The start of a new year is upon us, and for many it’s a time to get organized, reflect on the previous year, and resolve to do it all a little better this trip around the sun.
With distracted driving on the rise, 2016 will present itself with more dangerous driving conditions, and accidents will happen. That said, Adams Law Firm recommends adding Uninsured Motorist (“UM”) Coverage to your 2016 List to better protect yourself and your loved ones should an accident happen to you.
With an estimated 12% of Georgia drivers being uninsured, we have clients who have been seriously injured in an accident at no fault of their own only to find out that the at-fault party is UNinsured. More often than that, we discover the at-fault party is UNDERinsured. That is when Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist (“UM”) Coverage can come into play. UM Coverage allows you to protect yourself from uninsured/underinsured drivers.
Georgia Law – According to Georgia law, drivers are required to carry bodily injury coverage of only $25,000/ person and $50,000/occurrence. Rarely are these minimum limits enough to fairly compensate the victim(s) of a serious accident. For example, if the injured party has $100,000 in medical bills, they are looking at $75,000 of that not being covered.
Other Benefits – With adequate UM Coverage, even if an uninsured or underinsured motorist injures you in a car accident, your insurance company will pay up to the limits of the coverage for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Further, it covers you in the event of a hit and run accident and can even be applied if you are not in the car at the time of the accident. And, your premium will not go up if you make a UM claim if you are not at fault.
How Much? – We recommend adding-on as much UM Coverage as reasonably affordable to you but at a minimum of $100,000/person and $300,000/occurrence. Furthermore, make sure to tell your agent that you want the UM coverage to be EXCESS UM Coverage,so the at-fault driver’s coverage is included as well. The premium increase is small compared to the potential downside. Ideally, you carry up to $500,000/ person in UM coverage.
The Resolution – We encourage you to contact your insurance company and add UM Coverage today! Or at the very least, put it near the top of your 2016 List and get moving on your productive new year!