A topic that confuses people all of the time, and with good reason. We’re here to clear the air, but if you’re still having questions, please feel free to call our office at 770-941-0913
The Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist insurance (UM/UIM) is a provision under the policy that is there to cover all of your damages should you ever get injured due to the fault of another motorist who doesn’t have enough coverage or no insurance at all. Whenever we consult with a client who is the victim of a car accident, we review all available auto insurance policies to see if any UM/UIM insurance policies are available.
How will filing a claim for damages affect my policy rates?
Sometimes people are reluctant to use their own insurance as they fear if they make a claim against their own insurance policy, they might be subjected to a premium increase. The insurance companies have managed to project a scary image where policy holders are made to think that any such claims will result in a rise in premium. In reality, the insurance company has no legal right to increase premium rates based simply on making a claim.
In Georgia, O.C.G.A. § 33-9-40 states that no insurer has the right to put any extra charge or cancel a policy on instances where there is a multi-vehicle accident and the insured person is found not at fault and was, in fact, the victim of the collision.
That statute explicitly states:
“No insurer shall surcharge the premium rate imposed on a policyholder of motor vehicle coverage or cancel a policy on the pretext of insured person’s presence in a multi-vehicle accident when such individual was not at fault in such incident.”
However, what will happen when the insurance policy expires?
Will the insurance provider disagree to continue the coverage because the person made a claim using their Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist insurance coverage?
O.C.G.A. § 33-23-45 covers the matter on cancellation and renewal of policy under such circumstances.
Though this code section is quite lengthy, the important points to consider are:
- Accidents due to the collision of two or more motor vehicles in which the insured driver is not at fault;
- Coverage and insurance claim of the Uninsured or underinsured motorist;
- Full Insurance claims; and
- Road service and towing insurance claims.
The important point to consider above is point number 2.
If you have a collision that is not your fault and you make a UM/UIM claim for that accident, under this code section, the insurance company does not have the right to raise your premium, cancel your policy, or refuse to renew your policy.
If there is a chance of non-renewal that follows after receiving a notice, the policy holder has the option to ask for a review by the Commissioner of Coverage within 15 days of receiving the notice.
You always have ways to file for a UM/UIM claim on car accidents where you have sustained bodily injury and vehicle damages due to no fault of your own.
You may reach out to your agent and ask them how your policy will react to this claim and will there be any rise in premiums. If you do not get clear answers, it is better to look for other comprehensive plans that give you full protection.