Shocking Information On The Insurance Your Family Needs Most, But Insurance Companies Don’t Want You To Have
Georgia requires its drivers carry at least $25,000 in liability insurance. Liability insurance refers to the other driver’s insurance that pays for your damages. If you look at your automobile policy, you will usually see two numbers together that represent your liability coverage – “25,000/50,000″ for example. This means $25,000 per person and $50,000 per occurrence. “Per occurrence” in our example means that total insurance coverage for damages, no matter how many people were hurt, is capped at $50,000.
Underinsured Motorist (UM) Insurance is the Most Important Insurance You Can Purchase
Any personal injury attorney who handles automobile accidents will tell you the following scenario occurs all too often and is one of the saddest moments in any attorney’s practice …
Imagine a loved one is driving home from work late one night when he/she is hit head-on by a drunk driver. The loved one survives, but not without the difficult struggle of rehabilitative therapy. He/she is left facing hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills. The drunk driver only carried the minimum $25,000 in insurance. To make matters worse, the other driver has no assets or money to speak of. This is when the attorney asks the dreaded question – “How much UM Insurance do you have?” The client almost always responds – “UM Insurance, what’s that?” There is usually no UM Insurance. Your loved one would only receive $25,000 in this scenario.
UM insurance insures against uninsured drivers and drivers who do not have enough coverage to fully compensate you. It is insurance you purchase to protect yourself and your family from the above scenario. It also protects you from hit-and-run drivers. It is cheap to purchase and yet most people don’t have it. Why? Because the insurance companies don’t explain how important it is. The bottom line is that you should carry as much UM Insurance as you can afford. We also have our suspicions the insurance companies do not push UM insurance because it is difficult to price. There is simply no way they can predict the actions of every other driver on the roads to price the coverage, whereas when you purchase your liability insurance they look at your driving record to see what kind of driver you are and price your policy accordingly.
Surprisingly, you may not be entitled to the full amount of your UM insurance under current Georgia law. This is known as the Reduction Rule and we have been before the Georgia Court of Appeals on the issue. The Reduction Rule says you only get the portion of your UM Insurance above and beyond the other driver’s liability insurance. For example, if you carry $100,000 in UM and the other driver has the minimum $25,000, then you only get $75,000 of the UM insurance you have been paying premiums on. Even more unfair, if you only have $25,000 in UM insurance and the other driver has $100,000, you don’t get to use any of your own UM insurance because it is less than the other driver’s liability coverage.
Lawyers to fight Alpharetta Car Accident Insurance Companies
***4/08/2008 IMPORTANT UPDATE: The Georgia House and Senate passed legislation that would go into effect on January 1, 2009. The proposed change would finally give you full access to your UM Insurance and abolish the Reduction Rule. The bill is awaiting the Governor’s signature to become effective. More information can be found in this press release.
***5/15/2008 IMPORTANT UPDATE: Governor Sunny Perdue signed the law allowing you full access to your UM insurance. Of course, this will not go into effect until January 1, 2009. he Georgia House and Senate passed legislation that would go into effect on January 1, 2009. Therefore, anyone injured before that date will not have access to their full UM policy.
UM Insurance is so important to you and your loved ones that if you do not understand the above information, call us and we will walk you through it.