Georgia Insurance Coverage Questions and Answers
This page covers the basics of Georgia accident injury insurance, including what insurances are required under Georgia law, liability insurance, uninsured and underinsured motorist benefits, medical payments coverage and collision insurance. The insurance regulations are extensive, so for further details, please feel free to contact the Atlanta injury attorney at Grant Law Office
Georgia is an "at-fault" state. This means that the driver at fault in the accident is primarily responsible for the injuries and damages caused to others in the accident. The injured parties are referred to as plaintiffs.
In Georgia, the amount you can recover in a car accident is limited to the amount of coverage under the at-fault driver's insurance policy and your own insurance policy. That is why you should carefully consider optional coverages when purchasing an automobile insurance policy. You may not want to pay the cost of the premium, but it only takes one accident for you to sustain serious injuries. Accidents happen in the blink of an eye. If the at-fault driver only has the minimum required coverage, you want to ensure that you have sufficient coverage over and above the minimum requirements for yourself and your passengers.
Under the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A.), owners of motor vehicles are required to carry liability insurance with minimum requirements. (O.C.G.A. § 33-34-4) Liability insurance protects other drivers in the event the insured person is at fault in an accident. It is a one-time settlement or payment for all of your damages.
The minimum requirements are covered under O.C.G.A. §33-7-11 (A)(1)(a)) as follows:
- $25,000 for bodily injury or death of one person in a single accident
- $50,000 for bodily injury or death of more than one person in a single accident
- $25,000 for injury or harm to the property of others in a single accident
These coverages are the minimum amounts of coverage required, and it is generally advisable to carry higher coverages. If the damages exceed the policy limits, the at-fault driver can be held personally responsible for the difference.
Uninsured/underinsured (UIM) motorist benefits vary widely from state to state. Georgia does not require UIM. It is an optional coverage available for purchase in case the at-fault driver has no insurance coverage or carries an amount of coverage insufficient to cover all of your damages resulting from the accident.
UIM coverage is subdivided into two categories: reduction coverage and excess coverage. Reduction coverage is non-stacking. So, if your UIM reduction policy is $25,000 and the at-fault driver carries the state minimum of $25,000, your reduction policy is canceled out. Excess coverage, however, is stacking. Using the same coverages as in the reduction example, the at-fault driver's coverage of $25,000 is used first. If you have damages over and above that amount, you can "stack" your UIM up to $25,000, effectively doubling the coverage available to you.
Medical payments insurance (med-pay) is another optional insurance that is not required by Georgia law. You might also see med-pay referred to as personal insurance protection (PIP). Med-pay is available to the person holding the coverage and any passengers in the insured's vehicle, regardless of the fault of the driver. The insurance policy of the at-fault driver does not pay benefits to plaintiffs.
Collision insurance is also optional insurance coverage. It relates to property damage and provides for the repair or replacement of your own vehicle after an accident, regardless of fault. If you submit the property damage claim under your collision insurance, your insurance carrier has the right to recover the amount paid out from the at-fault driver's insurance company in a process called subrogation. Your collision coverage usually requires a deductible, which is also included in the subrogation claim to be repaid to you. Submitting the claim under the liability insurance of the at-fault driver does not require a deductible payment.
Georgia auto accident injury insurance can be confusing, especially if you sustained injuries in an accident through no fault of your own and are now faced with figuring out how to proceed. The Atlanta car accident lawyers at Grant Law Office, are always ready to serve you. The attorneys and staff are all veterans in plaintiff representation. The sooner you call us at (404) 995-3955, the sooner we can address your legal concerns so that you can focus on healing.
- Automobile Insurance - Office of Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner
- Acceptable Proof of Insurance - Georgia Department of Revenue
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