Will an Uninsured Motorist Claim Raise My Rates?
California law mandates that every driver on the road carry a minimum amount of auto liability insurance in case of accidents. Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, many people in California drive without insurance. For that reason, part of your minimum required insurance includes uninsured motorist coverage. But if you do need to rely on your uninsured motorist coverage after an accident, can your auto insurance company respond by hiking up your rates? Read on for a discussion of uninsured motorist coverage, and contact a dedicated Pasadena car accident lawyer to help you seek maximum coverage after an uninsured motorist accident.
The short answer: No, an uninsured claim should not raise your rates
Your insurance rates are tied to your insurance company’s belief in your ability to keep yourself, your property, and everyone else safe. When your insurance company learns something new that affects their understanding of your capacity for safety (you cause an accident, you get a DUI, etc.), they will raise your rates to adjust the expected value of their “bet” that you won’t cost them money in the future. Insurance companies believe that every accident you cause makes you more likely to cause another in the future. Your premium goes up to offset this expectation.
Uninsured motorist claims are only available if you are not at fault for the accident. In the typical car accident for which you are not at fault, the other driver’s insurance would cover any damage or injury to you as well as to themselves and their property. Your uninsured motorist coverage only kicks in if the other, at-fault driver does not have insurance. For that reason, even though “you” are technically costing your insurance company money by making your claim, they have no reason to believe that you are less safe of a driver than they previously thought.< They have no reason to believe that you are more likely to cause an accident because, in this case, you did not.
Moreover, California’s Prop 103, passed in the late 1980s, specifically prevents insurance companies from raising your rates if you were not at fault for an accident, even if you file an uninsured motorist claim. Some insurers will try to claim that your rates can go up if you were “partially at fault.” This practice is illegal in California. Your rates can only be raised where you were “principally” (meaning at least 51%) at fault. If your insurance company tries to erroneously claim you were at fault for an accident you clearly did not cause, reach out to an experienced auto accident attorney for help.
Call Pasadena Car Accident Attorney Andrew Ritholz
If you’ve been injured in a California traffic accident, consult with an attorney who understands your rights and can represent your claim for damages thoroughly and expertly. Contact Pasadena traffic accident lawyer Andrew Ritholz for a free case evaluation at 626-844-7102.