We all know it is important to have car insurance, but some drivers do not understand why having uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) insurance is necessary. Unfortunately, there are many drivers on the road who do not have insurance coverage. Thus, having UM/UIM insurance is important to cover your damages if you are injured due to the negligence of another driver.
By way of example, if the negligent motorist only had $25,000 in liability coverage and you have $25,000 add-on UM/UIM coverage on three cars covered under individual stackable policies. This adds $75,000 UM/UIM coverage to the negligent driver’s insurance, for a total of $100,000 in coverage for your accident.
But, should you make a claim against your own insurance company? Many drivers are reluctant to submit a claim against their own policy due to damages that were caused by another motorist. However, the purpose of UM/UIM coverage is to protect you and pay for your expenses when the at-fault driver’s coverage is insufficient. This is the reason you have been paying premiums so you should take advantage of the protection you have paid to have.
If you are afraid your insurance company will cancel you or increase your premiums if you make a claim on your UM/UIM policy, you shouldn’t be. The insurance industry loves when customers are scared to take advantage of the insurance benefits they have paid for. However, it is illegal for your insurance company to punish you for doing so. Pursuant to O.C.G.A. §33-9-40, an insurance company cannot surcharge your premiums or rates (or cancel your policy) if you are involved in an accident and you are not at fault.
If you are wondering whether your insurance company can refuse to renew your policy when it expires, you should confer with your attorney. O.C.G.A. § 33-23-45 is the Georgia statute that addresses the cancellation and nonrenewal of vehicle insurance policies. However, it is a lengthy and complex statute. In short, if you are involved in a wreck that is not your fault and you file a UM/UIM claim for that accident, your insurance company cannot increase your premiums, cancel your coverage or refuse to renew your policy. Again, there are many factors that must be considered, so you should confer with your insurance agent or personal injury attorney.
Let us help you with your accident claims. Murphy & Garner can help you obtain full and fair financial compensation for your medical bills, damages, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Call our office in Bremen, Georgia, at 678-563-1584 or e-mail us now for a free consultation.