Will My Insurance Premiums Go Up If I Use My PIP Coverage?
In Florida, drivers who are involved in car crashes are required to seek compensation first from their own insurers, regardless of who actually caused the accident. It makes sense then, that one of the first concerns of many car accident victims is whether they can expect their insurance rates to go up after filing a claim. In some cases, this concern could even deter an injured party from filing a car accident claim or retaining an attorney. While the answer to this question will depend on a driver’s particular circumstances, many can take comfort from the fact that insurers are legally prohibited from increasing the rates for drivers who were not at-fault for their collisions.
When Insurers Can Increase Premiums
Under Florida law, insurers are barred from refusing to impose higher rates on policyholders for motor vehicle liability, PIP, medical payment, or collision insurance policies just because the policyholder was involved in a car accident. The only exception to this general prohibition applies in cases where an insurer’s file contains information from which an insurer, in good faith, determines that the insured was substantially at fault for the accident in question. Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of information on what qualifies as being substantially at fault. Many insurers, however, consider a driver who was more than 50 percent at fault for an accident to be substantially at fault for the crash.
Insurance companies are also allowed to raise their rates for reasons that are unique to a person’s policy, such as learning that a policyholder has a household resident that should be covered. An insurer could also raise all of the premiums for policyholders in a specific geographic location. It is, however, unlawful for an insurer to raise a motorist’s rates for an accident for which he or she wasn’t substantially at fault.
If an insurer finds that a policyholder is substantially at fault for causing an accident, in which he or she claimed personal injury protection (PIP) coverage, then that person could be considered a high-risk driver. In these cases, an insurer will likely seek measures to protect itself from further risks and collect funds for the original accident by raising the policyholder’s monthly rate. A variety of other factors can contribute to a driver’s insurance rate, including age, gender, vehicle model, and geographical location. However, insurers are always required to act in good faith when charging premiums and companies that fail to do so can be held liable for engaging in bad faith practices.
Schedule a Free Consultation Today
If you were involved in a car accident for which you were not substantially at fault, but your rates increased significantly anyway, please call the experienced Florida car accident lawyers at Boone & Davis to learn more about your legal rights. We know how frustrating it can be to deal with insurers after a crash, especially while you’re trying to recover from a severe injury and will do everything we can to help you resolve your claim. Call 954-566-9919 today to set up a free consultation with a member of our legal team.