All 50 states and the District of Columbia require registered drivers to carry auto insurance. This is to guarantee that anyone injured in an auto accident will be appropriately compensated. Georgia’s auto insurance system is based upon fault, meaning that at-fault drivers are liable for personal injury or property damage resulting from an accident, and the at-fault driver’s insurance company will satisfy the liability. This is in contrast to “no-fault” systems, in which each driver’s insurance covers its own policyholder, regardless of fault
If you are injured in an automobile accident, there are three ways to seek compensation:
- File a claim with your own insurance company, which will then seek compensation from the at-fault driver’s insurance company
- Pursue a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurer directly
- File a personal injury lawsuit in civil court
In this post, we will go over the insurance coverages that are required by law and how to present proof of insurance in Georgia.
Insurance Requirements in Georgia
While every state requires drivers to carry insurance, the amount of insurance coverage varies by state. In Georgia, the minimum coverage amounts are:
- Bodily injury liability: $25,000 per person/$50,000 per occurrence (for multiple people in an accident)
- Property damage liability: $25,000 per occurrence
- These coverages are designed to compensate others for the damage the policyholder causes to others, not to the policyholder himself
Additional coverage is available in the form of collision coverage, which pays for damages to the policyholder’s vehicle caused by accidents, and comprehensive coverage, which pays for non-collision related damages, such as vandalism, theft, or hail damage. If you are found to be driving without insurance in Georgia, you may be assessed a $25, lapse fee, a $60 reinstatement fee, and have your driver’s license suspended for 60 days.
Proof of Insurance in Georgia
The standard procedure for presenting proof of insurance in most states is to carry a copy of your proof of insurance in your car to be presented upon demand. Georgia, however, is unique in that that state does not require drivers to carry physical proof of insurance with them. Instead, the state uses the Georgia Electronic Insurance Compliance System (GEICS) to electronically verify that you have auto insurance. This system has several benefits to drivers and government agencies, most notably that it relieves drivers from the hassle of remembering to replace their insurance ID cards every 6 months, and it provides government agencies up-to-date information on every driver’s auto insurance status and any changes to it.
Settling Your Case with an Insurance Company
The vast majority of car accident cases in the state of Georgia settle out of court. As a car accident victim, you should be aware of the fact that the insurance company will do everything possible to settle your case for as little as possible while meeting is contractual obligations to you or the other driver. For this reason, you should always retain a lawyer after involvement in an accident, even if it seems like the insurance company you are dealing with is willing to settle your case quickly.
Contact an Atlanta Auto Accident Attorney
The attorneys at Slappey & Sadd are experts on dealing with insurance companies. If you’ve been involved in an auto accident, please contact us for a free consultation by calling 404.255.6677. We serve the entire state of Georgia, including Atlanta, Lagrange, Rossville, and Dalton.