No - Your Colorado insurance rates should not go up if you use your medpay benefits.
A lot of my clients ask whether they should file a claim against their auto insurance benefits when the accident was not their fault.
Usually this comes up in the context of medpay (Medical payments) benefits. Medpay exists to pay for immediate medical care and treatment, ambulance bills and follow-up care. If you have medpay coverage, it pays out benefits no matter who is at fault.
Medpay is required under Colorado law unless you expressly reject it in writing. The minimum amount carried under most auto insurance policies is $5,000, but you can buy higher amounts as well. Upping your medpay coverage to $10,000 or more is relatively inexpensive. Spending a little extra on medpay is well worth the cost if you end up in a car crash. If you have medpay coverage, you will almost certainly walk away with more money in your pocket at the end of your injury case. The upside of medpay, is that there is no right of subrogation. In other words, you will never have to pay back medpay from your bodily injury insurance settlement, unlike your health insurance.
Even better news - your car insurance rates should not go up if you use your medpay benefits. The Colorado Insurance Commission has enacted a consumer protection regulation that specifically prevents insurance companies from raising your rates when you use your medpay.
Amended Regulation 5-2-12, Section 5(B)(1) states: Insurers shall not … increase the premium for any complying policy based upon:
… Claims paid under medical payments or uninsured motorist coverage.
This means you can freely use your medpay benefits without fear of your insurance rates going up.
It is important to note that Colorado's medpay statute, codified at C.R.S. § 10-4-635, does not extend medpay coverage to injuries resulting from the use of motorcycles, low power scooters, toy vehicles, snowmobiles, or any vehicle designed primarily for off-road use. These vehicles typically require their own insurance coverage separate from your car insurance. You should carefully discuss coverage of such vehicles with your insurance agent.
To be fair, your insurance rates could go up for other reasons. If you were at-fault for the accident, your insurance premiums will undoubtedly rise. Every parent of a teenager involved in a fender bender understands just how quickly and steeply their premiums can go up. Also, insurance companies are permitted to raise rates across the board for a broad group of insurance customers. In Colorado, general increases have to be filed with the Commissioner of Insurance. The Max Law Firm will help you with more legal help, feel free to contact us.
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