- In Georgia, all automobile insurers are required to offer uninsured motorist coverage to policyholders.
- The minimum coverage limits are $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident for bodily injuries, and $25,000 for property damage.
- An uninsured motorist insurance carrier may face penalties for bad faith failure to pay a claim, including payment of damages plus interest and attorneys, plus up to an additional 25% of the insured’s damages.
Georgia’s UIM, or Uninsured and Underinsured Insurance, Laws and Requirements
The OCGA, or Official Code of Georgia Annotated, is the codified law of the state of Georgia. Section 33-7-11 of the OCGA deals with uninsured motorist coverage. This coverage is designed to protect motorists who are injured in accidents caused by uninsured drivers.
Under Georgia law, all automobile insurers operating in the state are required to offer uninsured motorist coverage to policyholders. The minimum coverage limits are $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident for bodily injuries, and $25,000 for property damage. Policyholders may, however, elect to purchase uninsured motorist coverage in a lesser amount, to select tiers of coverage for different groups of insureds, or to reject it altogether.
Following a car accident, to be eligible for uninsured motorist coverage, a Georgia car insurance policyholder must have been legally driving the vehicle at the time of the accident and must not have been at fault for the accident.
If a policyholder is injured in an accident caused by an uninsured driver, they may file a claim with their own insurance company for uninsured motorist benefits. The insurance company will then investigate the claim and, if it is found to be valid, will pay the policyholder the benefits that they are entitled to.
The amount of uninsured motorist benefits that a policyholder is entitled to will depend on the terms of their insurance policy. However, the minimum benefits that are available under Georgia law are $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident for bodily injuries, and $25,000 for property damage.
What are the penalties an Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Insurance Carrier may face for Bad Faith failure to pay a claim?
Under Georgia law, an uninsured motorist insurance carrier can face a number of penalties for bad faith refusal to pay a claim. These penalties include:
- Payment of the insured’s actual damages, plus interest.
- Payment of the insured’s reasonable attorney’s fees.
- Payment of a penalty of up to 25% of the insured’s damages.
- A finding that the insurance company acted in bad faith, which can damage the company’s reputation and make it more difficult to attract new customers.
In order to recover these penalties, the insured must first file a lawsuit against the insurance company. The lawsuit must allege that the insurance company acted in bad faith by refusing to pay the claim. The insured must also prove that the insurance company’s refusal to pay the claim caused them actual damages.
Very professional and diligent.
If the insured is successful in their lawsuit, the court will award them the damages they are owed, plus interest, attorney’s fees, and a penalty. The court may also find that the insurance company acted in bad faith, which can have a negative impact on the company’s reputation.
It is important to note that the penalties for bad faith refusal to pay a claim are not automatic. The insured must first prove that the insurance company acted in bad faith. This can be a difficult task, but it is important to remember that the insurance company has a duty to act in good faith towards its insureds. If the insurance company fails to meet this duty, it may be liable for significant penalties.