Is Progressive Insurance not reimbursing you for the full amount of your claim? You have several options including filing a small claims court lawsuit. Just because an insurance company tells you they won't reimburse you for your costs, it doesn't mean that they are legally correct.
This article outlines the following:
- Common types of small claims lawsuits against auto insurance companies.
- How much can you sue Progressive for in small claims?
- How much does it cost to file a complaint against Progressive in small claims?
- How to file a California Small Claims lawsuit against Progressive.
- How to file a BBB complaint against Progressive.
- How to file a California Department of Insurance complaint against Progressive.
What types of lawsuits can be filed against an insurance company in small claims?
Suing an insurance company is a very common type of small claims lawsuit. Make sure to review your insurance policy for any requirements prior to filing a lawsuit. Many types of lawsuits can be filed against an insurance company, the most common ones involve:
- Failure to pay after a car accident.
- Bad faith denial of a claim.
- Failure to pay for all costs on a covered claim.
- Premium overcharges.
- Failure to reimburse for expenses after a car accident.
- Failure to quickly pay a claim.
How much can you sue Progressive for in small claims?
The maximum you can sue for in California small claims is $10,000.
If Progressive owes you more than the amount you can sue for, you can still sue for the maximum amount allowed, but you will need to waive any additional amount over the limit.
For example, if you are owed $13,000, and you decide to sue in small claims, you are waiving suing for an additional $3,000. Meaning that you will win a maximum of $10,000.
While you may be missing out on the full amount you are owed, there are practical benefits to suing in small claims instead of suing in "regular court."
Here are some of the benefits:
- Court filing fees are cheaper in small claims than in other courts.
- The process is faster in small claims than in other courts as your hearing will usually be scheduled 30-70 days after you file the lawsuit.
- Lawyers are generally not allowed in small claims which helps keep the costs of suing low and evens the playing field between you and the insurance company
How much does it cost to file a complaint against Progressive in small claims?
The amount you will pay to file a small claims lawsuit in California small claims depends on how much you are suing for. You will pay between $30 to $75 to file the lawsuit. If you cannot afford to pay court fees, you can ask the court to waive the fees.
You will also need to notify Progressive about the lawsuit. This is called serving. Serving Costs can range from $0-$125.
If you win, you can request that the losing party pay for your court fees and serving costs.
Step-By-Step Guide to filing a small claims lawsuit against Progressive
Here is a quick summary on how to file a small claims lawsuit against Progressive:
- Prepare the lawsuit.
- File the lawsuit.
- Serve the lawsuit.
- Prepare for the hearing.
Step 1: Complete "Plaintiff's Claim and Order to Go to Small Claims Court" (Form SC-100)
- This form starts the California Small Claims Court lawsuit process. Download here.
- It is also known as the "complaint" or "claim."
- Remember, we can help you prepare the small claims lawsuit and file it with the court!
- Here is the information you will need for the lawsuit:
Find the correct legal entity for Progressive on the California Secretary of State website. Learn how here. Make sure to review any contracts, receipts, or terms and conditions you have agreed to to confirm this information.
Step 2: File "Plaintiff's Claim and Order to Go to Small Claims Court"
Each California Small Claims Court has a different procedure for filing. You have to check with your local small claims court whether they allow filing in-person, by mail, online, or by fax. Or we can file your case for you!
Step 3: Serve the lawsuit on Progressive’s agent
Remember, you will be serving Progressive’s "agent for service of process" as listed on the California Secretary of State's website. Learn more here.
Step 4: Prepare for the hearing
How do you win in small claims court against an insurance company? You have your evidence organized and ready for the judge to review.
Consider filing a complaint against Progressive with the California Department of Insurance
You can also contact their consumer hotline for more information: 1-800-927-4357
The California Department of Insurance will conduct an investigation of your complaint against Progressive. They will review any supporting evidence you chose to upload and they will reach out to the insurance company for a response. Make sure you create an account on the Department of Insurance's website so you can follow the status of your complaint!
Consider filing a complaint with the BBB against Progressive
The Better Business Bureau may be able to help you with your complaint against Progressive.
The BBB handles a broad range of complaints against insurance companies. Here are some examples:
- If your insurance company fails to pay after a car accident.
- If your insurance company denies a claim in bad faith.
- If your insurance company does not pay for all costs on a covered claim.
- The insurance company is overcharging you for the premiums.
- The insurance company did not reimburse you after you made payments to fix your car
How to file a complaint against an insurance company with the BBB
- Click here to go to the Better Business Bureau website.
- Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the button “Start Your Complaint.
What to Expect Once you Submit your Complaint to the BBB
- The BBB will forward your complaint to Progessive within 2 business days.
- Progressive will be asked to respond within 14 days, and if a response is not received, a second request will be made.
- You will be notified of Progressive’s response when the BBB receives it (or notified that they received no response).
- Complaints against insurance companies are usually closed within 30 business days.