Uninsured Motorist Coverage
What is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
Georgia mandates a specific level of car insurance for all vehicle owners. But sadly, not everyone complies with the law and obtains this insurance, and some let their coverage expire. Sometimes the at-fault party does have insurance, but it isn’t enough to pay for medical bills and other damages.
That is not to say that you are not protected. For example, if you have Uninsured Motorist/Under-Insured Motorist (UM/IUM) coverage, you could be compensated even if the other driver is uninsured. This insurance is carried by a large number of drivers who are unaware that they have it.
How Does Uninsured Motorist Insurance Cover Me?
You can be protected by your UM/UIM insurance if:
- The at-fault driver is uninsured
- Their insurance coverage is inadequate
- They disappeared after leaving the scene or couldn’t be located
Uninsured motorist insurance is a type of coverage that provides protection for drivers who are involved in an accident with another driver who does not have insurance or does not have enough insurance to cover the damages. This coverage can include payment for medical expenses, lost wages, and damage to your vehicle.
Some uninsured motorist insurance policies also cover hit-and-run accidents, where the driver who caused the accident cannot be identified. It is important to keep in mind that uninsured motorist insurance is an optional coverage and not required by law in all states. However, it can provide valuable protection for drivers and is often an affordable option for increasing overall insurance coverage.
How Do I Know If I Have UM/UIM Insurance?
Drivers who need and want this protection actively seek it out when shopping for car insurance. You may still be covered by UM insurance even if you didn’t do this. When you apply for auto insurance in Georgia, the insurance company is required by law to offer you this coverage.
So unless you specifically opt out of UM insurance, chances are you already have it. To find out if you have it, contact your insurance provider.
What Are the Different Types of UM/UIM Insurance?
There are two types of uninsured motorist insurance:
“Reducing” or “Non-Stacking” UM Insurance: This type of UM coverage is standard. With this policy, your maximum payout will be lowered by the amount of insurance coverage the at-fault party possesses. If the other party has $75,000 in insurance and you have $100,000 in UM coverage, the other party’s $75,000 policy will be paid in full before your $25,000 policy kicks in. The amount you are insured for is the highest you can get with reduced UM insurance, although you will typically get less than that.
“Add-On,” “Excess,” or “Stacking” UM Insurance: This type of UM/UIM coverage is relatively recent, introduced by the state government in 2009. It is preferable to purchase this form of UM coverage when it is offered. The other party’s insurance will supplement your UM coverage if they carry any. Therefore, if their policy limits are $75,000 and you have $100,000 in UM coverage, you are protected from financial loss of up to $175,000. Compared to the previous “lowering” model of UM coverage, this is by far superior.
You should talk to an attorney if you have questions about the various uninsured motorist coverages and how they might apply to your situation.
Will My Insurance Company Give Me a Fair Settlement?
Resolving compensation claims with any insurance provider can be challenging. Just because they claim to be on your side doesn’t guarantee they’ll always act in your best interest. Making a profit is a top priority for many insurance companies, so they’ll try to lowball your vehicle accident claim. If that’s the case, your best bet is to hire a lawyer as quickly as possible.
Contact the Personal Injury Lawyers at The Brown Firm
If you have been injured in an accident, the experienced personal injury attorneys at The Brown Firm offer free consultations to accident victims in Georgia and South Carolina. Call 800-529-1441 to speak with our personal injury team today!
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