Law FAQ: Will my insurance premium go up if I get hit by a uninsured driver & have no choice but to submit a claim on my own UM coverage?

I explained in a recent blog post about how Uninsured/Underinsured (UM) insurance coverage works, and how your UM coverage basically kicks in to protect you in the event you are involved a car wreck or auto related accident with someone who has little or no insurance.

We’ve found that our clients who find themselves in this situation are frequently worried about making a claim on their own insurance.  Indeed, clients often say something along the following lines:

“The car wreck wasn’t my fault, so why should I have to put this on my insurance?  That’s not fair.  I can’t afford for my insurance premium to go up, or worse yet — what if they cancel my policy?  I mean, I can’t afford the medical bills and damage to my car either, but maybe I’d be better off in the long run just doing the best I can and forgetting the insurance claim.”

On the surface, all of those concerns are perfectly valid.  However, there is actually no reason to worry.  Indeed, the law in Tennessee is absolutely clear on this point — it is unlawful by statute for your insurance carrier to raise your insurance premium or cancel your policy simply because you had the misfortune of getting hit by an irresponsible deadbeat who was driving around illegally with no liability insurance.  That’s exactly why you have UM coverage, and it would be wrong for your insurance company to be able to penalize you for something that isn’t your fault.

Accordingly, Tennessee Code Annotated § 56-7-1201(f) states that “No insurer shall increase the automobile insurance rate or premium of an insured with uninsured motorist coverage nor cancel the coverage due solely to the payment of any claim under uninsured motorist coverage.”

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