• Report: #136956
Complaint Review:

Progressive Casualty

  • Submitted: Wed, March 30, 2005
  • Updated: Mon, July 25, 2005

  • Reported By:Manassas Park Virginia
Progressive Casualty
12700 Black Forest Lane Woodbridge, Virginia U.S.A.

Progressive Insurance, Progressive Casualty ripoff they do not pay when their insured hits your car and is at fault Woodbridge Virginia

*Consumer Suggestion: Pictures don't lie - people do

*Consumer Suggestion: Progressive didn't hit your car, Jacqueline did. So, sue her for the damages. Let her fight it out for reimbursement.

*Consumer Suggestion: Advice for future accidents, any insurance company

*Consumer Suggestion: It gets better... police report is almost worthless

*Consumer Suggestion: Did you get a police report

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On March 17, 2005, at approximately 5:30 p.m., in broad daylight, on a clear day, a woman named Jacqueline M. Frances of Woodbridge, Virginia, backed her vehicle into my car. Ms. Frances got out of her vehicle and said she was very sorry for backing into me - that she did not even see me and that she knew it was her fault for not looking to see what was behind her - that she was paying attention to the children who were standing on the stoop of my home (her daughter and my boyfriend's two children) - who were trying to motion for her to stop. She said not to worry - that she had insurance and would pay for the damage to my vehicle.

I explained to her that I was upset because insurance companies cancel people for being hit by other people and I had that happen to me in the past by American Express Insurance, who in fact did cancel my insurance policy collision portion because of people hitting me and breaking into my vehicle. My boyfriend who was also at the stoop of the house and had witnessed it came out and also tried to calm me down - - "Calm down Cheryl - she has insurance to fix your car. You heard her - its going to be ok." I took down the little information I could think of getting, her address and policy number for the insurance. I was so upset that I couldn't even see the information on her drivers license. She said that she would call her insurance company to file the report so that I could get my car fixed.

Finally, on Saturday, March 19th, I called Progressive Insurance Company and furnished a recorded statement concerning the incident. After the recording was finished the agent told me that my story differed from the story that was furnished by their insured party. He said that since she was their customer they had to believe her statement rather than mine. He explained that by law there are two types of negligence - contributory and comparative. In the state of Virginia the legal system uses contributory rather than comparative, which means that if you are even 1% responsible for the collission then you are responsible for fixing your own vehicle. He said that Ms. Frances told their insurance agents that both of our vehicles were moving at the same time (that I was backing up out of my parking space at the same time as she was backing up in the parking lot). So as far as they were concerned my statement that I was stopped and not moving at the time that Ms. Frances backed up into my vehicle was unsupported and would make me liable for fixing my own vehicle. The Progressive Agent went on further to say that none of the witnesses at the scene of the accident could provide testimony since they were too closely involved with the parties. It had to be witnessed by a person who we did not know.

He went on to explain that they have an obligation to believe their insured customer. I explained that my car was NOT moving at the time she hit it. That as I was backing out of the space I was looking out of my rear view mirror on the passenger side of my vehicle and saw that her vehicle was backing up towards me, so I stopped my car and was about to place it in drive so that I could pull forward. I did not get to put it into gear to move forward. She just kept backing until she hit into me. She admitted to me that she did not see me - that she was not looking to the back of her vehicle as she was backing up - and was in fact looking at her daughter and the girls on the porch who were motioning to her. I also told the agent that the physical evidence, specifically the damage to my vehicle, would validate that my car was NOT moving - - that the hit was direct and there was no drag marks to reflect that my car was moving backward or forward at the time of impact. He said that no matter what I said he was obliged to accept his policy holders statement and that if my insurance company wanted to they could file before an arbitration forum. As far as they were concerned Progressive was not going to pay for the damage.

He gave me the claim number assigned, his name, and phone number.

AGENTS NAME: Andrew Courtnage

CLAIM NUMBER: *********

PHONE NUMBER: 703-730-4546

POLICY NUMBER: ********-*

INSURED PARTY: Jacqueline M., **** Bayside Avenue, #10, Woodbridge, VA 22191

I contacted my insurance company and reported the above to them right after I got off the telephone with the Progressive Agent. I was very upset and really feel that the insurance industry has to do something to improve the way that they handle claims. Even when you have witnesses to an incident they will not accept the witnesses statements. I can not believe that they treat people the way that they do and how they disregard witnesses and the facts. HOW COULD THIS WOMAN HAVE SEEN MY CAR MOVING IF SHE WAS NOT LOOKING BEHIND HER? IF SHE SAW MY CAR IN MOTION WHY DID SHE NOT STOP HER VEHICLE FROM HITTING INTO MINE? I believe that she is not being honest about the accident or just making assumptions that my car was in motion at the same time as hers. Yet we can not call upon the 4 witnesses to provide facts. I have attached photos of my car damage which will prove that the vehicle I was driving was not moving. If it were moving there would have been some DRAG DAMAGE from the point of impact.

