In 2009, the Georgia legislature changed the laws regarding auto insurance, and today there are two types of Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist coverage in the state. They are known as “excess” and “set off.”
The “Excess” policies allow you to select additional insurance that goes above the standard coverage for uninsured motorists with no deduction based on the other driver’s insurance policy. This sort of extra coverage is now not only available in the state, but it is the default coverage for every UM policy written in the state. If you don’t want “excess” coverage, you have to opt out. When you opt out, you might save a little money, but you end up with a “set-off” policy. You probably don’t want that.
Here’s why excess coverage is good: Say you are in an accident with someone who only has minimum liability. They are “underinsured.” Your car is totaled and you incur medical expenses for you and your spouse. Your expenses total $75,000. The underinsured motorist has $25,000, and your UM set-off policy is for $50,000. While it seems to make sense that you would have your $75,000 between the two policies to cover all expenses, the coverage for the underinsured driver is deducted from your coverage, so your $50,000 is reduced to $25,000, and when added to the other driver’s $25,000, you’re still $25,000 short of your expenses. That’s not good.
On the other hand, if you have excess coverage, your policy will pay out without deducting the amount of the other driver’s coverage. It’s especially an important coverage if you are in an accident with an uninsured driver. In that case, your excess policy would cover the entire costs of the accident. We recommend MedPay as well.
The point is, you need UM coverage. It is protection that doesn’t cost you much money, and in the end it provides peace of mind.
Insurance issues can be tricky, and when you’ve had an accident is the wrong time to discover you don’t have enough. At the Van Sant Law, we’re insurance experts. We not only can help you when you’ve had an accident with claim filings and legal procedures, but we make sure that the insurance companies pay out what they are required to pay. When you are not at fault, you need someone on your side.
For more information, contact Van Sant Law.