THEY CANNOT RAISE YOUR CAR INSURANCE RATES IN NEVADA IF THE ACCIDENT IS NOT YOUR FAULT

FIVE FACTS ABOUT CAR INSURANCE RATES IN NEVADA

1) If you are in a car accident and it is not your fault, your insurance company cannot raise your rates for paying your damages.

2) If you make a claim on your uninsured motorist coverage because someone without insurance hits you, your insurance company cannot raise your rates.

3) Your  insurance company cannot cancel your policy if you make a claim that is not your fault.

4) Insurance companies refer to at fault accidents as a “chargeable” offense.

5) Your insurance company may try to attribute a “small percentage of fault” against you to raise your rates for a claim.  Be sure to verify that you were not found at fault on your claim with your adjuster and make them send you a letter to verify that you were not at fault.

The statutes on this issue are pretty clear in the state of Nevada but relatively unknown. An insurance company cannot refuse to issue your policy or renew your policy for an accident or claim that was not your fault. They also, in turn, cannot cancel your policy for an accident that was not your fault. Over the years many clients have advised us that their rates have gone up immediately following an accident. Many insurers have policies that are nationwide and this policy is illegal in Nevada. At the law office of TheOneLawyer.com, we make sure that our clients are treated fairly by their own insurance companies and that they are not charged with an accident that is clearly not their fault. In fact, I have seen insurance companies over the years that have sent the insured a letter advising them that they were 5% or 10% at fault for the collision when they had not even reviewed the police report, seen photographs or taken statements. This is why it is critical to have an attorney fight for you from the beginning anytime you are involved in a car accident. There are many aspects of car accident law that inexperienced attorneys are not aware of. This is one of them. At the car accident law offices of TheOneLawyer.com, we make sure our clients are treated properly by their own insurance company as well as receive the compensation they deserve. The statutes and Nevada are pretty clear on these issues and 

NRS 687B .35 states as follows:

NRS 687B.385  Refusal to issue, cancellation, nonrenewal or increase in premium due to claims for which insured was not at fault, claims for which insurer made no payment or recovered entirety of payment or inquiries relating to a claim prohibited.  An insurer shall not refuse to issue, cancel, refuse to renew or increase the premium for renewal of a policy of motor vehicle insurance covering private passenger cars or commercial vehicles as a result of any:

1.  Claims made under any policy of insurance with respect to which the insured was not at fault;

2.  Claims made under any policy of insurance for which the insurer has not made any payment or for which the insurer recovered the entirety of the insurer’s payment on the claim by means of salvage, subrogation or another mechanism; or

3.  Inquiries made regarding an actual or potential claim under any policy of insurance regarding:

     (a) The existence of insurance coverage for any matter; or

      (b) Any hypothetical or informational matter pertaining to insurance.

      (Added to NRS by 1987, 1063; A 1997, 30332017, 2354)

In addition to the Nevada revised Statutes,  there is also the Nevada Administrative Code. The administrative code outlines specific rules and regulations that insurance companies must follow that accompany the Nevada Revised Statutes. The Nevada Administrative Code contains specific regulations that govern administrative bodies in the state of Nevada such as the Department of Insurance. Nevada administrative code provision 687B.850 further outlines and details the rules regarding accidents that are not the fault of the policyholder. Insurance terms are referred to as chargeable or non-chargeable events and referred to in the statute below:

POLICIES OF MOTOR VEHICLE INSURANCE

NAC 687B.850  Chargeable accidents: Restrictions on authority of insurer; filing and use of definition. (NRS 679B.130687B.385)

1.  An insurer shall not cancel, refuse to renew or increase the premium charge for the liability coverage under a policy of motor vehicle insurance upon renewal of the policy of motor vehicle insurance because of an accident that is not a chargeable accident.

2.  Each insurer shall file with the Division its definition of a “chargeable accident” and shall use the filed definition. The insurer’s definition of a “chargeable accident” may include only those accidents for which the insured is 50 percent or more at fault.

