Ravisseur wrote:Maybe Progressive erred in it's original determination of fault, who knows? Regardless, why would Progressive pay out on liability then turn around and say their insured is no longer at fault so they can pay out on the UM also? No company would do that. And of course, after paying out full BI limits because their insured was at fault, they would defend that in court if challenged to pay the other side too. The circumstances here dictated that in court Progressive would defend the "position" that their own insured was at fault. Saying Progressive "defended their insured's killer" is wonderfully effective and inflammatory but it doesn't strike me as an accurate description of what went on here.
Progressive derseves to get beat up for this. They bought the ticket. They get the ride. I understand why they wouldn't pay out the UM after paying out all the BI limits, but they had no obligation to "defend their position" by representing the other driver in court. If/when the jury decided in the insured's family's favor, Progressive would not have a judgement placed against them. The family would have had to file a bad faith claim, and win, afterward to force Progressive to pay out. Now, we may all agree that would have been a sure win (and obviously so did Progressive), but it still doesn't obligate Progressive to defend anything or anyone in that case. Nationwide was obligated to defend the other driver. Because they would have simply admitted liability and offered policy limits, Progressive decided to jump in and attempt to win. Saying Progressive "defended their insured's killer" is an extremely accurate description.
The only place the family screwed up IMO, is they should have went through with a bad faith suit instead of settling for the $760k. Given the facts of this story, I believe a jury would have awarded a lot more in punitive damages.