Don’t Get Caught Without Uninsured Motorist Coverage
Even if you read this and say to yourself “I have Uninsured Motorist Coverage, I don’t need to worry” then all we have to say is “are you sure”? Georgia has two types of Uninsured Motorist Coverage and if you don’t select the most beneficial type, you may regret it later.
There are two times where you need to think about Uninsured Motorist Coverage, when you buy your car insurance policy and when you are in a car collision. When you buy the car insurance policy, the agent will most likely NOT explain to you the different coverages available for Uninsured Motorist Insurance. This is where you may end up either selecting the lesser coverage or even worse you may decline the coverage all together to save a few bucks. Then when you are in an accident and do not have enough insurance to cover your losses, you may end up paying $25,000 – $50,000 or more out of pocket!
Let us explain. When you buy your car insurance policy, Georgia law requires that your policy have Uninsured Motorist Coverage. The only way around the law for the insurance companies is if they can get you to reject the coverage. Your agent will ask if you want to reject the coverage and you might think that you don’t need it or rejecting it might save you money but you would be wrong on both counts. You do need it and the cost is only a few dollars a month. If you don’t want it then you have to initial the form that you reject it. Some agents actually don’t even ask and just initial the rejection for you without your permission because insurance companies reward agents for getting you to reject it. Why? Because Uninsured Motorist Coverage is not profitable for insurance companies but they HAVE to provide it by law! So insurance companies WANT you to reject it and will reward agents who can get you to reject it.
Even if you want the coverage, the agent will sign you up for a “reduced” Uninsured Motorist Coverage unless you tell them you want “excess” coverage. What is the difference? Reduced coverage means that if the driver who hits you has the same amount of coverage as your Uninsured Motorist Policy Coverage then you get NOTHING if your damages exceed the other driver’s policy limits. Can you imagine that? You pay for something that you can’t use. That is what the insurance company wants.
You need to tell your agent you want “excess” Uninsured Motorist Coverage because this way, if the other driver does not have enough coverage, you will be able to ADD your policy on top of theirs. This is sometimes called “stacking”. This way you are covered in case the other guy decided to buy the lowest coverage available which most times is not enough.
Remember the insurance companies do NOT want to sell this coverage but they have to by law. This is why they will not explain it to you and will always try to get you to reject it. At JOHN LAW FIRM P.C. we see this problem come up all the time when a client is hurt in an automobile collision and the damages exceed more than the at-fault driver’s policy limit, then the client learns that they did not have Uninsured Motorist Coverage at all or they bought the reduced coverage. The end result is that the client does not have enough coverage to pay for the damages and may get stuck paying his or her medical bills out of pocket.