Are insurance premiums an allowable economic damage for small claims court?

An uninsured driver was at fault in our auto accident. In addition to economic damages to cover auto repair no personal injury resulted, can I also seek damages to cover the future costs of increased premiums? For at least the next 6 months which is reflected in my insurance bill? The premium increased $120/month, so $720 for 6 months.

Asked on November 21, 2018 under Accident Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

No, you cannot seek recovery of future premiums. The reason is, any increase in your premiums is at the discretion or choice of your insurer: they are not mandated by law and not a necessary consequence of the damage to your car. The insurer freely chooses whether to increase your premiums, and by how much. Because they are under the control of and at the discretion of a 3rd party (the insurer), the at-fault driver is not responsible for them, just like he would not be responsible for lost wages if the other driver's boss chose to fire him because he missed work due to his car being in the shop and having difficult getting to the job. Events under the control of 3rd parties are not one an at-fault driver may be charged or sued for.


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