TUESDAY, JULY 5, 2022
More than 200 million drivers get behind the wheel daily, intending to arrive at their destinations safely—but accidents happen. If you’re responsible for causing an auto accident, you may also be responsible or held liable for the related costs of medical bills, auto repairs or any physical property damage. That’s where the liability portion of your auto insurance policy steps in.
Understanding Liability Coverage
In the state of Georgia, you’re required to carry minimum amounts of liability insurance if you drive a vehicle. It’s the bare minimum coverage to drive legally. However, several options regarding coverage amounts (e.g., limits) may be beneficial depending on what you’re comfortable with for risk and cost. How much you can afford to pay for auto insurance and the risk you’re willing to take on will impact your overall policy premium.
When you pick your liability coverage, you’re choosing the maximum amount of liability your insurer will pay in an accident. If your insurer pays out more, you will have a higher insurance rate and a costlier premium. A lower limit means your insurer will pay out a lower amount, and you’ll have a lower insurance rate and lower premium. However, if you cause an accident and have costs beyond your limits, you may be liable for covering them. Generally, the higher your limit, the less likely you may need to pay anything out of pocket.
Bodily Injury Liability vs. Property Damage Liability
Liability coverage is comprised of bodily injury and property damage. If someone talks about bodily injury liability, that’s only one part of liability coverage.
Bodily injury liability coverage can protect you financially if you injure someone in an accident. This coverage can help pay the injured person’s medical expenses, such as doctor visits, physical therapy and even their lost wages. On the other hand, if you damage someone’s car in the accident, that’s when property damage liability insurance may kick in. For example, if you accidentally back into someone’s fence, your insurance company will pay to fix it, helping you avoid paying out-of-pocket for your mistake.
It’s important to understand that liability coverage won’t pay your or your passengers’ medical expenses; the same applies to your vehicle. If you damage your vehicle, liability won’t pay to have it fixed.
How Much Bodily Injury Liability Coverage Do I Need in Georgia?
The state of Georgia requires all drivers to carry minimum amounts of liability insurance. At the time of writing, the requirements are as follows:
- Bodily Injury Liability:
- $25,000 per person
- $50,000 per incident
- Property Damage Liability:
Carrying the minimum liability insurance can help ensure you comply with state laws. However, having more than the minimum coverage is recommended to ensure you’re appropriately protected. Work with a Peachstate Insurance agent to determine the right amount of insurance for you.
What Other Coverage May I Need?
As a driver, you want to ensure you can cover your medical expenses and property damage that you may sustain in an accident. These insurances can help give you the needed protection to recover from an accident or if you have non-accident damage:
- Collision insurance may cover damage to your vehicle sustained in an accident or collision with an object.
- Comprehensive insurance may pay for non-accident damage, such as weather damage, fires, theft, vandalism or other incidents.
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance may help if someone without appropriate liability coverage caused your accident. This coverage might help cover damages.
We can discuss the various coverage types available to provide you with the protection you need.
Contact Us Today
Accidents happen every day, which is why auto insurance is so important. The right coverage enables you to handle the many risks of driving, knowing you have the needed protection.
This blog is intended for informational and educational use only. It is not exhaustive and should not be construed as legal advice. Please contact your insurance professional for further information.
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