Should I File a Claim Against My Own Auto Insurance Company?

man with questionsMany drivers worry about filing a claim against their own insurance company. Will filing a UIM claim affect your premium when you go to renew the company? I mean, it was not your fault so it shouldn’t be held against you, right?  Unfortunately, the answer is not as simple as that.

Can My Insurance Company Raise My Rates If I File a Uninsured Motorist Claim?

Insurance companies in all at-fault states except California and Oklahoma can raise your rates after an accident. In most at-fault states, there is no rule prohibiting insurance companies from raising your rates after you make a claim for a car accident that was not your fault. California and Oklahoma, however, have specific rules prohibiting rate hikes for an accident claim when you did not cause the accident.

How Much Will My Insurance Go Up If I File an Uninsured Motorist Claim?

Moderate-income drivers faced on average a 9.6% increase in premiums following an uninsured motorist claim for a not-at-fault accident. Whether and how much your rates will increase following a UIM claim made after an accident that is not your fault may depend upon several factors, including:

  • What state did the accident happen in?
  • Where did you insure the vehicle?
  • What is your claims history?
  • What is your driving history?
  • How long have you been with the company?
  • How old is the insured driver?
  • Who is your insurance company?
  • What is your income level?

The last of the factors–income level-may not seem to make sense. However, a study by the Insurance Information Institute found that the premium increase imposed upon moderate-income drivers following uninsured motorist claims averaged $208.00 while the rate increase for upper-income drivers was only $78.00 on average.  The range of increases ran from zero to over $400.00 in premium increases.

What Insurance Company is Least Likely to Raise My Rates for an Accident I Did Not Cause?

According to the Insurance Information Institute, of the five companies they studied, State Farm did not typically rate driver’s rates following an uninsured motorist claim. They found that it was not uncommon for Allstate Insurance to rate the premiums 4.8.%, Farmers Insurance 11.1%, GEICO Insurance 14.1%, and Progressive Insurance 16.6%.  Furthermore, they do not typically have to notify you of a rate increase other than sending you the renewal bill.

How Much Can I Recover for My Uninsured Motorist Claim?

The amount you are able to recover on your UIM claim is determined by what a jury would consider fair compensation for your injuries and is capped off at the policy limit–that is, the amount of uninsured motorist coverage you purchased. In many states uninsured motorist coverage is optional coverage that the agent/seller must offer you and you must reject in writing. However, if you decide not to reject it, it is typically sold in the same increments or less than what you purchase in liability insurance coverage.  If you check your declarations page that is issued with your policy, it will typically tell you what the UM/UIM limits are. In Texas, it may be as low as $30,000. In other states, you can purchase lower amounts. Talk to a Houston personal injury attorney to determine whether your case is worth the full policy limit or whether a jury would be likely to award less.




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Simmons and Fletcher, P.C., rooted in Christian values, exclusively handles personal injury cases, advocating for the rights of accident and negligence victims. Our Houston-based team, dedicated to compassion and excellence, handles cases across car accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, slip and falls, dog bites, and other types of cases with a commitment to personalized care. Upholding integrity and client-focused service, we strive for impactful legal outcomes. For a detailed understanding of our approach and team, visit our attorneys page.

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