3.  Each filing of a rate for a policy of motor vehicle insurance submitted to the Division must define a “chargeable accident” in terms of a monetary amount of damage.

4.  An insurer may not define a claim made under the comprehensive portion of a policy of motor vehicle insurance as a chargeable accident in order to increase the premium for the policy or to cancel the policy, but the insurer may use a series of such claims to discontinue comprehensive coverage or to offer a higher deductible for comprehensive coverage upon the renewal of the policy.

When I advise clients they need to make an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim on their own insurance, they are often hesitant to do so, fearing their carrier will either raise their rates, or cancel the policy altogether. However, Nevada, as outlined, has a statute exactly on point, precluding insurance companies from doing either. An uninsured motorist policy provides insurance coverage for the negligence of a driver that causes damages who either has no insurance, or cannot be located.  In such instances, the claimant’s own insurance company provides insurance up to the policy limits for this uninsured driver. An underinsured motorist policy provides coverage for a driver who has insufficient insurance coverage to pay for all of the damages he or she caused.  In such instances, the claimant’s own insurance policy provides additional coverage over and above the negligence driver’s liability policy, up to the policy limits.

The plain language of the statute and code preclude insurance companies in Nevada from raising rates for people who make a UM/UIM (no fault on the part of the insured) claim. The Nevada Supreme Court has upheld the statute against the insurance companies challenge. See Reinkemeyer v. Safeco Ins. Co. of America,  16 P.3d 1069, 117 Nev. 4 (2001) (holding the statute that prohibits an insurer from canceling, refusing to renew, or increasing the premium for a policy of casualty or property insurance as a result of claims with respect to which the insured was not at fault is not facially unconstitutional under the state due process and takings clauses)

NRS 687B.385 applies to policies where insurers attempts to cancel or increase premiums because an insured has filed a claim for which the insured is not at fault. With nearly 15% of the drivers in the Nevada being uninsured, and most not having sufficient insurance, when you are in an accident, it is important that you contact an attorney who has experience exploring all policies available for recovery.  TheOneLawyer.com has the experience, and provides free initial consultations. 

At the Law Offices of Laura Payne-Hunt, TheOneLawyer, we provide professional and personal service to each and every one of our clients on various legal matters and have over 15 years of experience in Nevada insurance law and reviewing insurance policies.  If you have a question regarding any type of personal injury or paying your medical bills from an accident, please don’t hesitate to call the offices of TheOneLawyer.com and speak directly to attorney Laura Marie Payne-Hunt, Esq. a Henderson Injury Attorney for over 15 years.  Laura is recognized as one of Nevada’s Top 100 Lawyers. She has the experience and knowledge to obtain the maximum settlement you deserve. Please call our office if you or a loved one is injured. We can make sure that you receive the care you need and deserve and advise on how to preserve evidence.  

At our office, we are experienced in helping injured victims get the compensation they are entitled to.  Insurance companies never have the best interest of the injured person at the top of their priorities. They want to pay as little on every claim as possible.  Having worked for an insurance company as an attorney for 9 years before opening my boutique law firm specializing in helping injured people, I have reviewed thousands of auto accident claims and policy provisions.   

At the Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury law offices of TheOneLaweyer.com, Laura Marie Payne-Hunt and her staff are here to help you and your family in the event that accidents and tragedies occur.  For any of your legal needs, do not hesitate to contact our Henderson and Las Vegas Accident injury offices. TheOneLawyer.com is a boutique, family owned law firm that specializes in helping injured people and the community of Las Vegas and Henderson Nevada with legal issues involving auto accidents, wrongful deaths, slip and falls, truck accidents, injuries to children, bicycle accidents, dog bites, product liability claims, and all types of injury claims.  Please do not hesitate to call us anytime you have a legal question or you or a loved one has sustained an injury at 702-450-(HUNT) 4868 and text 24/7 at 702-600-0032.