas. With 13.35% of the Texas auto insurance market, it trails the state’s top insurer, State Farm, by only 0.08%.
Progressive also earns some of the lowest customer ratings for claims handling, according to J.D. Power. Its customer satisfaction ratings are far below the industry average. They have the lowest rating of the four biggest insurers: State Farm, GEICO, Allstate, and Progressive.
When Should I File a Car Accident Insurance Claim with Progressive?
Texas uses an at-fault insurance system. This means that you can file your claim with your insurer or with the other driver’s insurer after an accident happens. But the insurer for the driver who is at fault will pay the claims for everyone injured by its insured in the accident.
Filing a First-Party Claim With Your Insurer
If you have a good relationship with your insurance company, you might want to start there. But bear in mind that your insurer will not be responsible for paying your claim if you did not cause the accident.
This leaves your insurer with two options:
- The insurer can pay your claim, charge you the deductible, and seek reimbursement (called a subrogation claim) from the at-fault driver’s insurance company for its payout and your deductible.
- Your insurer can refer your claim to the insurer for the at-fault driver without paying anything.
If your insurer is Progressive and you are not at fault for the accident, you might want to file your claim with the other driver’s insurance because of Progressive’s poor customer satisfaction ratings.
Filing a Third-Party Progressive Insurance Claim
If you are not at fault for the accident, your claim will end up with the insurer of the driver who was at fault, regardless of where you start the claims process.
One benefit of filing with the other driver’s insurer is that you will not have to pay the deductible when you receive your payout. The disadvantage is that the other driver’s insurer could fight to deny or reduce your claim, which could ultimately result in a lengthy fight.
If Progressive insures the at-fault driver, your claim will end up with Progressive. If you want to avoid the deductible and the delay of subrogation to get your deductible refunded, you should consider filing your claim upfront with Progressive.
What Happens When I File a Claim with Progressive?
Like the other large insurers, Progressive has invested to expand its options for filing claims.
Filing a claim begins when you contact the claims division for Progressive to report the accident. An administrator will collect your information so that Progressive can open a claim file and assign the claim to a claims adjuster.
The real challenges begin once the claim has been assigned to that adjuster.
Here are some tips and hints for dealing with a Progressive car accident claim.
Minimize Your Contact with the Adjuster
Claims adjusters do not work for you. They work for Progressive. Progressive has a financial interest in denying or reducing your claim.
Insurance companies make money by investing the premiums that they collect. When they pay claims, they have less available to invest, which ultimately eats into their profits. As a result, the adjuster will try to find ways to justify denying or reducing your claim.
Progressive’s adjuster will tell you that you need to provide a recorded statement about the facts of the case surrounding your claim. They take this recorded statement by asking you questions over the phone while recording your answers. However, it’s important to note that giving a recorded statement can actually jeopardize your claim.
Progressive would like you to give a recorded statement, but it has plenty of information to process your claim without it. Progressive can use police reports, the statement from its insured, and your medical records to resolve your claim.
Instead, Progressive wants a recorded statement so that they can find reasons to reduce or deny your claim. Every time you talk to the adjuster, you risk giving them an excuse to cut your claim down. For example, just greeting the adjuster with “I’m fine. How are you?” can be twisted into a statement that your injuries were minor and you have already recovered from them.
You should minimize your contact with the adjuster. If you want to speak to the adjuster, you should consider hiring a lawyer first. A lawyer can represent you on the call and try to keep the examiner’s questions and your answers from harming your claim.
Fully Document Your Claim
Remember that Progressive will look for any reason to reduce or deny your claim. Progressive’s claim adjusters can use sparse documentation to deny compensation.
If the adjuster does not believe that your medical records prove that the accident caused your injuries, they can deny your claim. Similarly, if the adjuster believes that your doctor has not explained the reasons for your treatment, Progressive can cut your medical bills or deny payment.
To overcome these problems, make sure your medical records fully support your injury claims. Hiring a lawyer can help, since injury lawyers and their firms know what documentation will typically persuade an examiner to pay a claim.
View the Entire Process as a Negotiation
Progressive does not succeed when it pays for your losses. Instead, they succeed when they offer enough for you to release your claim against Progressive and its insured. If the settlement does not cover all of your medical bills, future medical expenses, and lost income, the adjuster has not failed. You have failed because you did not negotiate for more.
Progressive will make a low initial offer. Its offer might even be less than your documented medical expenses. For example, if you have $8,000 in medical bills, Progressive might only offer $5,000.
Claims adjusters cannot lose with a low offer.
- If you accept the low offer, Progressive saved money.
- If you reject the low offer, Progressive has room to negotiate.
Hiring a lawyer can help you to avoid this problem. A lawyer can negotiate on your behalf to get enough to cover your losses. And a lawyer can evaluate your claim, so you’ll know when the adjuster has made a fair offer.
Using a Personal Injury Lawyer to Handle Your Insurance Claim With Progressive
A lawyer will know how to deal with Progressive’s adjusters. Having a lawyer to file your claim and work with the adjuster can reduce your stress and produce a better outcome.
Attorney Brian White & Associates, PC
3120 Southwest Fwy Suite 350
Houston, TX 77098