Louisana law requires that every driver has an auto insurance policy. But what happens if someone’s policy is expired or if they don’t have one at all? You might have to rely on uninsured motorist coverage. In our experience, people tend to have a lot of questions about this coverage and whether it will raise their premiums.
Let’s set the record straight and dive into the truth about what happens when you’re struck by an uninsured motorist.
What is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
While the law requires that you have insurance covering yourself, it does not require that you have uninsured motorist coverage. Most standard car insurance policies have uninsured motorist coverage, but the law allows you to opt-out of coverage. Many policyholders opt-out because they believe the uninsured coverage will raise their premiums.
Will Uninsured Motorist Coverage Raise My Premiums?
Under Louisana law, insurance companies may not raise premiums, add a charge, cancel, or refuse to renew your insurance because you made an uninsured motorist claim. While the package itself may be slightly more expensive due to the uninsured motorist coverage, it is always worth it. That’s because uninsured motorist coverage covers a variety of cases, not just those where the other driver doesn’t have insurance.
How Can I Use Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
Uninsured motorist coverage isn’t just for cases where the other driver doesn’t have insurance. It’s used in crashes where the at-fault driver’s policy limits are less than the amount you need to recover. For example, if the total damages amount to $35,000 but the driver’s policy limits are at $15,000, your uninsured motorist coverage would apply.
A hit and run can also be grounds for an uninsured motorist coverage claim. If the at-fault driver hits you and then flees the scene before you can exchange insurance information, you’d have no way to make a claim with their insurance company. That means you would have to file an uninsured motorist claim with your own insurance.
What if I Don’t Have Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
If you opted out of uninsured motorist coverage and you were either struck by an uninsured driver, struck for more damage than the at-fault driver’s policy limit, or were struck by a hit and run driver, you’d likely be unable to file a claim. That means you’d have to manage the damage and recovery by yourself.
Does My Current Policy Have Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
How can you tell if your current policy has uninsured motorist coverage? Most policies in include coverage, but you have to opt-out in writing. Insurance agents may try to convince you that you don’t need uninsured motorist coverage without telling you just how useful it is.
The surest way to determine whether you have coverage is to call your insurance company and ask. If you discover that you unknowingly opted out of uninsured motorist coverage when you first bought your policy, you should be able to purchase the package by asking.
Remember that an uninsured motorist claim is used when the other driver is found to be at fault. Louisiana is a comparative fault state, meaning that each driver is assigned a percentage of the fault. Ensuring that you’re not at-fault can be difficult, which is why you may wish to hire an experienced auto injury attorney from The Burrell Firm LLC to assist with your uninsured motorist claim.
If you or someone you love suffered serious injuries at the hands of an uninsured motorist, you need to pick a firm that will make results happen. If you’d like to schedule a free case consultation with an experienced New Orleans car accident attorney from The Burrell Firm LLC to evaluate your case, please send us an email or call (504) 420-7575.