Do I Really Need UM/UIM Insurance in Georgia?

December 19, 2019

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If you’re like most people, you understand the importance of auto insurance. However, you probably don’t want to pay any more in premiums than you have to. That’s why you may think twice when your agent asks if you want uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage. All insurance companies in Georgia have to offer UM and UIM insurance but it’s not mandatory that you get it. All you’re required by law to carry is at least:

  • $25,000 in bodily injury insurance per individual
  • $50,000 in bodily injury insurance coverage per accident
  • $25,000 in property damage insurance per accident

That being said, we recommend that you purchase UM/UIM coverage up to the amount of liability coverage you carry. It can be your only avenue for compensation after some types of car accidents. This insurance can cover both bodily injury and property damage.

Why Your Georgia Car Accident Lawyer Will Recommend UM/UIM Coverage

Some motorists avoid getting UM/UIM coverage because of the additional cost. Others do so because they assume that if a vehicle hits them, it will be covered by liability insurance. However, as an Albany, Georgia car wreck attorney will tell you, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is never a waste of money in Georgia. In 2015, an estimated 12 percent of drivers in the state were uninsured.  Meanwhile, a large portion of drivers only purchase the minimum amount of coverage. If you get into an accident and it’s not your fault, UM/UIM insurance offers protection for you and your passengers.

UM coverage helps you if the person who hit you had no insurance. Some drivers are unlicensed and therefore uninsured. Others let their policy lapse. Whatever the case, with UM, you’ll be able to get your vehicle repaired and get the treatment for your injuries. On the other hand, UIM coverage will assist you a driver doesn’t have enough insurance to cover your losses.  If the accident was serious, the minimum amount of liability coverage won’t be sufficient.

A Georgia Car Accident Attorney Explains How UM/UIM Coverage Works

There are two types of UM/UIM insurance: stacking and non-stacking. By default, you will be offered stacking coverage. If you want to purchase non-stacking insurance instead, you’ll need to put it in writing. Let’s look at the difference between these two types of policies.

Non-stacking insurance only takes effect if it exceeds the at-fault driver’s limits. Let’s assume you have $35,000 in UM/UIM coverage and the other motorist has $25,000 in bodily liability insurance. If your losses exceed $25,000, you would be able to draw on an additional $10,000. If you and the other driver had the same amount in coverage, you would not be able to draw on your policy. However, if they were uninsured, you would be able to benefit from the full $35,000 if necessary.

If you purchased stacking insurance, you would have additional coverage. If both you and the other driver had $25,000 in coverage, you could benefit from up to an additional $25,000. Your coverage “stacks” on top of theirs. This type of insurance costs more but you get greater protection.

Regardless of which policy you get, you need to notify your insurance company about your accident as soon as possible. You may not know about the other driver’s insurance situation until days or weeks after the accident. Even if they show proof of insurance, it may not be enough when you find out the full extent of your losses. If you don’t notify your insurer in a reasonable time, they may deny your claim.

Contact Joe Durham Jr. P.C. to Discuss Your Case Today!

If you’ve been involved in an Albany car accident caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver, you need to know your rights. Even though you may have been faithfully paying your premiums each month, your insurer may deny your claim. When you work with the attorneys at Joe Durham Jr. P.C., we’ll help you get the benefits you deserve. We’ll examine your policy documents and ensure you report the accident within the necessary time. Our attorneys will also advise you on how you can avoid jeopardizing your claim.

We have extensive experience in handling car accident cases in Albany and elsewhere in Georgia. We know how insurance companies try to get out of paying compensation and we know how to respond. All we ask is that you contact us as soon as possible so we can begin working on your case. The sooner we get started, the more likely it is that you will get a positive outcome. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.