Should I call my agent to have my coverage increased now – nearly two years after loss? Susan Davidson asked 9 months ago
Should I call my agent to have my coverage increased now – nearly two years after loss?

I’m getting ready to file a pro se civil suit against Progressive Insurance and SelectQuote Insurance Services, the agency that sold a progressive auto and homeowner’s policy in February of 2020. In December of 2021, a large tree in my backyard blew over in a severe windstorm and destroyed my 1-1/2 car detached garage with a loft and attached workshop. When I filed a claim, I discovered I only had 2% of coverage A ($2,480) for Coverage B (Other Structures). It has taken me this long to get to this point because I wasted three months waiting for Kansas Legal services to tell me they did not handle cases like mine, and several more months sending my documents to four other attorneys only to have them tell me they were not interested (not enough money involved). Then another 8 months going through chemotherapy and radiation due to the cancer I was diagnosed with in the summer of 2022.

When I signed up with Progressive through the Broker from SelectQuote, I was looking for a different insurance company because I thought Allstate deceived me by quoting me one amount and then charging me an amount $200 higher. I explained that to the Broker when I called SelectQuote. I told the Broker: “If you can provide me with comparable coverage to what I have now with Allstate for a lower premium, I will go with your recommendation.” There was also some talk about raising Coverage B to 20% of coverage A, as Allstate had done (from a policy I had had with Safeco for the prior 9 years).

I have obtained recordings of two of the conversations between myself and the Broker where she swiftly goes through the coverages of the Progressive policy she was quoting from, but never advises me that she was reducing my Coverage B from 15% (what I had with Allstate) to 2%. It just didn’t register with me when she stated “2% of Coverage A for your garage…..” that the amount that calculated out to be was significantly less than what I had with Allstate. ($2,760. compared to $25,202.00.).

For reasons I won’t go into, it is obvious from the two phone recordings that were provided, there is at least one more conversation that took place in between those two calls. It is my belief that the conversation where I asked for comparable coverage to my Allstate policy and 20% for Coverage B is in that missing phone call. SelectQuote has stated that the two recordings provided are the only two they can find.

The industry standard for Coverage B is a minimum of 10% of Coverage A, and same is stated on Progressive’s website. It is my understanding that the cost (premium) for anything under 11% is included in the premium for Coverage A (Dwelling Coverage), but I’m not sure about that. This is what I was told from a different Progressive agent just recently.

My question is, after all of the above, should I contact – or try to contact – the broker I bought the policy through to determine why she reduced Coverage B on my policy to 2% from what I had with Allstate (15%), and also to ask why she did not warn me that by doing this, I would be drastically underinsured? Or at the very least, bring it to my attention by telling me it would be a difference in coverage from $25,202.00 to $2,760.00. Plus the Progressive policy cost me $1,192.00 compared to what (I’ve discovered only recently) I paid for the Allstate policy – $1,087.47. When a person pays 10% more in premium, she should not expect nearly 1000% reduction in coverage.

One other question: Should I also name Progressive in this lawsuit and claim bad faith and breach of an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing or only sue SelectQuote for negligence and fraud? Thank you.

1 Answers
Answer for Should I call my agent to have my coverage increased now – nearly two years after loss? United Policyholders Staff answered 9 months ago

Hi Susan,

We consulted with a public adjuster licensed in Kansas to address your question. We recommend that you do consult with the broker who sold your policy to you. At a minimum the discussion, if open, will give some further insight to the matter.

We also believe you need legal advice, and it’s very unfortunate that you haven’t been able to get assistance through Legal Aid or through a private attorney, particularly given your health challenges. We will see if there’s anyone in our network we might be able to refer you to.

Your comment “It is my understanding that the cost (premium) for anything under 11% is included in the premium for Coverage A (Dwelling Coverage),” brings up an interesting query, however. Does this policy contain a Liberalization clause? If it does, and if Progressive does offer a higher percentage of Coverage A for appurtenant structures for no additional premium, then the clause would modify the coverage to the higher percentage as any similar policy affords without an additional premium. You can read your policy carefully to determine if this is included, and we recognize that this might not be an option for you.

You might also want to consult with the Kansas Insurance Department to determine if your insurance agent acted improperly. You can also read the Insurance Consumer Rights in the State of Kansas for a summary of how an insurer should handle your claim.