Like a good neighbor: When your insurance company kicks you in the teeth

This post is long overdue.  It’s been brewing for over a year (since around March or April of last year).  I haven’t written it yet for various reasons, but unfortunately I just read an article on the news that brought back all the bad feelings.

That means I’m mad right now, and I shouldn’t write when I’m mad, but I’m going to anyway.

Check out this nasty article/story about Progressive insurance: Progressive insurance on defense after court case.

In a nutshell, a lady died, Progressive was supposed to pay the family because of an insurance policy, but they went to court to try and save $75,000 by blaming the lady who died.  In court it was decided that it was not her fault, even though Progressive tried hard to make it seem that way.  Luckily blog posts have a way of getting out into the public the way that media should. I think this is the link to the blog post.


It reminds me of The Incredibles, when Mr. Incredible worked at an insurance company and got fired for doing what was right, and within the contract.  I heard from someone who worked in insurance that standard policy was to reject claims twice, for no reason at all, before they would do anything with them.


Last Spring our good neighbor insurance company sent us a nasty letter saying that on July 1 our auto coverage would be discontinued. I seriously thought it was a mistake.

After a few phone calls I learned it was NOT a mistake.  There were two distinct reasons we were getting let go. According to them, either of the two was cause to be let go.

The first and main reason they said we were getting let go was because we had too many claims.  We had six claims in about a year (I’m not positive on the timeframe).

The 5th (I think) and most significant turned out to be a $30,000 accident (more on that later). The rest?

Two calls for a locksmith. I’m guessing this cost less than $100.

One windshield replacement.

NOTE: When we called our agent’s office to ask about these, they bent over backwards to encourage us to get a new windshield, and THEY called the locksmith for us.

We had NO idea there was a tally to keep track of the “incidents.”  They said we had six incidents in a way that made it sound that a locksmith call carried the same weight as the $30k accident.

Another of the six was a “fender bender” at a credit union parking lot.  Unfortunately the other lady involved submitted a claim for a dent, and was paid for it.  The only thing was that my wife got pictures, which we emailed to our agent, and there was NOTHING to repair.  I think she took her car in, got claims for OTHER dents, and submitted it.

Guess who got stuck holding the bag?  Our insurance company dinged us, even though we had pictures to prove it was a fradulent claim.  They could care less.

So, that was their big claim: we had too many claims in too short a period.  3 were meaningless and very cheap.  One was fradulent (by the other party).

When I pressed this issue with my agent, who was super awesome at selling insurance (but turned out to suck when representing us to his company), his next big argument was the big $30k accident.

It was clearly a business decision, he said, and how could we expect to pay in just a little bit but get $30k of value from them?


My understanding is that is how insurance works. You pay money, and if you need to file a claim, they pay out what is right, and according to the policy.

You know those minimums and maximums they say they’ll pay?  That’s what I expected them to pay…

Well, they did pay the $30k (or whatever they paid)… and then sent us the nasty letter breaking up with us.

My wife calls them the “paper plate insurance company” because once you use them you have to throw them away.

How very disgusting the insurance industry can be.

Even though we had about 16 years of NO claims… a very clean record…

I’d be hard pressed to go back to that good neighbor… I’m sorry for recommending people to them, and I’ll never recommend them again.


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