The Importance of UM and UIM Insurance in Georgia

man using phone after a car accident, The Importance of UM and UIM Insurance in Georgia

What Is UM or UIM Insurance?

When you get a new auto insurance policy your insurance agent may ask:  “Do you want UM or UIM Insurance?  What is UM or UIM insurance?  UM insurance is Uninsured motorist insurance, and UIM is Under Insured Motorist Insurance.  In Georgia, they are treated synonymously, so if you have UM, you also have UIM.

Why Uninsured (or Under-Insured) Motorist Insurance important?

First of all, let’s go over some basics.  UM, unlike liability insurance, is not a mandatory coverage required by Georgia law.  Accordingly, many people will refuse the added coverage for many reasons, the main one being it will add to the price of the insurance premium.  Another common reason is that people consider it a waste because everyone who might hit them is required to have liability anyway.

However, It is never a waste to have Georgia UM or UIM Insurance coverage.  Many cars on the road have either no insurance coverage or the coverage they have is the minimum coverage required.  UM or UIM is an additional coverage you can purchase on your auto insurance that protects you and your passengers if you have an auto accident that is not your fault.

UM (Uninsured Motorist) coverage will help protect you when the person that hits you has no insurance, not even the state required minimum coverage. Using this insurance will help you get your car fixed and help you with your injuries and the treatment you needed.  UIM (Under-Insured Motorist) coverage will help protect you when the person who hits you does not have enough insurance to cover your property damage or your medical bills.

There are certain rules that are applied to the usage of this added benefit.  In many cases, you may not know whether the at-fault party has insurance or enough insurance to cover your accident and injuries for a couple of days or weeks.  Just because the offending driver showed proof of insurance to the officer at the time of the accident does not necessarily mean he or she has coverage.  The insurance could have lapsed or the premium might not have been paid, or the insured may have not complied with other terms in the policy.  This is why it is very important that you notify your insurance company of your accident in a timely manner.  If not notified in a timely manner, your insurance company could decline your UM or UIM claim.

The UIM (Under-Insured Motorist) claim can only be used when the at-fault party’s insurance has been completely exhausted and your medical bills have exceeded their limits.

For example, suppose you are in a serious accident and it is not your fault.  The person that hits you only has $25,000 in liability, but your medical bills are $50,000.  After the liable driver’s insurance pays you their $25,000, you still have another $25,000 in medical bills to pay.  You need to file a UIM claim with your insurance company, under these circumstances, to seek recovery for the balance of your bills.

In general UM and UIM is a good coverage to add to your policy. It will protect you, your family and your passengers from any uninsured and underinsured motorist driving on the roads today.