We are all familiar with situations where auto insurance can become more expensive or even be cancelled when the insured driver is involved in accidents. Accordingly, there is a general reluctance on the part of many people to make a claim on their insurance coverage even when they were not at fault in any way.
For example, Joe Blow, who was a passenger in his friend’s car, was injured in a collision caused by a drunk driver who had no insurance. It turned out that the friend in whose car Joe was riding had liability-only insurance and no uninsured motorist coverage or medical payment benefits. However, Joe’s own auto insurance has excellent uninsured motorist and medical payment coverage.
Joe Blow did not want to make a claim with his own insurance company for fear that his rates would go up. Fortunately, NRS 687B.385 states that “an insurer shall not cancel, refuse to renew or increase the premium for renewal of a policy of motor vehicle insurance covering private passenger cars . . . as a result of any claim made under the policy with respect to which the insured was not at fault.” It also follows that under this law an insurance company cannot take away the accident-free discount for making a non-fault claim.
Therefore, in cases where a person who was not at fault in an accident suffers legitimate injuries or property damage, he or she should not refrain from applying for the auto insurance benefits from the person’s own insurance company. Otherwise, why pay for the coverage in the first place? Insurance issues in personal injury cases can often be complex and confusing. An experienced attorney can help an injured person obtain proper benefits with no adverse impact on future insurance coverage or premiums.
Bruce L. Woodbury is an attorney with the law firm of Jolley Urga Wirth Woodbury & Standish. The firm has offices in Boulder City and Las Vegas. To contact Bruce, call him at 293-3674 or 699-7500, or visit his website at www.juwws.com.