How Does Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (or UM) Coverage Work in Georgia?

Categories: Vehicle Accidents

underinsured motorist

Protection from Uninsured Motorists

Understanding the various aspects of uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage in our state can be daunting. Many drivers have little to no knowledge as to the limits of their coverage or what type of harm their insurance covers. If you have been involved in an auto collision with a motorist who is not fully insured, a Georgia personal injury attorney can assist you.

Georgia law requires all motorists to carry a minimum amount of liability coverage ($25,000 per person injured/$50,000 per collision). This will cover costs associated with bodily injury and property damage; But, what happens when the at-fault driver has too little coverage, or no coverage? Or, what if the driver flees the accident scene, leaving the victim with no options for recourse?

If you have purchased uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage with your auto insurance policy, you may be able to file your claim with your own insurer.

What Does UM Insurance Cover?

Under Georgia statutes, a driver must carry minimum liability insurance that includes $25,000 per person for bodily injury, $50,000 per accident for bodily injury, and $25,000 per accident for property damage. While this is required, research has shown that an alarming number of drivers in the state fail to carry such minimums, or have no insurance coverage at all. Additionally, a great deal of vehicle collisions result in injuries that greatly exceed the state minimum insurance coverage limits which could leave you or your loved ones holding a large hospital bill. If you are involved in a serious accident with a motorist who has too little or no coverage, you will have no options for reimbursement for your medical expenses and damage to your vehicle – unless you have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.

Georgia law does require that insurers make UM insurance coverage available to those applying for coverage in the state. Most drivers will have some form of UM coverage and may not even realize it – this information can be found in the declarations page of the policy or by simply speaking with your insurance agent regarding your coverage.

This protection is critical, especially with so many drivers using the bare minimum of insurance coverage, or driving irresponsibly without insurance. UM coverage will help if you are involved in an accident that has:

  1. A driver with no insurance
  2. A driver with minimum insurance that is inadequate for the costs associated with your injuries
  3. A hit-and-run driver
  4. A driver who strikes you while you are walking or riding a bike

In addition to covering yourself, your auto insurance policy’s UM coverage should also apply to your spouse, relatives residing in your household, and anyone who is using your vehicle with your consent.

Identifying the Amount of Coverage That You Need

In Georgia, you can choose between stacking and non-stacking (also called add-on or reduced by) UM coverage. Stacking coverage is considered an add-on coverage that stacks on top of the liability coverage of the other driver. Non-stacking coverage has the amount of liability coverage for the other party subtracted from its coverage; then, the remaining balance is available to you for injury and property damage costs.

Injured? Contact a Georgia UM Lawyer in Your Area

It is important to seek legal assistance right after an auto accident. Because UM coverage is difficult to understand, and insurers are not quick to explain it, you need an experienced advocate by your side to ensure that you get the medical coverage and property damage reimbursement that you deserve. The expert lawyers at T. Madden & Associates, P.C. can assist you with your claim. Schedule a consultation today by calling 770-978-6711 in Atlanta and 706-524-7784 in Augusta. You may also ask a legal question online by filling out our online contact form.