Will my insurance rates go up if I make a claim against my uninsured motorist insurance carrier?
Most insurance companies are private entities. With that being said, these insurance companies are allowed to do what they want in terms of raising rates. In my experience, I have had several conversations with insurance agents from major carriers who have explained to me that their particular insurance company will only raise the rates on insurance premiums if their customer was at fault in the collision. Interestingly, some states, like Massachusetts and New York, have insurance regulations and legislation that prohibits an insurance company from raising your base premium if you are not at fault in a collision.
I commonly hear from my clients that they are fearful their insurance company will raise their uninsured motorist rates if they file a claim against their own insurance company. I have found this to be a myth. Many insurance companies advertise their loyalty programs and “good driver” lack of claims discounts to dissuade customers from filing claims. Basically, they try to advertise that their customers will get a discount if they don’t put in a claim.
Florida law forbids an insurance company from raising its rates on a customer for making an uninsured motorist (UM) insurance claim. Additionally, it also forbids the practice of raising rates if one of your passengers were to make a claim on your policy as well. However, Florida law does provide certain guidelines for insurance companies to regulate rate changes. Factors such as how many accidents you have had, where you live, how often you drive and how far you travel can influence your rates.
Insurance companies can point to a host of other factors to raise rates. Much of the rate change is out of your control. The possibility or fear of an increased rate is not a good reason to not use your UM coverage. After all, this is a policy that you have been paying for in the unlikely event you are involved in an accident. If you’ve been involved in an accident, this is the day that you have been preparing for by paying your uninsured motorist policy all these years. If you’re concerned about using your UM coverage or need legal advice if you feel your insurance company has unjustly raised your rates, consult an experienced attorney immediately.
Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net by Stuart Miles