UPDATED: MARCH 14, 2023 | 3 MIN READ
If you’re a driver in Georgia, it’s important to know the state’s car insurance laws and requirements. This article provides an up-to-date overview of Georgia car insurance laws and regulations.
Georgia car insurance minimum requirements
The auto insurance requirement for minimum liability coverage is 25/50/25.
- $25,000 for bodily injury per person
- $50,000 for bodily injury per accident
- $25,000 for property damage per accident
Georgia is a comparative negligence state
In Georgia, the allocation of fault is based on a simple formula: proportionate liability (or comparative negligence). This means that you will be found negligent only if your actions were more than 50% responsible for any injuries or property damage.
Liability coverage in Georgia
Liability car insurance is a legal requirement in Georgia. It pays for any damages or injuries you cause others while driving. It’s important to know that liability coverage will never cover damages or injuries to your personal property.
Liability coverage is an essential part of your auto insurance policy. The types of liability coverage are bodily injury (BI) and property damage (PD). It covers any medical bills or funeral expenses that may arise from a car accident in which you were at fault and damages to other people’s properties.
State-mandated auto insurance limits you should know
The minimum amount of car insurance you need depends on the state. In Georgia, it’s only liability coverage, but that’s only the bare minimum. If you’re looking for more than the bare minimum, consider increasing your liability limits to give you more protection and peace of mind.
The coverage amounts are typically written out as three separate numbers, 25/50/25, known as a split limit.
These are put into three separate categories:
- Per-person limit: coverage for any person you harmed in a car accident. If you have harmed more than one person, they are covered up to the per-accident limit.
- Per-accident limit is the overall amount your insurer will pay for any bodily injury you cause in a single accident. This total includes injuries to all those harmed by YOU during the same accident. An insurance carrier will not pay more than the per-person limit for anyone involved.
- Property damage limit will cover any physical damages that you caused to another person’s property in the event of an at-fault auto accident.
Are Georgia’s minimum requirements providing enough coverage?
Meeting the minimums for your state’s liability insurance doesn’t mean much unless it covers everything. While Georgia’s levels are higher than some other states, this coverage could leave you vulnerable in case of an incident with serious injuries or property damage to more than one person if you exhaust your $25,000 BI limit.
Unfortunately, $25,000 is not considered a high amount of property damage coverage. It’s less than many drivers pay for a new car. You’ll hit your coverage limits quickly if you damage multiple vehicles or other structures.
It’s always a good idea to increase your liability limits beyond what’s required, as you will be personally liable for any additional expenses in case of an accident.
Penalties for driving without proof of insurance in Georgia
Operation of a motor vehicle without insurance in Georgia is a misdemeanor, which results in the following penalties:
- $25 fine, plus an additional $160 fine if the fine is not paid within 30 days.
- Your vehicle could be impounded
- You could face up to one year in jail
- Your license could be suspended anywhere between 60 to 90 days
You should also be prepared for reinstatement fees for your license. In addition, you could pay another fee for allowing your auto insurance to lapse. You could also face felony charges if the accident resulted in serious injuries or death.
Georgia’s optional car insurance coverage
Georgia car insurance laws require drivers to carry liability insurance. Other coverages are optional but protect you further.
- Collision: If you want to have coverage for your vehicle, then collision coverage is what you will need. If you’re in an accident and your car gets damaged, this type of insurance will help cover the cost of repairs.
- Gap coverage: There are many reasons to choose gap coverage, including the fact that your vehicle will depreciate. This will pay the difference between your vehicle’s current value (actual cash value) vs. what you still owe on the loan.
- Comprehensive: Comprehensive coverage is your best bet if you’re looking for the full package. This add-on coverage will help protect against damages caused by things like collisions with animals and other objects. Combined with collision coverage, it’s often referred to as full coverage.
- Medical payments: This coverage will pay medical or funeral expenses you may incur by you or those in your vehicle. The policy limits are usually between $5,000 and $10,000. This coverage is provided regardless of who is at fault.
