Questions to Ask a Personal Injury Lawyer: Do I Carry Enough Auto Insurance?
At Buzzell, Graham & Welsh, we’re often asked by our clients about auto insurance—how much to carry, how little to carry, and why it matters so much in the first place. Of course, in Georgia, it’s the law to carry auto insurance, and there are required minimums. But as we’ve found time and time again in our cases against underinsured drivers, the minimum isn’t always the best choice.
What is liability coverage?
Although you pay one bill, your auto insurance is actually made up of several different types of policies. Some cover you, such as personal injury protection (PIP). Some cover your property, such as collision or comprehensive insurance. And some cover you in the event you’re hit by an uninsured driver.
The big one, however, is liability coverage. Liability coverage helps insure you against medical expenses and property damage in a wreck you cause. It can be broken into two parts:
- Bodily Injury Liability (BIL): This covers the medical expenses of people injured in your at-fault crash. It’s typically split into two numbers—a cap per person and a cap for the total medical expenses of everyone injured.
- Property Damage Liability: This covers the damage to the other car or cars in a wreck that’s your fault.
What’s the Georgia minimum?
It’s the law to carry car insurance in Georgia, and the state has set certain minimums. You must carry BIL of at least $25,000 per person/$50,000 for multiple people in an accident. For property damage, Georgia requires you carry a minimum of $25,000.
How much liability insurance should I carry?
It doesn’t take much to imagine going over Georgia’s required minimum in the average Macon car wreck. When a driver’s insurance doesn’t cover the cost of medical expenses and vehicle repairs, the driver is on the hook to pay the rest. A Macon injury attorney could then sue the at-fault driver to recover the difference.
Everyone is different, so recommended coverage levels might be lower for a young person just starting out than for a more established person with property, savings, and investments. Buy what you can afford, and at least cover the value of your assets.
Is it worth having uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage?
In Georgia, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is an add-on policy, but it’s one worth the small premium you’ll likely pay. If an uninsured or underinsured driver hits you, this insurance will help cover your medical expenses and/or car repairs.
Should I carry collision and comprehensive coverage?
Collision coverage helps you pay for repairs to your car in a crash that’s your fault. Comprehensive coverage takes care of auto theft or damages to your car not caused in a wreck. Both are add-on policies, and both depend a lot on the car in question. When choosing a policy, you’ll want to pick one with a high deductible since you’ll only use it for major repairs. If you drive an older car, one worth less than the deductible, it’s probably not worth maintaining these policies.
We know car wrecks aren’t always somebody else’s fault. That’s why it’s important to review your coverage and understand your policy limits before you’re on the wrong side of a crash. It will help protect your home, investments and hard-earned savings.
And if you’ve been injured in a crash caused by another driver, you need a Macon personal injury attorney. The lawyers at Buzzell, Graham & Welsh are here to help. Call us today for a free consultation.