“Automobile insurance” encompasses a few different types of insurance. Typically though, the phrase is used to refer to insurance you pay for to protect you if you are at fault in a crash that hurts someone else (“automobile liability insurance”). In Georgia, all drivers are required by law to carry a minimum of $25,000 in automobile liability insurance. If a Georgia driver has only $25,000 in auto liability insurance, lawyers and insurance companies refer to it as a “minimum limits policy.”
Collision Coverage, Automobile Property Damage Insurance, and Comprehensive Coverage
Collision coverage or property damage insurance is insurance you pay for from your own automobile insurance carrier that protects you in case your vehicle is damaged. This coverage generally pays for repairs to your car if you’re involved in a crash. “Comprehensive coverage” generally refers to insurance that pays for virtually any kind of damage to your vehicle in addition to damage from a crash. It may also pay for other repairs, including damage by a thief, a falling tree limb, or a neighbor’s errant baseball.
Uninsured and Underinsured motorist coverage
Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage—referred to in the insurance and legal worlds as “UM” coverage—is another type of coverage you can buy from your own automobile insurance company. UM coverage protects you if you are injured by a driver who either has no insurance, or has insufficient insurance to compensate you for your injuries. UM coverage is optional in Georgia. However, it costs very little and provides essential protection, especially since a majority of Georgia drivers carry the minimum $25,000 liability insurance.
UM coverage kicks in to supplement the at-fault driver’s insurance limits. So, if you are hit by someone with just $25,000 in auto insurance, but you have $50,000 in add-on UM insurance, you now have $75,000 of insurance coverage to compensate you for your injuries. Your automobile insurance carrier is required to offer you in writing the option of purchasing UM coverage. If they don’t, you are entitled to UM coverage. This is an issue you need an experienced attorney to investigate for you.
Medical payments coverage
Medical payments coverage is yet another type of insurance you can buy from your auto insurer. Medical payments coverage pays a certain amount towards your medical bills if you are injured in a crash, regardless of who is at fault.
Homeowner’s Insurance is coverage you buy to repair or replace your home if it is damaged or destroyed. It usually also provides you with a certain amount of liability insurance to protect you if someone is injured on your property. It may also provide coverage for injuries caused to others by you or family members who live with you.
Umbrella Insurance is insurance coverage you purchase to protect your finances and assets in case your underlying insurance (e.g. automobile or homeowners) is insufficient to compensate someone for injuries and damages you caused.
Commercial General Liability (“CGL”) insurance
Commercial General Liability insurance is insurance coverage purchased by a business to protect it from various types of claims and lawsuits. This could be a slip and fall, shooting, wrongful death, or a car crash caused by their employee.
Excess Insurance generally refers to insurance that companies and corporations buy to protect themselves if a claim exceeds the limits of their Commercial General Liability insurance. It is akin to the umbrella insurance bought by homeowners.
The types of insurance listed above are the most common policies that figure in to injury and death claims. But there are many other types of insurance as well— Self-Insured Retention (“SIR”); malpractice insurance; worker’s compensation insurance; marine insurance; fleet insurance; Errors and Omissions insurance; Directors and Officers insurance; there’s even re-insurance, which is coverage that insurance companies buy to protect themselves.
If you have a question about which insurance coverages may apply to your injury claim, call 404-990-3388 for a free consultation with injury and insurance attorney Arthur York today.