With the turn of a new calendar year comes, for many, time to re-evaluate finances and as such you may be considering whether or not to stick with your current car insurance provider. There are several factors that may influence your decision to either stay with Georgia Farm Bureau or perhaps to switch things over to Allstate or Geico. Here, we’ll break down exactly what factors may have your premiums sky-rocketing, and let you know which of your circumstances can help you save some cash.
Before you take out an insurance policy, consider the coverage that is appropriate for you and your vehicle. Full coverage insurance including comprehensive coverage will see you’re insured against theft and other events outside of your control. Such events are often referred to by insurers as “acts of God”. A full coverage policy should also include collision coverage, which will include any damages to your vehicle that occur as a result of hitting another vehicle or other object. Under Georgia State law, all drivers are required to have liability insurance coverage as a minimum.
Uninsured and Underinsured Coverage
One of the most important types of coverage is Uninsured/Underinsured Coverage. As of the date of this writing, the State of Georgia does not require Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist coverage. UM Coverage is used when the at-fault driver does not have any liability car insurance or the at-fault driver does not have enough liability insurance. There are two types of UM coverage called “Reduced UM” and “Added On UM”.
The first type of UM Coverage known as “Reduced UM”, will apply in these two examples. If the at-fault driver has no liability insurance, and you have $25,000.00 in “Reduced UM”, then you will have $25,000.00 in coverage under your own insurance. In this next situation let’s say that the at-fault driver only has $30,000.00 in liability insurance, and you have $50,000.00 in “Reduced UM” at the time of the collision. In this collision you are so injured that you incur $50,000 in medical expenses from your injuries. Here, your $50,000.00 in “Reduced UM” is REDUCED by the at-fault drivers $30,000.00 in liability insurance equalling only $20,000.00 ($50k – $30k) to stack on top of the at-fault drivers $30,000.00 in liability insurance. So you would have a total amount of available insurance to pursue of $50,000.00 which is the sum of the at-fault driver’s liability insurance of $30k plus the remaining $20k from your “Reduced UM” insurance on your policy. This is called “Stacking” the policies.
The second type of UM Coverage known at “Added On”, will apply in these two examples. If the at-fault driver has no liability insurance, and you have $25,000.00 in “Added On”, then you will have $25,000.00 in coverage under your own insurance policy. In this next situation, let’s say that the at-fault driver only has $30,000.00 in liability insurance, and you have $50,000.00 in “Added On” at the time of the collision. In this collision you are so injured that you incur $50,000.00 in medical expenses from your injuries. Here, your $50,000.00 of “Added On” UM coverage is stacked on top of the at-fault drivers $30,000.00 in liability insurance. So you would have a total amount of available insurance to pursue of $80,000.00 because it is “Added On”.
The best choice is to get “Added On” insurance.
Drivers in Atlanta (and across the rest of the US, for that matter) who have been in prior car accidents, have received speeding tickets or a DUI will pay a higher premium for the same level of coverage than someone with a clean driving record.
Unknown to many, bad credit history can jack the price of your car insurance premiums up a hefty amount. In Atlanta specifically, bad credit will do more damage for your premiums than having a speeding ticket on record.
Whilst this one may sting a little more because there isn’t really a way around it (you can’t change your age!) the year that you were born will significantly impact the price you pay for car insurance. Insurance companies consider an 18 year old driver to be at higher risk of getting into a car wreck than a 30 year old. On average, a young driver can expect to pay three times the amount that the average 30 year old driver will pay. If at all possible, joining a parent’s insurance policy is going to be your best option!
If you live in and expect to park your vehicle in an Atlanta ZIP code where car thefts occur more frequently, insurance premiums will be considerably higher.
John Adkins and the team at Adkins Law Firm are experienced in all matters relating to personal injury claims. If you’ve been injured in a wreck and are feeling a little lost regarding communicating with your insurance provider, contact us today! With a wealth of knowledge and a deep understanding that being involved in a car wreck is likely to be a stressful and troubling time for you, we’re here to help you to set things straight. Contact John and the team on 404HURTLAW (404-487-8529), or shoot us a message via our website at 404hurtlaw.com.