All drivers in Georgia are required, under the GA Motor Vehicle and Traffic laws, to carry at least the minimum amount of auto insurance. This was implemented to ensure that motorists in the Peach State be financially responsible for any damage or harm they cause on the road. You may also apply to become a self-insurer (if you meet certain requirements) with the GA Office of Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner.
Double check that your insurer has entered your insurance status into the Georgia Electronic Insurance Compliance System (GEICS). When you register for your car for the first time, or are pulled over by a police, your insurance ID card may not be sufficient to prove that you carry auto insurance as required, unless the officials or officers can also match your record in the GEICS database.
|Georgia Required Car Insurance Coverage||GA Required Min. Limits|
|Bodily Injury (BI)||$25,000 per person / $50,000 per accident|
|Property Damage (PD)||$25,000 per accident|
Georgia Car Insurance Minimum Requirements
Georgia requires you to carry at least liability insurance on your auto insurance policy. The two liability coverages will make sure that if you ever cause a car accident, you will be able to pay for what you are liable for – which are usually the other driver’s medical and property damage bills. A minimum GA policy will cover you in these amounts for each coverage:
Bodily Injury (BI): up to $25,000 per injured person, for a total of $50,000 for two or more persons in every accident. With this coverage, your insurer protects you up to your Georgia policy's limits for all the medical expenses that the injured party may ask you to pay up. If the other driver is unable to work because of injuries from the crash you caused, his lost income will also be coming from this coverage. When you are sued, the legal fees resulting from court’s judgements are also covered. Higher limits are available, and vary by insurer.
Property Damage (PD): up to $25,000 worth of property damage costs per accident you cause. The most common claims that the OTHER driver may make against you include damage to his or her car in a collision, or rental car costs for him or her when their car is in a repair shop. If the accident causes damage to a mailbox on the street or buildings near the scene of the accident, your insurer will cover these costs for you as well. Higher limits are available, which vary by insurer.
Optional Car Insurance Coverage in Georgia
You will hear from most government officials as well as insurance agents that the minimum policy is not enough to fully cover you. Since the liability on your auto policy pays the OTHER party, you may want to consider several other optional coverages that will take care of your injuries, and your property damage. Most motorists will add at least one or several of the following coverage:
Collision: when your car is damaged in any sort of collision accident, such as a car accident, the repair costs for any damage to your vehicle will fall under this coverage. Collision has no fixed dollar limit for you to choose (the most it will pay up to is your car’s actual cash value), but it does have a deductible that you must bear before the insurance kicks in. While the choices may vary slightly by insurer, you generally will be choosing a deductible amount between $50 and $2,000. Note that your coverage premium will be affected by the deductible you choose.
Comprehensive: not all accidents may involve a collision. For most other sorts of incidents that damage your car, comprehensive coverage will cover it. Together with Collision coverage, Comprehensive is also referred to as the physical damage coverage; it also has a deductible.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Georgia
Uninsured Motorists (UM) is another optional protection Georgian drivers can get. Despite the law, there is still a percentage of drivers out on the road without insurance. This means that if an uninsured driver causes the accident, he or she may very likely lack the financial ability to pay for your medical expenses and repair costs. Uninsured Motorist bodily injury or property damage would protect you from both drivers without any insurance, and underinsured drivers (whose limits are lower than yours). Similar to liability insurance, UM also has a limit on the maximum amount of money that your insurance company will take care of in each accident. Your UM limits may never be higher than the BI and/or PD limits.
When you get UM coverage in Georgia, you will have the choice of whether or not you wish to stack your limits. This makes a difference when you sustain significant medical injuries at the hands of an underinsured driver - who has lower BI or PD limits than your UMBI or UMPD limits. It will affect the maximum amount you may claim under the coverage, as well as the cost of your UM premium by about 2%:
- Reduced (Traditional UM): Traditionally, UM coverage only pays the difference between the other driver's BI and/or PD limits and your UM limits. This option is called the Reduced – or Traditional – UM, and with this option your UMBI and UMPD premiums are lower.
- Add-on (New UM): The New UM coverage, also known as the Add-on UM, increases your coverage limits by allowing you to stack the limits of the other driver’s BI and/or PD limits on top of your UM limits. This option will make your UM coverage pricier than a Traditional UM of the same limits. From our Car Insurance Rates in Georgia study, we found that Add-on UM coverage usually cost 2% more than Reduced-UM for a driver.
Here is a table explaining the difference between a Add-on UM and Reduced-UM:
New vs. Traditional UM Coverage Total Reimbursement
|Other Driver's Limits||$50,000||$50,000|
|Your Maximum Coverage||100,000||150,000|
|Total Reimbursed by Companies||100,000||125,000|
Alternative Proof of Financial Responsibility
Financial responsibility refers to your obligation to pay for accidents and damage you cause. Auto insurance policies are generally the easiest way for most drivers to do so.
There is one other way under the GA Insurance Code, for drivers to fulfill the responsibility without an insurance policy, and that's through self-insurance. By proving that you have the ability to pay out the necessary damages as an insurer would under a standard auto policy, you can obtain a certificate of self-insurance from the Commissioner of the Office of Insurance. To get qualified in Georgia, you need to do both of these:
- Make a cash deposit of at least $100,000 with the Commissioner.
- Maintain an additional $300,000 in investments in any one of the following types:
- Deposit in a bank or a trust company that is backed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
- A savings account or evidences of deposits in either a savings & loan association, or a building & loan association that invests in residential mortgage loan. These companies must be backed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
- Government bonds or notes.
- Government loans.
- Specific stocks in any non-real estate related corporation. They can be common or preferred stocks, but must be non-assessable and dividend-paying. Common stocks must have paid cash dividends to its shareholders in at least 3 out of the 5 years prior to your purchase