In 2017, my longtime boyfriend was in a car accident that totaled his car. The other driver was coming off a university campus and ran a red light, and they collided. Thankfully, everyone was able to walk away, but that’s where the silver lining ends.
The other driver swore she had the green light, but it was his word against her’s, and the police couldn’t determine fault. “No big deal,” he thought, “I’ve got full coverage.”
When he had purchased the car from a used car dealer a year before, he had the insurance from his old car transferred over. He agreed to everything over the phone right there at the dealership, and he immediately started paying a higher premium for the new full coverage. But after the accident, Progressive refused to pay out. Before they could actually provide the collision coverage he needed, there was a document he needed to sign, and until that happened, his car wasn’t truly covered. Worse yet, the document couldn't be signed retroactively. As far as they were concerned, nothing he did was going to get him collision coverage for the day of the accident.
Of course, Progressive swears up and down that they told him about this, and that they mailed him the form, but they most certainly didn’t. You’d think if this form was really that important, they’d have called or mailed him something or emailed him when they didn’t get it back. But no, they continued to take his money without saying a word to him for the full coverage about it.
Fast forward to the accident, and now he's got a car he can’t drive on which he still owes thousands of dollars. He couldn’t believe what they were doing was even legal, but apparently his hands are tied. I contacted the state’s Insurance Commissioner, I contacted lawyers, all with the same result—there was just nothing I could do because the Police did not find fault.
Now, every time he make a car payment, he thinks about that day—the other car slamming into his, that brief moment when you’re sure your life is over—and he has to fight back anxiety attacks. He can feel panic building in him every time the subject of the wreck is brought up. It’s a nightmare he's going to have to keep reliving over and over for as long as he has that costly, monthly reminder. The only bit of of consolation Progressive gave was that they refunded him the difference of the full coverage he was paying to a reduced rate to liability coverage.
My boyfriend served in the military and served in Iraq. He shouldn't have to face this every month and deal with the anxiety of paying for a car he does not possess while having to take a bus to work because we cannot afford to buy another car while paying for a car that is now in a salvage yard.