Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist (UM/UIM) insurance coverage exists to cover your damages when you are injured due to the negligence of another motorist who has little or no insurance. Whenever we meet with a new client who was injured in a car wreck, we review all the automobile insurance policies in the household to determine what UM/UIM coverages may be available.
Sometimes whether the client has UM/UIM coverage is a big deal. For example, in many of our cases the at-fault driver only has the state minimum coverage of $25,000, but our client has injuries making their case worth 2-3 times that amount. In that situation, our client can make a claim against his or her own insurance company, if they protected themselves with UM/UIM coverage.
However, when I explain UM/UIM coverage to clients, the first question they always ask is: “What will that do to my own insurance rates?” The short answer to this question is NO. Your insurance company should not raise your rates for making an UM/UIM claim on your own policy. Insurance companies are in the business of making money, and part of their ability to make money is to evaluate how much of a risk it is to insure a person.
Because UM/UIM claims can only be made if you are NOT the at-fault party, your insurance company does not see you as more of a liability or risk because of this claim. You did not cause the accident in question, you are just collecting on benefits that are there for you in dire circumstances. If you are paying monthly or annual premiums for coverage, you should use it when you are injured by someone who does not have proper coverage!
If you, or someone you know, has been injured in a car accident in Northwest Arkansas, and is struggling to deal with insurance companies, please do not hesitate to give us a call at 479-621-0006 or visit our website at nwacaraccidentattorney.com.