I speak with potential clients who were injured in car accidents by the fault of another driver, and sometimes those drivers are uninsured.
Some people are reluctant to make a claim with their own insurance as they mistakenly believe their premiums will increase if they make a claim for their injuries and damages. But that’s not the case! In California, the Insurance Code sets forth rules of how insurance rates can be set.
Insurance Code 1861.02 states:
“(a) Rates and premiums for an automobile insurance policy . . . shall be determined by application of the following factors in decreasing order of importance:
(1) The insured’s driving safety record.
(2) The number of miles he or she drives annually.
(3) The number of years of driving experience the insured has had.
(4) Those other factors that the commissioner may adopt by regulation and that have a substantial relationship to the risk of loss. The regulations shall set forth the respective weight to be given each factor in determining automobile rates and premiums. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the use of any criterion without approval shall constitute unfair discrimination.”
So, if the accident wasn’t your fault, your insurer can’t raise your rates because of it.
In California, it’s even more explicit for Uninsured Motorist claims. We have Prop 103 protections that forbid insurance companies from automatically raising rates after an individual makes an uninsured motorist claim.
So, if you are injured in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, don’t be afraid to make a claim. And if you have Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist coverage, don’t worry about a claim raising your insurance rates — you have legal protection!
Contact Brett@brettpetersonlaw.com to discuss your questions