Roberts Insurance Group Blog
When it comes to auto insurance in Georgia, there is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Every household is going to be a little different, so it's important to make sure your auto insurance policy is tailored to your unique situation. In this article, we're going to highlight 5 important coverages that Georgia drivers need to review to make sure they're properly covered in the event of a loss:
#1 Liability Limits
This is arguably the most important coverage on a personal auto insurance policy in Georgia. It is also where there will be the biggest differences from household to household.
The liability limits on your personal auto policy is what will be paid to the not-at-fault party in the event you are at fault for an accident. The reason this coverage is so important for Georgia drivers is because it protects your income and assets from being seized or garnished in the event you are liable for an auto accident.
In Georgia, the state minimum liability limits required to drive on the roads here is $25,000/$50,000/$25,000. What do these numbers mean? The first number is the limit of insurance available for bodily injury liability per person. Simply put, if you are at fault for an accident and someone else is injured, the insurance company will pay up to $25,000 per person for the victim(s) medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, etc.
The second number, $50,000, is the limit of bodily injury liability that would be paid out in any single accident. So if you're at fault for an accident and there are multiple people injured, the max this policy would pay out is a combined $50,000 for bodily injury.
The last number, $25,000, is the amount of property damage liability that the policy would pay out. If you're at fault for an accident, your insurance company would pay up to $25,000 to fix/replace the not-at-fault party's vehicle.
If you couldn't already tell, the state minimum coverage is not going to be sufficient for many accidents and would leave most Georgia residents vulnerable. There are so many cars on the roads nowadays that are worth far more than $25,000. In addition, the cost of medical care has been increasing significantly year after year. Even a short hospital stay would result in over $25,000 in medical bills.
What Liability Limits Are Available For Georgia Auto Policies?
Many companies will allow you to tailor each individual limit to design the policy coverage just the way you want. Some companies have a limited selection available. To keep things simple, below is a general list of alternative liability limit options you can consider:
For most homeowners in Georgia, we will recommend carrying at least $100,000/$300,000/$100,000 for your liability limits. This will protect your personal finances, income, and assets from almost all at-fault accident scenarios.
#2 Comprehensive and Collision Coverage
Carrying comprehensive and collision coverage is what most folks consider "full coverage" these days and what you're require to carry if you are leasing or financing your vehicle. Comprehensive coverage pays to fix or replace your vehicle if it is damaged and you or another driver is not at fault for the damage. Common claims include if your car is stolen, an object falls on it, you hit an animal in the road, and glass breakage.
Collision on the other hand is used when you're at-fault for the damage to your vehicle. Whether you car an accident with another vehicle or back into a stationary object. If you're at-fault for the damage, collision coverage is what will be used to fix or replace your vehicle.
For most auto policies in Georgia, these claims are settled on what's called an "actual cash value" basis. Meaning that your car's value will be based on the characteristics at the time of the accident, including depreciation.
#3 Medical Payments Coverage
Medical payments coverage on auto policies in Georgia is used to help pay for medical expenses stemming from auto accident injuries. This coverage will typically supplement your major medical health plan and help pay for out of pocket costs you may incur following an auto accident injury. Things like co-pays, costs to meet your deductible, and things that may not be covered by your health insurance policy (like chiropractic care). We recommend reviewing your health insurance plan to help determine how much medical payments coverage you should carry.
#4 Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage is used when you're in an accident and the other driver does not have insured OR if they don"t have enough insurance. The limits from uninsured motorist coverage will typically mirror the liability limits. You can not have more uninsured motorist coverage than liability on an auto policy in Georgia, but you can have less. There are too many drivers on the roads in Georgia who either don't have insurance or who have state minimum coverage. If you're in an accident with one of these folks, there is a really good chance you're going to need to use your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
In addition to reviewing your limits, you need to review what type of uninsured motorist coverage you have. There are 2 options- Excess or add-on uninsured motorist coverage and reduced uninsured motorist coverage. The best coverage option will be add-on uninsured motorist coverage. Add-on coverage means that your policy will "add-on" or stack on top of what you're able to recover from the at-fault party's policy. Reduced coverage means that your uninsured motorist limits will be reduced by what you're able to recover from the at-fault party's policy.
#5 Rental Car Reimbursement
If you don't have an extra vehicle to drive for a few weeks in the event your vehicle is in the shop due to a claim, you need to make sure to include rental car coverage on your Georgia auto policy. This coverage is very inexpensive and will pay for the cost of a rental car in the event your car is inoperable for a period of time following an accident.
One thing to consider here is that you will need to tailor your limits to make sure you have enough coverage to get a comparable rental vehicle. For example, if you typically drive a new, $100,000 SUV or a large pick up truck, you would want to make sure your policy has enough coverage so that you can rent a similar vehicle, so the minimum coverage here would no be sufficient.
If you're unsure of what coverage options or limits you and your family need, we highly recommend reviewing your situation with your agent or broker or giving us a call. We'd love to take a few minutes to make sure you're properly covered.
The Roberts Insurance Group is a Georgia Insurance Broker specializing in commercial and personal insurance for our clients throughout the state of Georgia. We help our clients lower their cost of insurance with our superior claim and risk management expertise and our extensive carrier access. We are in the business of building relationships with our clients to help them grow and succeed. Contact us today to see what we can do for your family or business.