When a client is a victim of someone else’s negligent driving, we collect insurance information from both the negligent driver and our client. When the negligent driver does not have sufficient insurance limits to pay for the injuries and damages he or she caused, we often pursue a claim with our client’s insurance company under our client’s “uninsured/underinsured” (referred to as “UM”) portion of his or her automobile insurance policy. When we inform new clients that we intend to open a claim with their insurance company, they are often resistant to the idea for fear their premium or rates will increase as a result. This is a valid concern given that most insurance companies will raise your premium or rate when you are involved in a wreck and you are determined to be at-fault for the crash. Some insurance companies will even cancel the policy altogether. So will insurance companies do the same thing when you are involved in a wreck that is caused by someone else and need to file a claim under your “uninsured/underinsured” policy because the negligent driver does not have sufficient insurance limits to pay for his or her negligent driving?
Fortunately, Georgia law provides a clear answer to this question: Georgia law strictly prohibits any insurance company from raising the premium or rate charged on a policy of motor vehicle insurance or cancel such policy when an insured is involved in a wreck that is caused by someone else. Because your UM is designed to protect you from someone else’s bad conduct, your insurance rate will not increase.
Bottom line: In case of a car accident case, do not hesitate to pursue a UM claim if someone else either (1) has no insurance or (2) not enough insurance to cover the personal injuries that his or her bad conduct caused.