Uninsured motorist coverage (“UM”) also called “underinsured motorist coverage,” (“UIM”) is what protects you when you are injured or damaged in a car crash and the at-fault driver either doesn’t have any insurance at all, or doesn’t have sufficient insurance to cover the cost of your damages.
Most drivers underestimate how important having enough in uninsured motorist coverage can be.
Minimum Coverage isn’t Enough.
Although you are not required to have more than the minimum UM/UIM coverage, it is a good idea to do so.
In Georgia, the minimum amount of uninsured motorist coverage required is referred to as “25/50/25” coverage liability insurance. That is:
- $25,000 per person
- $50,000 for bodily injuries and
- $25,000 to cover property damage.
At first glance, you might think that those amounts are plenty of coverage if you should get into an accident.
But take a minute to think about this more closely.
Remember that it is uninsured motorist coverage that pays for your damages (bodily injuries and property damage) when an at-fault driver has no insurance at all, or when your expenses exceed his insurance limits. So, this insurance is for your own protection.
Now, consider how this insurance could come into play. You could need it if you are:
- Injured in a hit and run accident,
- Hit by a driver with no insurance, or are
- Hit by a car as a pedestrian.
In those cases, UM is what will pay for your damages.
Now consider what those damages could very likely be.
If, as in one of our examples above, you are a pedestrian hit by a car, chances are pretty good that you are going to have some serious injuries. Even though you may not have property damage, if you live in the Metro Atlanta area, the costs associated with your physical injuries alone— like the ambulance ride to the hospital, a hospital stay, cat scans, surgeries, physical therapy, recovery costs, pain and suffering, lost wages — can quickly surpass the minimum $25,000 bodily injury UM coverage amount.
Add to that a scenario where you have property damage and serious bodily injuries, and you will quickly see that even if the other driver has minimum UM/UIM coverage, and you only have minimum UM/UIM coverage, it’s probably not going to even come close to covering your damages.
Which is why it is a good idea to carry more than the minimum amount of UM.
Georgia law allows drivers to use “add-on” UM/UIM to “stack” their coverage on top of an at-fault driver’s UM/UIM coverage in situations where the at-fault driver’s coverage does not meet the full value of the injured person’s claim. Georgia also allows their motorists to elect to apply “reduced by” UM/UIM coverage to the extent it is more than the negligent driver’s liability limits.
Fully understanding the importance of UM/UIM and how it works and carrying enough in uninsured motorist coverage is more important than you may think. So don’t wait until you are in a car accident to find out more about what you need to know about UM/UIM insurance. For a more complete understanding of UM, contact experienced personal injury counsel today.
Personal Injury Attorneys in Cumming, Georgia.
The personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Mark Weinstein, P.C., are here to help you. We serve clients in Atlanta, and in a number of counties throughout Georgia, including: Clayton County, Cobb County, Dekalb County, Douglas County, Fulton County, and Paulding County, among others. To find out how we can help you, call us at: 770-888-7707. Or contact us here.