Do I Need Underinsured Motorist Coverage?
For many motorists, understanding Georgia’s uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM insurance) can be challenging. Many drivers believe that they have it, only to find out when it is too late that they do not. Others, however, find themselves in a situation where the at-fault driver does not have proper insurance and are pleasantly surprised to learn that they are still protected. So, what do UM and UIM insurance cover, and why should all drivers in the state have it?
State Insurance Law
Under state law, there are certain minimum amounts of insurance all drivers are required to carry. This is known as liability coverage, and the minimum requirements are:
- $25,000 for bodily injury per person
- $50,000 for bodily injury per accident
- $25,000 for property damage per accident
These are the minimum amounts of insurance all motorists must carry before they get behind the wheel. Unfortunately, not all drivers carry this insurance because they cannot afford the monthly or yearly premiums associated with liability coverage.
Additionally, Georgia is a tort state for auto insurance. This means that when there is an accident, individuals must go through the at-fault driver’s insurance company to claim compensation. When that at-fault driver does not have proper insurance, injured parties may file a lawsuit directly against the negligent motorist.
How UM and UIM Can Help Following a Car Wreck
In the above situation, individuals may turn to their own insurance policy to receive compensation for their injuries. However, they can only do so if they have purchased UM and UIM insurance.
When drivers take out an insurance policy, the provider must make underinsured and uninsured coverage available. While drivers may refuse this insurance, but to do so, they must state their wish to decline it in writing. This is why, after getting into an accident, many drivers are not sure whether they have this coverage or not.
UM and UIM insurance does not only protect the driver if they get into an accident with an uninsured driver. This coverage also may protect their spouse and other relatives, such as their children. Additionally, underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage may protect those that are traveling as a passenger in the car and anyone that has driven the insured’s vehicle with their express or implied consent.
If someone’s damages exceed the at-fault driver’s policy limits, underinsured coverage may help in this scenario as well. This is known as insurance stacking, and many policies allow it.
Call an Attorney to Find Out if you Have UM and UMI Insurance
There are many benefits to having underinsured and uninsured driver insurance. If you have been in an accident caused by another driver’s negligence, call our car accident attorneys today. We could help determine what type of coverage you have and hold insurance providers accountable for paying the compensation you deserve.