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM): Georgia law requires all car insurers to provide uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. In a situation where you’re injured or property damaged due to an accident with someone who isn’t covered by their own policy, this kind of protection steps in and takes care rendering financial assistance as needed on your end.
- Roadside assistance: If you’re ever worried about breaking down on the road, this coverage will give you peace of mind.
Georgia is a diminished value state
Being a diminished value state, drivers can recover diminished value from the at-fault party’s insurer. The resale value of your vehicle will decrease after an accident. The car still loses value, even if it’s fully repaired to its pre-loss condition.
The involvement in an accident makes your car’s value lesser than similar vehicles that have not experienced a collision. A diminished-value claim allows you to recoup some losses when selling or trading in.
Georgia is only one of 15 states offering compensation for value diminution. You’ll need to contact the at-fault driver’s insurance company to file. You have to meet specific requirements to file a diminished value claim.
- To be eligible for compensation, your vehicle must have a market value of at least $7,000. There must be more than $500 in property damage, a clean title, the mileage that’s considered normal or below normal, and the vehicle must be less than ten years old.
- You must provide the correct documentation to process your claim. This includes photos, proof of the value of your vehicle from a reputable source, and any records of repairs completed.
- The state of Georgia does provide uninsured motorist coverage for diminished value claims.
- The statute of limitations on diminished value claims is four years
- You are NOT entitled to compensation if the party at fault for the accident is you.
Why it’s important to follow Georgia car insurance laws and requirements
The costs of a car accident can be considerable, but luckily you have the power to protect yourself with insurance. State minimums rarely provide enough coverage for people who want protection from risk.
How much does the minimum car insurance cost in Georgia?
Insurance companies consider many things to set rates, including your driving record, credit score, age, and car’s make and model.
USAA has the cheapest minimum liability car insurance in Georgia. The runner-up is GEICO. However, these rates can vary depending on where you live in Georgia.
Cheapest minimum liability car insurance in Georgia
Minimum car insurance requirement in Georgia when leasing a car
Most leasing companies have higher insurance requirements in all states, including Georgia. Drivers must consider the leasing companies’ requirements for coverage.
Full coverage insurance with no less than 100/30/50 liability limits is standard. Always ask your leasing company what their minimum requirements are since this will vary.
In Georgia, over 12% of drivers are uninsured. If you don’t carry full coverage, this puts you at risk.
Does insurance follow the car or driver in Georgia?
Car insurance in Georgia typically follows the vehicle rather than the driver, which means that if you borrow your friend’s vehicle and get into an accident, it will still have coverage for the vehicle and yourself.
Can you get auto insurance without a license in Georgia?
Georgia is a tough state for non-licensed drivers to get insurance. Without having much or any driving history, insurers may consider that a red flag. You’ll likely have a higher premium or even get denied coverage.
Is Georgia a no-fault state?
No, Georgia is an at-fault state. But it does mandate an at-fault party for an accident.
Does Georgia require uninsured motorist insurance?
Georgia doesn’t require uninsured/underinsurance motorist coverage, but it’s beneficial. It protects you if someone without insurance or who doesn’t have enough insurance hits you.
How do car insurance requirements change after a DUI in Georgia?
Georgia’s insurance requirements don’t change for a DUI conviction. Your rates might increase, though.
What it will change is your risk level in the insurers’ eyes. It may become more difficult to find coverage. If you find coverage, your premium will likely be much higher.
Get Coverage That Meets Georgia’s Minimum Car Insurance Laws & Requirments
There’s an affordable way that will give your wallet some relief. Shopping around for the right auto insurance coverage for your needs is the best way to stay protected everywhere you go.
AgileRates can give you an easy-to-understand comparison of the different coverage options and what they’ll cost in Georgia. All you have to do is call us or use our online rate calculator to see quotes now.