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Q
What are the car insurance minimums in Georgia?

A

     Georgia requires everyone carry what is called liability insurance.  This is a minimum amount of coverage you have to have to drive a car legally on the roads of Georgia.  All liability coverage pays for is if you are in an accident and injure someone else.  It doesn’t pay for your injuries; it doesn’t pay for your car.  Liability coverage normally is sold in amounts as low as 25/50/25.  That’s the terminology the insurance company will use.  The first 25 refers to the amount in thousands the insurance company will pay up to any one claimant if you injure someone.  The second number refers to the total amount they will pay for any one accident to any number of claimants.  For instance, if you have a 25/50/25 policy, they will pay in sum an amount of $50,000 to all the parties if there are more than two.  This means that if in the accident you harm three people, the most that will be paid on their cases added together would be $50,000.  This is a limit no matter how serious the accident is.  The third number is the total amount of property damage they will pay for in a collision for the other parties; it does not include your vehicle.


      When evaluating insurance coverage, please evaluate how much you need.  It’s normally sold in amounts of 25/50/25 or 50/100/50 or 100/300/100.  The amount is always in thousands.  Is a 25/50/25 policy sufficient for you?  I would tell you it does not protect you very much.  For instance, if the last number is $25,000 and you hit someone in a fancy car and total his or her car, or strike two vehicles, that may not be enough to pay for their vehicle costs.  This will force the other person to sue you.  If you have a $25,000/$50,000 policy and you injure someone and that person has a severe break, that would not be sufficient to protect you.  Liability coverage protects you from being sued.  If you have any substantial assets, you definitely need a larger policy.  Your insurance company will attempt to settle any case for the amount of your policy limits; however, if you severely injure someone and you only have a $25,000 policy, they may be unable to do so and your personal assets would therefore be on the hook should that person receive a larger judgment against you.

Shane Smith
Advocate for the Seriously Injured in Georgia