Progressive Insurance has massive and massively successful advertising campaigns. Their humorous eager-to-please Flo character could be your cousin or neighbor. Don’t let fictional characters let you think Progressive is anything but an insurance company seeking higher profits by limiting claims payments.
What is Progressive Insurance?
Progressive is the top auto insurance carrier in the state, according to the Texas Department of Insurance, with about $3.4 billion in insurance premiums in 2020. That year it covered 15.13% of the auto insurance market, so about 15 out of every 100 Texas auto owners used Progressive.
This Ohio-based insurance company in 2020 wrote about $40.6 billion in premiums from 24.7 million policies. It had $64.1 billion in assets that year, according to Insurance Business America.
What Should I Expect When Negotiating with Progressive Insurance?
When you call Progressive to discuss what you should get for your car accident settlement, it won’t be Flo or one of her merry band of co-worker misfits on the line. It will be an insurance company employee who knows your policy, the law, and how to negotiate much better than you do. They’ll probably be friendly and professional, but it’s not their job to be your friend. They aim to resolve your claim as quickly, easily, and cheaply as possible.
Here are approaches that insurance claims professionals use to have claimants agree to settlements that are less than their case’s value. How well would you respond?
- Leading Questions
They want to carry on a friendly conversation and put you at ease. If you’re angry or tense, not much will get accomplished. The claims employee will want to engage with you, so you’ll put your guard down. They want you to trust them.
You’ll be asked how you’re doing. In most friendly conversations, you’ll say you’re fine or doing well – not talk about your difficulties. But this isn’t a normal conversation. Saying you’re doing well could be interpreted by Progressive as you’re not as injured or impacted by the accident as you claim.
- Your Injuries Aren’t as Bad as You Claim
The greater your injuries and the harsher their impact, the more your case is worth. Insurance companies want to minimize payment. That means trying to show you’re in pretty good shape, so you don’t deserve a large settlement.
If the adjuster is prepared, they may know more about your treatment than they do – because they have a copy of your medical records. Though they’re not medical professionals, if they’ve handled enough car accident claims, they’re probably reasonably knowledgeable of injuries. Are you?
- Disputing Your Lost Wages
They may try to get you to admit the time you lost at work was more a personal want than a medical necessity. They may press you for more documentation. The adjust may not say this, but they may think you’re a lazy malingerer milking the case for paid time off.
- Lowball Offer
This is an example of negotiation’s “anchor effect.” They will give you a low number because you may immediately take it (nothing ventured, nothing earned) and try to “anchor” the negotiations to that figure. You’ll be told how reasonable, even generous, the amount is. The adjuster may try to make you feel like you’re being underhanded by wanting more money. If the company puts that number out there, they’ll try to put the burden on you to justify a higher figure.
- You Caused the Accident
Texas law is considered modified comparative negligence. That means you have the burden of showing the other party was more negligent than you when the accident happened to win your case. Even if you reach that goal, the share of your fault will be deducted from your recovery.
The adjuster would like you to admit you’re more to blame to deny your claim. If they can’t do that, any admission of fault will result in your case’s value being cut.
- They Need Approval to Pay Your Demand
Your adjuster has the “authority” to pay up to a given amount. This is probably far more than what they offered you. Saying they must get approval to pay your demand may be a delaying tactic, and it’s also a way to try to earn your trust. The adjuster may falsely play the “good cop – bad cop” game.
They’ll falsely tell you they talked to The Boss (the bad cop) and were able to get an increased offer (though not nearly what your case is worth, trying to sound like the good cop working on your behalf) but not what you wanted. They’ll want you to feel you should repay their efforts and good faith by taking the offer.
Why Would You Put Yourself Through This?
If you’re in a vehicle accident, contact an experienced accident lawyer at Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., as quickly as possible. The earlier you call, the more help we can you. Thanks to our investigation, we may develop critical facts that strengthen your case.
We’ll negotiate with Progressive Insurance so you won’t have to. You can focus on your family, recovering, and getting back to work – not an insurance company trying to nickel and dime you.
Call us at 713-893-0971 to schedule a free consultation so we can talk about your accident, how it happened, and how we can help.