Most consumers inquire about uninsured or underinsured motorist claims after hearing from family and friends involved in no-fault crashes and experiencing premium increases upon reporting the collision. In essence, these law-abiding citizens are being penalized monetarily for something over which they had little (or no) influence.
When an uninsured motorist causes an accident, insured drivers or their insurance carriers are frequently obligated to pay for the resultant property damage and medical expenses. According to a poll conducted by The Zebra in 2021, a no-fault collision raised annual vehicle insurance premiums by about $67 in 2020.
How an Uninsured Motorist Claim Can Increase Your Car Insurance Cost
You should anticipate your vehicle insurance rates to rise if you cause a collision. Even if you did not cause the accident, you could still be subjected to increased rates. Your rates may rise due to the specifics of the collision, the form of insurance coverage you carry, and your claims history.
If your rates rise after an accident with an uninsured motorist, you should be aware that various insurers hike rates differently.
That’s correct; California has passed a law aimed to protect innocent road users from insurance companies’ exploitative techniques. Under California’s Proposition 103, insurance carriers are prohibited from boosting rates when you file an uninsured motorist claim. That means that if you try to receive the reimbursement you deserve after a car accident, your rates cannot lawfully rise.
As a result, California is one of only two American states in the US with legislation prohibiting insurance firms from hiking premiums arbitrarily when a policyholder submits an uninsured motorist claim after a no-fault collision. Prop 103 has several limitations (most notably if you file many uninsured motorist claims in a brief span of time). Still, this legal precedent alleviates much of the worry that comes with filing an uninsured motorist claim.
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Will an Uninsured Motor Claim Appear on Your Driving Record?
An uninsured motorist claim will reflect on your driving record. Let’s say a careless motorist rear-ends your car at a stoplight, destroying your rear bumper. In this case, you’ll need to contact your auto insurance company and make a claim to be reimbursed for the repair charges. Even if you weren’t at fault for the accident, the fact that you filed a claim and got money from your insurer would remain in your driving record.
A vehicle insurance claim will typically linger on your driving record for three to five years. Still, the length of time will vary based on your location and the magnitude of the incident. The table below shows how long certain sorts of accidents might affect your driving ability:
- 3 years for a no-fault accident
- 5 years for a minor crash
- 8 years for a hit-and-run accident
- 10 years for a DUI
Why Would Your Rates Go Up After an Uninsured Motor Insurance Claim?
Your insurance costs will rise mostly because your insurance provider has classified you as an at-risk motorist- even if you aren’t a lousy driver in any way. As you may know, insurers determine the cost of an insurance cover based on a risk appraisal that considers a variety of criteria, including:
- Your driving record
- Your age
- The kind of vehicle you’re insuring
- Where you park your car in the evening
- How you operate your car? (daily vs. occasional travel)
They put these characteristics into a complex algorithm that assesses the risk of you submitting a claim. When you are involved in an uninsured motorist collision, even if you were not at fault, the risk factor linked with your identity is immediately increased. As a result, some insurance carriers may raise your rates to “hedge their bets” against you getting engaged in another collision and recouping their financial losses before they occur.
Is It Simpler to Avoid Making an Insurance Claim?
If all of this seems like a burden, and you’re considering either not having the harm to your car repaired or paying out of pocket to avoid dealing with anyone’s insurance carrier and risking a rate hike, you might have to reconsider. In certain situations, getting involved in a crash even if it was not your fault—and neglecting to make an insurance claim might lead to an increase in your next premium. Even if you believe you don’t need to consult an insurer, you may be doing more harm than you realize.
Secure Yourself with Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage
You can get uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM) if you don’t already have it. This cover might be the reason you revert to your regular life as quickly as possible after an auto accident. You’ll be able to cover your medical expenses with ease when the liable party has inadequate or no coverage.
The purpose of UM/UIM coverage is to provide you with a sense of peace in the event that something goes wrong. You can’t rely on other parties to have enough coverage for damages or injuries they never plan to cause. Furthermore, if you are involved in a collision as a pedestrian or cyclist, you can use your uninsured motorist coverage.
Protect Yourself by Hiring an Experienced Attorney
Although you may have excellent uninsured motorist coverage, you should confirm that filing an uninsured motorist claim would not result in a premium increase. You’ll also want to make sure you receive all due benefits from your uninsured motorist policy. If you have suffered injury or damage from an uninsured motorist crash, reach out to an experienced personal injury attorney to advise you.
The Morris Bart law firm takes great pride in having a dedicated group of lawyers that will fight for what you deserve. Our New Orleans team is specialized specifically in class-action suits and personal injury law. Contact us today.
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