You were in a car accident that was not your fault. Now your insurance company is dropping you. Can they do this?
Unfortunately, yes. As a Dallas car accident lawyer, I can also tell you a little about how insurance companies behave. Insurance companies evaluate risk. Like it or not, insurance companies have different ways of assessing you as a potential risk. There is nothing that requires an insurance company to sell you insurance. If they feel you are likely to generate a high number of claims, they will most likely cancel your policy.
How do they determine your risk? Not all insurance companies are the same. How one insurance company evaluates a driver may be much different than how another one evaluates a driver.
Some of the Factors an Insurance Company Considers.
- The Make and Model of Your Car. Insurance companies consider the class of car that you’re driving. Is it a zippy sports car, a plain minivan, or a sturdy pickup truck? In addition, they also consider the vehicle safety rating – the more stars in the rating, the better your rate.
- Driving Habits. These include how far do you drive and how often? The more miles you drive, the greater your chances of getting in a car accident. It doesn’t matter if you’re a good driver. The more you drive, the greater your odds of getting into a collision. Even if the accident is not your fault, your insurance company will still be out some money.
- Driving History. Are you a model citizen, or have you racked up many moving violations? This has a big impact on your score and your chances of being denied coverage.
- Your Credit Score. As odd as it sounds, your credit score can reflect how responsible of a person you are. Likewise, your credit can have an impact on your insurance.
- Lying on Your Insurance Application. The most popular lie is when you say that no one else lives with you or will be driving your car. However, you have a child with a drivers license or roommate that also drives your car from time to time. An undeclared routine driver will get your insurance coverage cancelled very quickly.
Therefore, Should I not Make a Claim?
You buy insurance for a reason. Therefore, you should use it if you need it. You have nothing to gain by sheltering your insurance company. So long as the accident was not your fault and you have an otherwise good claims history, most likely your insurance coverage will not be effected by making a claim. And even if it is, any negative effects would be far less than the value of the claim. In other words, the amount of benefits you collect will most likely outweigh the potential cost of making the claim.
If you get dropped, it may just be that you had enough flags on your risk factors to make your insurance company think that you’re a bad risk. You can appeal, either yourself or with an attorney. But this is not a court hearing. It’s entirely a dispute with your insurer. It might be that you have become a higher risk in their eyes than they want to insure.