Types of Georgia Auto Insurance
You may have heard of different types of insurance and vaguely understand some of the differences. When you have been injured in a car accident and are looking for fair compensation for your injuries, understanding insurance options is most important.
Georgia’s insurance requirements are basic – a driver only needs to have liability insurance to drive. If the driver who hits you carries only the basic amounts, you hardly have adequate coverage for a serious accident. In those circumstances, a seasoned personal injury attorney can help explore all insurance coverage options, including from your own policy, to make sure you recover the full amount.
Also, as you review your own auto insurance policy amounts, you should consider whether going beyond the basic requirements is in your best interest.
The liability insurance policy of the party who is liable (causes) the accident covers property damage and injuries to others in the accident. If another driver hits your car, you or your lawyer can make a claim against the other driver’s liability policy by negotiating directly with their insurance company or by using them. You can recover for vehicle damage, injuries, pain, and suffering under this policy. If your damages are greater than the liability policy amounts, there may be recovery options under another policy of the person who hit you, your own policy, or you can sue the other party for the remaining amounts. There are two types of liability insurance required by Georgia law:
- Bodily Injury Liability Insurance covers costs connected with the injury or death of another person in an accident. Georgia requires at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident.
- Property Damage Liability Insurance covers costs connected to property damage in an accident and includes vehicles, homes, and buildings. Georgia requires at least $25,000.
Uninsured and Underinsured Insurance
In Georgia, approximately 12% of drivers have no insurance, and many more have inadequate insurance. Uninsured insurance coverage and underinsured insurance coverage and are not required in Georgia. This type of insurance covers costs your medical expenses when you are in an accident, the other driver is at fault but has no insurance (uninsured) or inadequate insurance coverage (underinsured).
Collision insurance is designed to help you repair or replace your car that has been damaged in an accident. Accidents can include hitting another car or object (like a tree or wall). Collision insurance covers your own car, not damage to someone else’s vehicle. This type is not required by Georgia law but if you are leasing a car or are financing a car through a bank, those institutions will generally require you to have collision insurance.
Medical Payments Insurance
Medical payments insurance pays for medical expenses for you or your passengers in an accident, regardless of who caused the accident. Medical payments insurance generally includes funeral expenses. This type of insurance is not required in Georgia.
Bodily injury insurance (required by Georgia law and referenced above) covers injuries that you are responsible for because of an accident. By comparison, medical payment insurance pays for medical and related expenses for you and your passengers no matter who is at fault for the accident.
Comprehensive insurance covers damage to your car that happens for a reason other than a car accident. An insured would use their comprehensive coverage if their vehicle were damaged by a storm, a tree falling on it, vandalism, or if the vehicle is stolen. On the other hand, collision insurance (discussed above) covers the repair or replacement of your vehicle after it is damaged in an accident. Comprehensive insurance allows for the repair or replacement of the vehicle, which would be generally decided by the insurance company. Comprehensive insurance is not required in Georgia.
Auto insurance policies generally have a deductible. A deductible is a designated amount that an insured needs to pay before an insurance company pays a claim under that insurance policy.
For example, if the deductible on your policy is $1,000, you would have to pay $1,000 before the insurance company starts paying anything under the policy. If your damages are under $1,000, that would be an out-of-pocket expense and the insurance company would pay no amount.
What Happens in an Accident if I Do Not Have Insurance?
As mentioned above, Georgia law requires each driver to carry:
- Bodily liability insurance of least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
- Property damage liability insurance of at least $25,000
Insurance companies electronically submit policy information to the Georgia Department of Driver Services. If you are in an accident and do not have insurance, the first consequence is that you do not have any coverage for damage. The second consequence is that you will suffer the legal consequence of driving without insurance, including:
- Criminal offense (misdemeanor)
- Fine between $200 – $1,000
- Subject to jail for one year
- Suspension of driver’s license
If you do not have insurance or are unable to obtain insurance, please refrain from driving until you have proper insurance!
Call the Attorneys at CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm to Explore Insurance Policies Available to Cover Your Damages from an Accident
Have you been in an accident in the Atlanta, Georgia area where your car was damaged or totaled but your insurance company or the other insurance company is not providing fair compensation?
Were you in an accident in the Atlanta, Georgia area where you were hurt but your recovery isn’t even enough to cover your medical bills?
Your insurance company may not give you a clear picture of all possible insurance policies available to you. The experienced attorneys at CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm are available to help you explore insurance coverage options available to you under policies held by you, your family, or the person who caused the accident. Contact us to schedule a free consultation.