Uninsured, Underinsured or “UM” Coverage in Georgia

What insurance is available to you after a car, truck, or tractor-trailer wreck?  The answer can be confusing, but fortunately, the lawyers at Hartley, Rowe & Fowler, P.C. are here to help.  First, the person who caused the car accident likely has liability coverage. The minimum limits of car accident insurance in Georgia is $25,000 but many people have car or truck insurance coverage higher than that.  You also likely have UM coverage for uninsured or underinsured drivers.  The amount is usually equal to the amount of your liability coverage, but it is possible for you to elect to carry less UM coverage than that if you want to.  (You should never do that, by the way!)  So check your policy.

UM coverage for car or truck accidents may or may not “stack” on top of liability coverage. You have to get a current copy of your car insurance declarations page and look to see if it says “added-on/excess” or “reduced/reduction in limits.”  If it is added on/excess, then the full amount of your UM coverage will stack on top of the at-fault driver’s liability coverage.  If it is reduced, then you can generally only recover under your policy if the UM is more than the liability coverage.  For example, if your UM coverage is reduced, you have $50,000 in coverage and the at-fault driver’s coverage is $25,000, then the amount available from your policy would only be $25,000.  The total coverage would be $50,000 ($25,000 from the at-fault driver’s policy but only $25,000 from yours).  If you had added-on/excess coverage, then $75,000 would be available to you.  ($25,000 from the at-fault driver’s policy and $50,000 from your car UM policy).

There are some possible exceptions to the above rule depending on what type of health insurance you have.  If you think your UM isn’t available to you for some reason, it is still a good idea to consult with a personal injury lawyer who understands these rules, so he can make sure you are getting all of the coverage that is available to you.  Call attorney Kenneth B. Crawford for a free consultation today.

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