Like other states with a fault-based system, Georgia has minimum car insurance requirements. This includes auto liability coverage only. This policy pays out to victims of an accident that the covered driver causes.
Keep reading to learn more about the minimum requirements and other recommended coverages in Georgia.
Auto Liability Insurance Minimum Requirements
According to the Office of Commissioner of Insurance and Safety Fire, drivers in Georgia must demonstrate that they have insurance coverage that meets minimum limits. These limits must include at least:
- Liability for bodily injury suffered by a single accident victim, $25,000
- Liability for bodily injuries suffered by all accident victims, $50,000
- Liability for property damages to all vehicles in an accident, $25,000
This is often called a 25/50/25 policy, referring to the coverage limits required. Auto liability policies pay for the damages suffered by victims of a collision caused by the policyholder. This means that this policy does not compensate you after a crash. Instead, it protects your assets if you make a mistake and cause an accident.
Without this insurance, the victim may sue you and recover money from your bank accounts or other assets.
You can, of course, invest in extra liability coverage to raise these limits above the state’s minimum requirements.
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Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Georgia law does not require uninsured and underinsured motorist (UM and UIM) insurance coverage. Since the state law requires auto liability coverage, this theoretically should not be necessary. Unfortunately, many people violate the law and drive without auto insurance or too little coverage.
If a driver cancels their policy or allows it to lapse and they cause an accident that leaves you injured, you will want to have a UM/UIM policy. This can make it much easier to recover the money you need to pay for your medical care, repair your vehicle, and cover your lost wages. The policy will also cover your passengers hurt in a crash.
Without this coverage, you might have to sue the at-fault driver to recover compensation. However, most people with significant assets do not drive without auto insurance. It can be very difficult to get the money you need without UM/UIM coverage. You may have to hope your health insurance coverage pays for your medical care and that you can return to work quickly.
Other Coverages You May Want to Consider
Several optional coverages are available that you may want to consider an investment when you purchase your auto insurance coverage. Your insurer can answer questions you have about any of these policies.
Physical Damage Insurance
Physical damage coverage pays for the repairs to your vehicle or the replacement of your car if it is totaled in a crash. This policy applies regardless of fault in the accident, although your insurer may go after the other party through a process known as subrogation. This can take place if there is evidence to prove their negligence and liability.
There are two types of physical damage coverage. This includes collision, which includes accident damages, and comprehensive, which covers everything else. Many people are required to carry physical damage coverage by their lender or leasing company. It is not unusual for the finance company or owner of a leased vehicle to require this coverage to protect their investment.
Medical Payments Coverage
Medical payments coverage, known as med pay, covers your bodily injuries in a crash regardless of fault or cause. This can be a good idea for several reasons:
- It can be challenging to get your health insurance to cover accident injuries.
- The at-fault driver may not have coverage.
- You may need help paying your bills if you caused the accident.
- It may allow you to recover compensation faster.
- You can file a claim with your insurer and allow it to go after the at-fault party.
A handful of other options from your insurance company may be available to you. It can discuss these options, the cost, and other details with you. They include:
- Rental reimbursement after a collision
- Towing coverage
- Reduced deductibles in glass repair and replacement
What to Do After a Georgia Car Accident
After you are in a crash, your priorities should be contacting the police and getting medical care. Once your injuries are stable, your next move should be to schedule a free case evaluation with an attorney. They will be able to explain how the insurance company will work in your case and your options for holding another driver legally responsible.
In general, crash victims have up to two years to sue an at-fault driver in Georgia under O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33. Act as soon as your injuries allow so that you can protect your right to financial recovery.
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At Bader Scott Injury Lawyers, our Atlanta car accident lawyers help clients seek and recover compensation through insurance claims or civil action. We provide free consultations to learn more about your options. Reach out today to get started.