Ultimately PROGRESSIVE would not pay the damage to my car. Their explanation "Our investigation concludes the accident was a result of both parties contributing to the accident through improper backing. We respectfully inform you that we will not be making any voluntary payments to you on this claim." They should be ashamed to be in the insurance business. How can a person (me) be sitting still and have someone back into you and you are at fault because you are in your vehicle. They should be barred from providing insurance if they don't want to pay for claims.

Manassas Park, Virginia

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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/30/2005 06:24 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/progressive-casualty/woodbridge-virginia-22192/progressive-insurance-progressive-casualty-ripoff-they-do-not-pay-when-their-insured-hits-136956. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Suggestion

Pictures don't lie - people do

AUTHOR: Steve - (U.S.A.)

The pictures of teh damage support your story completely.

If you look at the damage, it was caused bya vehicle going into yours. If your car were moving, there would be lateral lines of damage - going sideways along the car as your moving car impacted the same part of the other vehicle. Here's a simple test to show what I am talking about: Take a piece of paper and push a pencil through it - this illustrates one car impacting a still car. Take another piece of paper and drag the pencil point actoss it. This simulates the OTHER car's movement. If your car were moving, the damage would be inwards and laterally.

I would just file suit against the other driver. Farmers Insurance tried the same thing with me when I was hit (also while standing still in a parking lot as their insured backed into me) and they paid up when I hired an attorney.
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#2 Consumer Suggestion

Progressive didn't hit your car, Jacqueline did. So, sue her for the damages. Let her fight it out for reimbursement.

AUTHOR: Paul - (U.S.A.)

The person who hit you is the only one who is liable for damages. Get your estimate. File a suit. Bring your witnesses.

The hell with progressive. Either Jacqueline will pay you, plus court costs, or you will file to have her wages garnished and her trash taken away from her.

How Jacqueline finds the money is her problem. If progressive doesn't reimburse her, that's her loss.

Perhaps, next time, she'll be far more careful when moving in reverse.

By the way, you should have used your horn to warn her.
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#3 Consumer Suggestion

Advice for future accidents, any insurance company

AUTHOR: Cassandra - (U.S.A.)

Most states in the U.S. are contributory negligence states - meaning that if you contribute even 1% you are barred from recovery. In a comparative negligence state you still may not get all of your damages paid for. It would have been better for the Progressive rep to explain that this was a "word vs. word" situation rather than to pin it on contributory negligence because that is not really the case here. Any time you have an accident it is best to look for "independent" witnesses - those that have no relation to EITHER party involved in the accident, therefore they have nothing to gain or to lose by telling the claims rep what happened in the accident. It is assumed that if the witness is related to you in any manner, they are going to be on YOUR side - whether it's friend, co-worker or blood relative. How many times would a passenger in your car jump out and point at you and say, "it's her fault - she did it!" Very rare. So it's best to look around and see if there are any independent witnesses. And as one reader said, if there is not serious property damage or injury, the police will often not make a report. It's unfortunate that this woman was so apologetic at the scene but did not tell the same story to the Progressive rep. But at the same time, know that if she called YOUR insurance company and said that YOU were at fault, your company would not just take her word for it. She would get basically the same response you got.

Having been in an accident and also working as a claims representative (including a brief stint with Progressive) I can tell you that no claims rep is going to pay a claim without proof of the loss. Either in the form of police reports, independent witnesses, or the at fault party simply admitting fault. Unfortunately that last one is hard to come by.
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#4 Consumer Suggestion

It gets better... police report is almost worthless

AUTHOR: Mike - (U.S.A.)

When a "minor" crash (no injury or death, though both cars may be totaled) happens on private property, such as a driveway or mall parking lot, Virginia police will NOT assign blame to one driver or the other. So the police report is almost worthless (But still, get it). You are really at the mercy of the other guy who caused the crash to admit the truth. And if he's smart, he won't.

This percentage liability thing is a total crock that serves only one purpose: insurance company profits. Pick one or the other and the process of averages will even things out, bad drivers will still get charged for more crashes.
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#5 Consumer Suggestion

Did you get a police report

AUTHOR: Dave - (U.S.A.)

Next time make sure you get a police report if you didn't. In all actuality this lady was in the wrong and her insurance should pay, BUT legally you dont have a leg to stand on in court. Would you pay if you were them if there was no solid proof? Probably not and neither would I. That doesnt make what the lady did right, but you shouldn't make a rip-off report claiming a company wronged you when you are the one that didnt follow the proper steps
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