News & Resources

12-2007

Will a claim raise your rates?

Will a claim raise your rates?

Your automobile insurance should have three coverages. The first is liability coverage. This protects you should you harm someone else or their property. I recommend at least having enough insurance equal to your net worth.

The second coverage is personal injury protection (PIP), coverage pays for medical bills for you or passengers (or pedestrians or bicyclists you harm) a certain amount of PIP income loss and household help should you become disabled. I recommend $35,000 of coverage although some policies only allow you to buy $10,000.

The last coverage is underinsured motorist coverage (UIM). This protects you and your passengers should you be harmed by an uninsured or underinsured driver. Since a majority of Washington drivers are either uninsured or underinsured (with $25,000 minimum liability coverage) this is very important coverage to have. It should be at least as much as your liability coverage and more if they allow you to buy it.

It you cause harm to someone else you insurance rates can be raised or canceled. However, if you make a claim under your UIM coverage, and you are not at fault, the law prohibits the insurance company form raising your rates or canceling you. The law says; “No policy of insurance may be canceled, non renewed, denied, or have the rate increased on the basis of such information unless the policy holder was determined to be at fault.” In other words if you do not cause an accident your insurance company is prohibited from changing or canceling your policy. Many people have become so afraid of insurance companies they are afraid to make even a UIM claim fearing retaliation. Don’t be intimidated.

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