01 May Will My Insurance Rate Increase If I Claim My Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage?
As soon as individuals are involved in a car accident, they will quickly brainstorm ways to remedy whatever damage has occurred due to another driver’s negligence. Damage to one or more cars is likely, and victims will need to seek help in order to restore those vehicles.
One common client concern is whether an insurance company can retaliate against an injured party and raise his or her insurance rates for making the claim. This concern may in fact deter an injured party from retaining an attorney and making a claim. The truth is that your car insurance should not increase due to an automotive accident unless you were “substantially at fault.”
According to Florida Statute 626.9541, insurance companies are prohibited from “Imposing or requesting an additional premium for a policy of motor vehicle liability, personal injury protection, medical payment, or collision insurance or any combination thereof or refusing to renew the policy solely because the insured was involved in a motor vehicle accident unless the insurer’s file contains information from which the insurer in good faith determines that the insured was substantially at fault in the accident.” What does this jargon actually mean? The insurance company has broken the law if: (1) it increases rates once you have claimed personal injury protection (PIP) coverage and (2) it cannot prove, in good faith, that you were “substantially at fault.”
Unfortunately, no clear description of a driver that is “substantially at fault” exists in Florida Statute 626.9541. Based on projections by Value Penguin, insurance companies generally value accident fault at 50% or more in order to rule a driver as “substantially at fault.” Your insurance company will often work with the insurance companies of other drivers that were involved in the car accident to determine a true percentage of fault. Of course, any investigations must be conducted “in good faith,” meaning your insurance company must always uphold the terms of your unique policy.
Insurance companies can raise your rates for a reason unique to your policy, such as learning that you have a household resident that you did not disclose in your initial insurance application, or they may raise all premiums for insureds in your geographic location; however, it is unlawful for an insurance company to raise your rates for the accident if you have not been found substantially at fault for causing the accident. Keep in mind, they can raise your rates for being substantially at fault, regardless if you make the claim or not. Wouldn’t it be better to seek the legal advice of a personal injury attorney to protect your rights?
If your insurance company finds you “substantially at fault” for the accident in which you claimed personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, you may be considered a high-risk driver. In that case, your insurance company may seek measures to protect itself from risky behavior and redeem funds from the initial accident by raising your monthly rate. Many other factors can contribute to a unique driver’s insurance rate, including gender, age, marital status, credit history, vehicle model, vehicle color, job commute, geographical location, etc.
A lawsuit can be filed by an attorney on behalf of a victim against an insurance company that does not act “in good faith.” If you are a personal injury accident victim who has been taken advantage of by an automotive insurance company, there are measures you can take to protect yourself moving forward. Having an experienced personal injury attorney handle your accident claim streamlines your journey to fair compensation. A legal representative like Cindy Goldstein can help you understand the ins and outs of personal injury protection and the litigation that could potentially follow a fair claim.
From start to finish, you will receive the personal attention you deserve, incurring ZERO fees and ZERO costs unless we get you a settlement. The road to compensation is smooth with Cindy Goldstein at the driver’s seat. Contact Cindy Goldstein for a FREE legal consultation today.