How One Misguided Legal Maneuver Can

ruin years of inspired marketing effort.  Progressive insured the driver of a car who was killed by an under insured driver.  Although the under insured driver (who was not a Progressive insured) was clearly at fault, under the provisions of the Progressive policy, the family of the deceased had to sue the driver to prove that the driver was negligent in order to collect the difference from Progressive.  Now here is where it got tricky.

Apparently someone at Progressive decided that it was a good financial strategy to defend the negligent driver in court.  Mind you Progressive insured the deceased, not the person who killed her.  So now we have the insurance company acting adversely to to the interests of their client!  Outrageous?  Of course it is, but I can just hear the financial people and the attorneys at Progressive saying something to the effect, “If we don’t defend this killer, then we will be out tens of thousands of dollars more than what we otherwise would have to pay.”

Understandably the grieving family did not understand why their own insurance company would defend the person who killed their daughter/sister.  They were not amused.

Obviously they simply did not understand high finance.  The family took the issue to social media and the firestorm that ensued on the internet apparently convinced Progressive that their original strategy might not have been the best strategy.  They settled within days of the maelstrom of negativity.  Good for the family!  Power to the people!

Progressive has been inundating us for years with a series of very well done and funny commercials, many of them starring “Flo” a likeable and quirky spokesperson.  She has undoubtedly brought many people into the Progressive family.  But this ill advised legal strategy may well put all of that effort at risk; all to save a few measly dollars.

Someone should tell the suits at Progressive about the old proverb, “Penny wise and pound foolish.”

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