Like many other states, Georgia requires its drivers to be fully insured according to minimum legal requirements. The necessary insurance coverage required by law varies by state. Whether you are new to driving or you are new to the state, it is important that you understand the insurance requirements mandated by law so that you can legally drive on state roads.
Georgia’s Minimum Auto Insurance Requirement
In many states, drivers are required to carry proof of insurance at all times while driving, and this proof of insurance is typically an insurance card. However, while Georgia requires drivers to have coverage, coverage is not verified through an insurance card. Instead, a law enforcement officer will research your current coverage and determine compliance of the law by searching a database. The state requires drivers to be financially responsible for any damages you cause while using your vehicle. This includes paying for vehicle repairs, property damage, medical expenses and more if you cause an accident. The minimum auto insurance requirement provides you with the financial means to comply with this law. The necessary insurance coverage is liability insurance. It includes $25,000 for property damage per claim, $25,000 for bodily injury per person per claim and $50,000 for bodily injury for multiple people per claim. Be aware that buying the minimum amount of coverage required by the state only gives you liability insurance, and this type of auto insurance only pays for expenses that you cause to other people.
The Need for Additional Coverage
The state’s minimum required auto insurance coverage will not pay for any of your own expenses, such as vehicle repairs, damaged personal property in the car or injuries. Collision coverage and comprehensive insurance are not required by law, but it makes sense for many people to buy this additional coverage. For example, if you have a total loss on your car, you may still have to pay off the auto loan balance even though your car cannot be repaired or driven. Some people think that they do not need personal injury coverage for their own medical expenses because they have health insurance. However, remember that personal injury coverage could potentially pay for many of your medical expenses, and this benefit is covered by the same deductible that applies to property repair work and more. This may be much more cost-effective than using your health insurance plan. There are many other types of coverage as well, such as personal property insurance, rental car coverage, towing coverage and more.
When You Are Underinsured
In addition to selecting the right types of coverage for your needs, you may also want to review the limits on your coverage. For example, the state’s minimum requirement for liability property insurance is $25,000. This means that your insurance company will only pay out up to $25,000 per claim. Many vehicles on the road have substantially higher value than this. In addition, you may be in an accident involving multiple vehicles. Any damages that are not covered by your auto insurance policy are your responsibility. Consider if you were unfortunate enough to cause a wreck totaling two vehicles each worth $75,000. Of the total $150,000 in damages, your basic liability coverage may only pay $25,000. This leaves you $125,000 left to pay out of your own pocket. For situations like these, many Georgia drivers choose to increase auto insurance limits.
When setting up a new auto policy in Georgia, you must understand and comply with the state’s legal requirement for liability insurance. However, you also must consider the benefit of increasing coverage limits and adding other coverage types to your policy.