Progressive Insurance has a social media crisis on its hands after a comedian’s Tumblr post alleged the insurer is defending his sister’s killer even though his sister had a policy with the company.
Matt Fisher, a member of the New York-based Upright Citizens Brigade, posted the provocative message on his Tumblr on Monday.
The post, entitled “My Sister Paid Progressive Insurance to Defend Her Killer In Court,” lays out the sad story of Fisher’s sister Katie, who was killed in a car accident on June 19, 2010. After the accident, which occurred after a driver ran a red light and hit Fisher’s sister, Fisher’s family got a small settlement from the driver’s insurance company because the driver was under-insured.
Meanwhile, Fisher alleges, Progressive refused to honor its insurance policy. Since you can’t sue an insurer in the state of Maryland, where the accident occurred, Fisher’s family sued the driver. Progressive wouldn’t settle for more than 1/3 of the amount of the policy, according to Fisher, so the suit went to trial and Fisher was surprised to see Progressive’s legal team representing the driver. Fisher sums up:
Don’t buy insurance from Progressive. Not only will you be paying the salaries of people who put my family through the wringer (really a smaller wringer that Progressive attached to the main wringer of my sister’s death), but also when the chips are down, your money will have bought you nothing but a kick in the face.
Reps from Progressive could not be reached. The company did not address the post in Twitter directly, but did send a tweet to people who called out the incident. However, as Gawker notes, the Progressive tweet is a robotic response that does not vary:
Shut up, your company is garbage. RT
@progressive: This is a tragic case, and our sympathies go out to Mr. Fisher and his family …
— Alex Blagg (@alexblagg) August 13, 2012
@progressive. 1) auto response sucks. 2) If you have contracts that allow not paying benefits, then my family will have to shop around.
— Martin Hebrank (@mhebrank) August 14, 2012
Progressive is also getting predictable pushback on its Facebook Page, where users are posting links to the Tumblr.