• Do You Have Full Uninsured Motorist Insurance Protection?
  • June 24, 2013 | Author: Lance A. Cooper
  • Law Firm: The Cooper Firm - Marietta Office
  • In the last edition of The Scriptum, I told you about the law which allows you to buy uninsured motorist coverage that stacks on top of liability coverage in order to provide you with maximum insurance protection in the event you or a family member are injured in an accident.

    I am now going to tell you about how many insurance companies are not offering you full uninsured motorist insurance protection, even under the existing law.  Here is how uninsured motorist coverage works. If you are injured in an accident which is not your fault, the driver who caused the accident is responsible for all harm caused.  The driver who caused the accident, however, may not have enough insurance.  This is where uninsured motorist coverage comes into play.  If the driver does not have enough insurance coverage, you may be able to use your uninsured motorist coverage to pay for the losses you have suffered as a result of the accident.

    Unfortunately, most Georgians do not know how uninsured motorist coverage works and their agents do not adequately inform them of the need to purchase full uninsured motorist coverage.  Insurance companies and their agents tend to offer full liability insurance coverage and, at the same time, minimum uninsured motorist coverage. For example, when a consumer sits down and talks with an agent about buying “full” insurance coverage the agent will often times recommend that the consumer purchase $100,000.00 in liability insurance coverage and, as an afterthought, $25,000.00 in uninsured motorist coverage.  Under this scenario, the consumer is insuring himself in the amount of $100,000.00 in the event he causes an accident (as an aside, $100,000.00 is really not enough liability insurance coverage).  If the consumer agrees to purchase the policy with $100,000.00 in liability coverage, the consumer also has the option to buy $100,000.00 in uninsured motorist coverage. Georgia law allows consumers to purchase uninsured motorist coverage up to the amount of their liability coverage. This is what every consumer should do, but most do not do. 

    Insurance companies and their agents do not make nearly as much money on uninsured motorist coverage because the coverage is so cheap.  Because it is cheap, consumers should purchase this coverage, but because most do not know how uninsured motorist coverage works, they simply reply upon their agent to sell them the minimum uninsured motorist coverage.

    I cannot tell you how many times I have had clients come in who have been seriously injured and that they have “full” coverage, only to find out they were fully covered in the event they caused an accident, but were not fully covered when the uninsured driver caused an accident which injured them. 

    Therefore, it is very important that you review your insurance policy to make sure that your uninsured motorist coverage is equal to your liability coverage.  If it is then you, in fact, have full uninsured motorist coverage.  If it is not, we recommend that you contact your insurance agent and let your agent know that you want to increase your uninsured motorist coverage to the amount of your liability limits.