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An insurance company is not allowed to raise your rates for simply filing an accident claim if you are not the at fault party. This also applies to another person, such as a friend driving the vehicle you are in if you bring a claim against their insurance. Neither your rate nor theirs will go up based upon filing a motor vehicle claim. This is a big misconception that we see come up all of the time. You should not be worried about your rates going up if you are not at fault for a motor vehicle accident. Florida Statute 626.954(o)3a, says that an insurance company shall not:
3.a.Impose or request 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.
This means that a carrier will open themselves up to a potential bad faith lawsuit if they raise your rates after you bring a personal injury claim when you are not “substantially” at fault for the accident. Insurance carriers are very careful to avoid bad faith litigation because the costs for losing a case can be dramatic to their bottom line. Thus, while it is theoretically possible that your rates could go up, most reputable insurance companies would not engage in such tactics.
You should not be worried about having your rates go up as long if you were not at fault or only minorly contributed to the accident. This is why it is important to consult an attorney so that you can ensure that (1) you were not at fault or (2) not contribute substantially to the accident.
Please consult us if you are worried about having your rates go up for an automobile accident or another person’s rates going up. We would be happy to discuss the legal implications of your decisions.
Note: that the above information is also applicable to filing a Personal Injury Protection (PIP) no fault claim against your own insurance company.
Kyle Harris Esq.
Tom Harris, Florida Injury Attorney, has over 39 years of experience, including 17 years of defending insurance companies before reinventing his law practice to represent injured people as a personal injury attorney.
Kyle Harris is a Florida licensed attorney who joined the family practice after starting his career as a licensed attorney in California