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According to an article by Patrick Johnson in The Republican / Masslive , two Springfield law firms have settled a federal class-action lawsuit against Progressive Direct that has the potential to pay out more than $8 million to 4,300 Massachusetts residents in an ongoing dispute over Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits.
The two law firms — Alekman DiTusa LLC and Connor, Morneau and Olin LLC — filed suit against Progressive Direct Insurance Company claiming that between 2008 and 2010, Progressive deceptively had customers agree to an $8,000 PIP deductible.
Each of the people listed in the suit — 4,311 in total — is eligible for a payment of $1,875 provided they file for it by the end of the February. If all of the claims are filed, the payout by Progressive will be $8.08 million. Progressive also agreed to pay all legal fees. Progressive agreed to the settlement to bring the four-year court action to an end but admitted no wrongdoing.
Massachusetts Association of Insurance Agents (MAIA) filed a formal complaint with the Commissioner of Insurance regarding Progressive‘s practice of including an $8,000 PIP deductible for the applicant and all household members if the applicant indicated that all household members had health insurance. They argued at the time that PIP provided protection for things other than medical bills, like lost wages, replacement services and funeral expenses, but Commissioner Nonnie Burnes took no action on the complaint.
One of the plaintiffs‘ attorneys, DiTusa, said, “Insurance is a fairly complicated product. When you start getting the average consumer online buying this fairly complex product, you are going to run into problems.“
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