Uninsured and Underinsured Motorists Insurance

The other driver that hit me has no Insurance – Now what?

First Thing:

STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING – and call your Insurance company and confirm you have Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage.  If you don’t, we strongly recommend you add at a minimum of $25,000 coverage – we suggest adding as much coverage as you can afford.  One night in the hospital can rack up over $20,000 in bills.  If you get into a car accident with someone who is uninsured or underinsured and they are at-fault, YOU might be paying out of pocket for your injuries and repairs to your car.

Uninsured/Underinsured Coverage protects you and your family – it is money that covers you should the other driver not have enough or any liability insurance coverage.

Liability Coverage in Georgia

In Georgia, the law requires the owner of a motor vehicle to carry liability insurance for that vehicle and is needed in order for you to register your car in GA. Having liability insurance can help pay for injuries or damages you might cause to yourself or someone else as a result of a car accident. There are policy requirements in Georgia that you have to meet when you hold liability insurance. In Georgia, the minimum coverage amounts are:

Bodily Injury Liability (www.dmv.org/ga-georgia/car-insurance.php)

  • $25,000 per person
  • $50,000 for multiple people in an accident

Property Damage Liability

  • $25,000 for one incident

Most of the time, when you’re in an accident and the other driver is at-fault, then his or her insurance will pay for the medical bills and damages. However, 11.7% of the population who drive and are living in Georgia do not have liability insurance for their vehicle. Out of almost 10 million people who are licensed in Georgia, over 1.16 million people do not carry insurance, meaning the likelihood of you getting into an accident with an uninsured motorists is one out of every ten. (Source: thrisllist.com)

In other instances, the other driver might have insurance, but they only carry the minimum coverage. If the accident you’ve been in is severe, it is very likely you will need far more than $25,000 for your medical bills alone. The only way for you to be able to recover the rest of your medical bills is to either go through your insurance if you have underinsured or uninsured insurance coverage or to sue the other driver and go through the process of litigation.

What is Uninsured and Underinsured Motorists Coverage?

Uninsured motorists coverage is when the other driver you are in an accident with does not have liability insurance for his or her vehicle. Underinsured motorists coverage is when the other driver has insurance, but the coverage they have is the minimum that their state requires and therefore does not cover all of your medical bills, damages to your car and other issues that were caused by the wreck. Some states separate uninsured motorists coverage and underinsured, while others will be bundled together and are offered as a single protection.

Each insurance company is different when it comes to uninsured and underinsured motorists coverage. Most companies will determine your insurance rates and give you suggested rates based on:

  • Your driving record
  • Your care insurance claim history
  • The make and model of your car
  • Your age
  • Your gender
  • Your marital statues
  • Your credit history

(Source: www.dmv.org/ga-georgia/car-insurance.php)

Georgia does not require you to have uninsured and/or underinsured motorist protection, however, in the case that you are in an accident with an at-fault driver who does not have insurance, uninsured and underinsured is the best coverage to have. Most coverage offers two types of protection:

  • Bodily Injury (medical bills and future medical bills)
  • Property Damage (repairs to car)

What if you don’t have uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage?

Stop what you’re doing – stop reading this article – and ADD it now.

If you don’t have uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, the only other option to recover is by suing the at-fault driver. However, the likelihood of obtaining anything from them is slim. Most of those who do not have insurance do not have many assets to which you can recover.

If you’re insured and unaware if you have uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, contact your insurance company today. If you don’t have coverage, ask a representative from your insurance company the rates for having uninsured and underinsured. Most uninsured and underinsured motorists coverage only cost $10 to $20 and are added to their payment for insurance.  Anyone can easily afford this incredibly important coverage.

Another way to avoid being left to pay out of pocket is carrying at least a minimum of $100,000 if you can afford it. This will prevent you from having to deal with the headache of out of pocket costs and other issues that might arise out of being hit by uninsured and underinsured motorists.

Driving without Car Insurance

Driving without car insurance is illegal in Georgia. If your insurance changes, the Department of Driver Services (DDS) will be informed of those changes and the status of your insurance. Cancelled coverage, either by you or the insurance company, will result in a letter sent to you with a notice to comply with Georgia’s laws to have liability insurance and from the date of the letter, you will have 30 days to maintain a new insurance policy.

If you wish not to comply, there are penalties such as fines and suspension of your license that will be placed on you until you retain insurance. You will also not be able to renew the registration on your car if you do not get insurance.

First Offense

  • $25 lapse fee and $60 reinstatement fee
  • Driver’s license and registration suspended for 60 days
  • Up to one year in jail – but likely only probation

Second Offense

  • $25 lapse fee and $60 reinstatement fee
  • Driver’s license and registration suspended for 90 days
  • Up to one year in jail – possible jail and probation

Third Offense and Subsequent Offenses

  • $25 lapse fee and $60 reinstatement fee
  • Driver’s license and registration suspended for six month
  • Up to one year in jail – possible jail and probation