Georgia car insurance laws require you to carry a minimum level of car insurance. However, many drivers may consider buying additional coverage to ensure they are protected.
What Are Georgia Car Insurance Laws?
All Georgia drivers must carry a minimum level of insurance. Insurance requirements in Georgia include:
- $25,000 bodily injury liability per person
- $50,000 bodily injury liability per accident
- $25,000 property damage per accident
These minimum coverages refer to the maximum that your insurance company will pay following an accident if you’re at fault. Bodily injury liability only covers medical that you cause to another driver and their passengers. Property damage only covers damages that you cause to another driver’s personal property. It does not cover your own property damages in an accident.
Proof of auto insurance is also a requirement in Georgia. All drivers must provide proof of insurance to any law enforcement who requests it. It can also be helpful to know other Georgia laws that may affect your rates. Texting and driving in Georgia is illegal for all drivers and beginner drivers cannot use their phones when driving.
Alternatives to Car Insurance in Georgia
Georgia drivers are required to show proof of financial responsibility. The most common method of doing this is buying an insurance policy. However, there are other ways to show financial responsibility, including:
- Submit a cash deposit of $100,000 to the Georgia commissioner.
- Maintain a minimum of $300,000 in investments in a bank or trust.
- Deposit a minimum of $300,000 into a savings account backed by a Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
- Deposit a minimum of $300,000 of government bonds or notes to the Georgia commissioner.
According to NOLO, Georgia is a fault state which means that whoever is responsible for the accident is also responsible for the damages. That’s why you need to have insurance with sufficient coverage. Georgia’s minimum requirements may not be enough. One auto accident can lead to thousands of dollars in damages, which a minimum insurance policy may not cover.
Consequences of Driving Without Insurance in Georgia
Driving without insurance in Georgia is illegal. According to the Zebra, no insurance can lead to the following consequences:
- Up to one year in jail
- A $25 fine plus a $160 late fee if the fine is not paid within 30 days
- License suspension between 60-90 days
- Vehicle impoundment
You can also expect additional fees, such as ones to reinstate your license or plates. Even worse, if you are in an accident without insurance, you could be personally responsible for all damages. Georgia also uses a database, the Georgia Electronic Insurance Compliance System (GEICS), to verify insurance information. If you are pulled over, even if you have proof of insurance, it must match the information in the system.
Other Types of Insurance to Consider in Georgia
The state’s minimum insurance requirements may not be enough for everyone. Other types of insurance that you may choose to add include:
- Collision coverage: Collision coverage covers the repair costs necessary for your vehicle following an accident, regardless of who is at fault for the accident.
- Comprehensive coverage: Comprehensive coverage covers any damages to your vehicle that occur due to a cause other than collision, including flooding, fire, wind, or ice damage.
- Gap coverage: If your vehicle is totaled in an accident, your insurance company will only cover the cost to replace one of a similar value. If you owe more than what your vehicle is worth, it could leave you with a gap in coverage. Gap coverage will pay the difference.
- Uninsured motorist: Uninsured motorist coverage pays for your medical bills and lost wages if a driver without insurance causes your damages. This covers you if the other driver has no insurance, or not enough insurance, to cover your damages. In Georgia, you can stack your uninsured limits, which means you can accept a reduced rate or the new, add-on rate, which increases your limits.
- Roadside assistance: Roadside assistance will pay for any costs related to calling for help while stranded on the side of the road.
- Medical payments: Medical payments, or MedPay, will cover your medical costs, regardless of who is at fault for the accident.
These insurance coverages often come with a deductible. This is an amount that you will have to pay before accessing your benefits.
How Georgia Insurance Rates Are Calculated
Georgia insurance providers consider the following when calculating insurance rates:
- Your vehicle
- If you have had ongoing insurance
- The number of miles you drive
- Your driving record
- Your age
- Your gender
- Your marital status
- Your location and where you park your vehicle
- How long you have been driving
- How you use your vehicle, personal or business
- Your credit rating
Different insurance providers calculate these factors differently. Shopping around and comparing quotes can help you find a provider that offers you enough coverage, at an affordable price. Even within Georgia, you can expect different insurance rates based on your city. Larger cities in Georgia, like Atlanta, have more people. More traffic and higher theft rates can lead to more insurance claims and higher rates.
How to Get the Best Insurance Rates in Georgia
In addition to shopping around for the best rates, here are a few other ways to save on insurance:
- Ask about available discounts: Find out if you qualify for available insurance discounts. This might include things like multi-vehicle or multi-policy discounts.
- Combine your policies: If you have other policies, combining them can save you a lot.
- Regularly evaluate your coverage: Evaluate your insurance needs regularly. You may need full coverage when you buy a new car but once it’s paid off, you may be able to remove it.
- Take a defensive driving course: Some insurance providers allow you to take a defensive driving course. This can lead to reduced rates.
Compare prices between different Georgia insurance providers. Not only do rates vary between companies, but insurance companies often adjust their prices.
Georgia car insurance law requires you to carry a minimum level of insurance. By knowing what these minimums are and how you can price shop to get the best rates, you can ensure that you have enough coverage.
Check this out if you need additional information, resources, or guidance on car insurance.
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