In the modern world, it seems as if just about everything can be bought and sold through the internet. From groceries to real estate, individuals can purchase to their heart’s content with the click of a mouse without ever having to leave their homes. As a result of this technological shift, car insurance companies have been forced to keep up with the times and begin marketing and selling their policies online. While buying insurance online may seem like a convenient option for some, the reality of the matter is that this medium has presented major issues in states with no-fault insurance laws which can expose consumers to serious risks.
The issue lies in proper disclosure. Research has shown that people who shop on the internet have a much smaller likelihood to actually read every bit of content on a page, as they are much more interested in completing their transaction as quickly as possible. Online shoppers enter into a seamless sequence of responses in which their sense of time and reality is diminished, reducing their self-control and ability to understand the terms of agreements they enter into online. For this reason, auto insurance websites must present disclosures in a reasonable and logical fashion to prevent misleading customers.
This issue was the center of the qui tam action Negron v. Progressive Casualty Insurance Co., represented by Philadelphia law firm Sacks Weston LLC. In this case, the plaintiff was offered a choice between (1) a traditional personal injury protection (PIP) insurance policy and (2) a lower-priced policy that would have made her health insurance the primary payer of medical bills in the event of a collision. While the first option would appear to be an attractive option for individuals with good health insurance coverage, the website failed to clearly disclose that Medicare and Medicaid recipients are ineligible for these policies under state law.
As a result of this caveat, the plaintiff, a Medicare recipient herself, chose the lower-cost option and was denied coverage after a subsequent auto collision. The courts ultimately ruled in favor of Negron, claiming that Progressive Casualty Insurance Co. was responsible for the submission of “false or fraudulent” claims to Medicare. For more information on this important case and how online insurance sales can affect you, click here.
Qui Tam Attorneys in Philadelphia
If you have been similarly affected by an online auto insurer’s misconduct or fraudulent activity, you may have grounds to file a qui tam or “whistleblower” claim in pursuit of compensation. At Sacks Weston LLC, our Philadelphia qui tam lawyers have recovered more than $4 billion on behalf of our clients and can provide the powerful advocacy you need to maximize your chances of success.
Call (215) 764-3008 or schedule a no-cost consultation today to get started.