Time for an Insurance Check-up

The weather is finally warming up, and summer is just around the corner. While the seasons are changing, there is something else you may want to consider changing too. By doing a quick auto insurance check-up, you can make sure that you and your loved ones are adequately protected in the event of a collision.

You are probably already aware of the importance of liability insurance, but you should also consider protecting yourself against other drivers’ lack of insurance. Although liability insurance of at least $25,000.00 is required in Georgia, an alarming number of drivers fail to carry this coverage, leaving the victims of their negligent acts at a loss. Not surprisingly, many of the drivers that are covered by liability insurance only carry the state mandated minimum coverage. If you are injured in a collision due to another driver’s negligence, there is a very good chance that the at-fault driver will be uninsured, or underinsured if your damages exceed the amount of the state minimum requirements.

Checking your insurance coverage is easy. You can pull out your automobile insurance declarations page that was mailed to you, or you can give your insurance agent a call. To protect yourself, make sure you carry uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM) on all your vehicles. This includes motorcycles, even if you only ride them every once in a while. Riding a motorcycle increases your risk of serious injury if you’re involved in a wreck, and it also increases your need for additional insurance protection.

There are now two types of UM coverage available in Georgia. The traditional type of UM coverage, known as “reduced” or “difference in limits,” provides additional coverage to you only if the at-fault party’s liability coverage is less than the amount of your UM coverage. In other words, if you carry $100,000.00 in traditional UM coverage, and the at-fault driver carries the minimum of $25,000.00 in liability coverage, your traditional UM provides you with $75,000.00 in additional coverage after the at-fault driver’s liability policy has paid, resulting in a total recovery to you of $100,000.00.

The new UM coverage available in Georgia, is known as “excess” or “add-on” coverage. Under the new add-on coverage scenario, if you have $100,000.00 in add-on UM coverage, and the at-fault party carries the minimum $25,000.00 in liability coverage, your UM provides you with $100,000.00 in additional coverage after the liability limits of $25,000.00, resulting in a total recovery to you of $125,000.00. Simple math demonstrates the benefit of carrying the new add-on (or excess) UM coverage for your own protection.

Another type of coverage that often gets passed up on auto insurance policies is called med-pay. This is an inexpensive type of insurance coverage that will help pay your medical bills if you are injured in a wreck, regardless of whose fault it is. This coverage can really ease the financial burden of your medical treatment, especially if you have high copays or deductibles on your health insurance policy.

While the types and amount of coverage you choose is up to you, keep in mind that you can’t rely on other drivers to carry more insurance than the state requires, and, while it is unfortunate, serious injuries do happen. Do an insurance check-up today, and make sure that you are adequately protected.