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Maggie Brazeau's profile photoGwen Patton's profile photo
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I keep seeing this everywhere, and...well, I don't think the author understands how underinsured motorist coverage works.  An accident actually doesn't entitle you to the full value of your policy.  It only entitles you to actual damages, up to the limit of your policy.  Her estate was entitled to the difference between what the other guy's insurance paid and what the actual damages were.  

I have a policy with Progressive, and the limit for our uninsured/underinsured policy is $25k per person/$50K per accident.  When we were hit a few years ago by an uninsured driver, we were NOT awarded $25K.  We were awarded actual damages, which came out to about $4K.

I'm sorry his sister died, but dude's anger is misplaced. 
 
But what are the damages when someone dies? There's danger here of payment of benefits in bad faith, and supplying a legal team for the uninsured/underinsured person to prevent paying potential damages owed could be construed as bad faith -- which I believe under Federal insurance regulations carries treble penalty, but I could be mistaken. If they're trying to avoid a treble whammy for bad faith, that could be why they're providing legal cover for the other side, because it's cheaper to pay a few grand for a lawyer than 75-150G's in punitive damages on a 25-50 grand policy.
 
+Gwen Patton Underinsured Motorist coverage still only pays out actual damages unpaid by the other driver's insurance, even if someone dies, and then ONLY after negligence has been determined. See:  http://www.metafilter.com/118918/Buying-a-Kick-in-the-Face#4509796  (Valkyrn is a civil defense attorney in MD)  You don't automatically get the full limit value of your policy, even if you die.  Your estate has to take the other guy to court to determine negligence, then your policy pays out actual awarded damages, MINUS whatever the other guy's insurance policy limit is.

Not really sure where the author is getting the idea that Progressive defended the other driver in court, either.  According to court records, he was defended by Nationwide's in house counsel.  http://casesearch.courts.state.md.us/inquiry/inquiryDetail.jis?caseId=24C11002185&detailLoc=CC  (Don't click, cut and paste.)  Another MD law firm confirms that Greenspan defends all suits against Nationwide in MD:  http://www.millerandzois.com/Nationwide-claims-settlements.html

But even more than ALL of this:  The jury only JUST handed down its verdict on August 8th.  They found the other driver 100% negligent, and awarded damages of $760K.  So what happens now is that the amount that the other guy's insurance has already paid is deducted from the total award.  Then the Estate's attorneys will get paid, usually 1/3 of the total award.  Then Progressive will verify that the money from the other guy's insurance went towards satisfying lienholders and such - lets assume that the money was enough to cover the actual cash replacement value of her vehicle, and lets assume that it wasn't enough to pay off her car note.  Progressive will pay that, then the funeral home and the hospital - assuming they've not yet been paid, pending this litigation's outcome - THEN they will cut a check for the remainder, payable to the estate.  This whole process takes anywhere from 1 to 3 weeks.  The verdict wasn't even handed down a week ago, and he's already screaming about not getting paid?

Dude needs to shut up.  While he's busy shutting up, he can go learn about insurance AND legal proceedings AND timelines for payment after the rendering of a verdict.
 
Try again, Maggie. Bad Faith is Bad Faith, and this is precisely the issue. My father was an insurance adjuster for something like half a century, much of that excess claims, and I learned much of this at his knee. And he sent me to work at his favorite law firm's mail room my first summer before college...the one that represented the Northern coast of France in the Amoco Cadiz case. I'm not going to just talk through a paper nose on something like this, I'm going to look it up, and I thought I remembered this correctly.

How about this for just a quick teaser? http://www.millerandzois.com/Maryland-Progressive-Insurance-Settlement.html

They suggest sending a bad faith letter to Progressive if they don't cough up the ENTIRE policy amount. Not just some little piddling amount they feel like paying. When there's some vehicular damage, yes, you're right -- actual damages are reasonable. But when there are grievous human injuries or deaths involved, you don't start pinching pennies, you just look for what the top value of the policy is and write the damn check, because anything else is bad faith. Period.
 
Actually, +Gwen Patton , I suggest you both pack up your snotty 'tude and YOU try again.  Your misread of the Miller and Zois page is a little embarrassing.  They are discussing how to deal when the driver who hit you is insured by Progressive, not when you need to use your Progressive policy's UM coverage.  Yes, absolutely, if some dude runs a red light and kills you, his insurance is expected to pay out to the policy limit.  This is not the case for your insurance.  If you carry UM insurance, your policy is only required to pay out the difference between awarded damages and what the other guy's insurance has paid out.  This is LAW in every state of the Union.  Some laws require the UM to pay out at a percentage of negligence, others (MD, frex) only require it if the other driver is 100% at fault.  State law, readily available.

Do note that the court just awarded Miss Fisher's estate damages totaling $760K - it's a matter of public record, which I pointed you to.  Miss Fisher's estate was statutorily required to take the other driver to court to determine fault before Progressive could pay a cent.  Also a matter of public record, Valkyryn cited the exact law in the link I provided above.  Matt Fisher is throwing a tantrum about something that he doesn't understand, and apparently you don't quite understand it either.  Her estate was properly awarded damages just a few days ago, in a case properly tried in MD's courts, and Progressive will be required to pay out the amount over and above what the other party's insurance has already paid, per state law.  

Matt Fisher's complaint that his sister's killer was defended by HER insurance company is patently false.  He's angry and upset...and wrong.

Clearly neither the judge nor jury found Progressive to be arguing in bad faith.  Neither does my boss, an attorney.  And I don't work in the mail room, I work directly for him.  It's great fun to get all outraged and engaged in an internet pile on, but the law is a touch indifferent to public opinion.
 
Sorry if that was overly snarky.
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