As the percentage of uninsured motorists in California and all across the U.S. continues to grow, purchasing an uninsured motorist coverage has become a necessity. Whether you already have this type of coverage or are planning to get one, you are probably wondering, “Will filing an uninsured motorist claim increase my auto insurance rates?”
An estimated over 13 percent of all motorists in the U.S. are uninsured, while roughly 15 percent of all car accidents in California involve an uninsured driver. The risk of injuring yourself in a crash involving an uninsured motorist is quite high, which is why top lawyers in California advise motorists to purchase uninsured motorist coverage.
Types of car accidents in which uninsured motorist coverage applies
Our San Diego car accident attorney at the Hiden, Rott & Oertle, LLP, explains that this type of insurance will cover property damage and personal injury expenses if you ever get into a car crash caused by an uninsured driver.
What is more, this type of coverage also pays for property damage and physical injuries in hit-and-run accidents and car crashes where the identity of the driver is not immediately known to law enforcement. Also, the uninsured motorist coverage applies to motor vehicle accidents involving stolen vehicles.
Insurance companies are prohibited from increasing rates after uninsured motorist claims
The biggest question remains unanswered. Will your car insurance rates go up when you file a personal injury claim after an accident involving an uninsured motorist in California? This is something insurance companies do in accidents involving insured drivers but are they allowed to raise rates when you were hurt in a crash involving uninsured motorists?
Our experienced car accident attorney in San Diego says that California’s Proposition 103 prohibits insurance companies across the state from increasing their policyholders’ rates or nullifying their insurance altogether for making a claim for a car crash involving an uninsured motorist.
Who’s covered by uninsured motorist coverage in California?
One of the most common misconceptions about uninsured motorist coverage in California is that it applies exclusively to you if you, as the driver of the vehicle registered in your name, were involved in a car crash caused by an uninsured motorist. In reality, uninsured motorist coverage pays for property damage and physical injuries to not only the driver carrying this type of coverage but also:
- All members of your family who live in the same household with you
- Your children even if they do not reside in the same household
- Passengers in your vehicle even if they are not your family members
- Other people driving your vehicle with your permission
In fact, you do not necessarily have to be behind the wheel of your vehicle in order to be covered by your uninsured motorist coverage in the event of a car accident involving an uninsured driver in San Diego or elsewhere in California. You can be in any of the following roles to be eligible for benefits in your coverage:
Dishonest insurance companies in California
Therefore, if your insurance company tells you that your auto insurance rates will go up after filing an uninsured motorist claim, you may have a right to sue your insurer for violating California’s Proposition 103. Do note, however, that in the vast majority of such policies, the maximum allowable amount of coverage per person and per accident is capped (the limit ranges between $100,000 and $300,000).
“Rising insurance rates should not be your only concerns when filing an uninsured motorist claim in California,” warns our San Diego car accident attorney from the Hiden, Rott & Oertle, LLP. “What many injured people in California do not realize is that insurers are usually their worst enemy after a motor vehicle crash.”
That is because many insurance companies will attempt to substantially reduce the value of your personal injury claim by shifting the blame onto you, questioning the severity of your injuries, and employing other dishonest tactics, or even deny your coverage altogether. So just because your auto insurance rates will not go up after filing an uninsured motorist claim, it does not mean that recovering damages in such accidents is easy.
If you need legal advice from the best car accident lawyers in San Diego, reach out to the Hiden, Rott & Oertle, LLP, and schedule a free consultation. Call our offices at 619-630-0205 or complete this contact form for more information.