Progressive’s PR crisis: Victim’s brother and insurer trade conflicting statements

A viral Tumblr post claims the insurer paid the legal fees of a driver who was involved in an accident that killed a young woman it insured. Progressive denied the charge; the author of the post—the brother of the victim—offered proof to counter the insurer’s statement.

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Social media users are hammering Progressive after the brother of a woman killed by a drunk driver posted this story on Tumblr: “My Sister Paid Progressive Insurance to Defend Her Killer In Court.”

In the post, Matt Fisher, a self-described “comedian type” in New York, describes how his sister Katie was killed in a traffic accident when another driver ran a red light. The driver’s insurance company paid out his share to Katie’s estate, but because he was underinsured, the difference fell upon Progressive—Katie’s insurer—to make up the rest of the payment.

Long story short: Progressive allegedly refused to pay; the victim’s family filed suit against the driver as a way to make good, and Progressive wound up paying to represent him.

“If you are insured by Progressive, and they owe you money, they will defend your killer in court in order to not pay you your policy,” Fisher wrote, imploring people to never buy insurance from Progressive.

How did the company react to this devastating and heartbreaking story?

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