December 04, 2019
“I have Uninsured Motorist (UM) Insurance Coverage, so I’m good, right?” Maybe not.
You have heard all the nightmare stories about people who do not carry uninsured motorist (UM) coverage. You have read the articles or listened to personal details of Georgians who were rear ended by drunk drivers whose licenses were suspended at the time of the accident, or perhaps people who were hit by someone driving a stolen car, and the injured person was left with thousands and thousands of dollars in medical bills with no way to recover for any of their injuries. So, you did the responsible thing and made sure you purchased uninsured motorist coverage. Problem solved, right? Well, maybe.
There are two types of uninsured motorist (UM) coverage in Georgia, generally, and they are frequently referred to as “Add On” or “Reduced By” UM. In an “Add On” situation, you pay for an additional $25,000 UM coverage or more. So if the at-fault driver hits you and only has $25,000 in coverage, but your damages exceed that $25,000 mark, you would be covered for up to an additional $25,000. Thus, there would be a total of $50,000 in coverage.
In a “Reduced By” situation, given the same factors as above, your $25,000 UM coverage is reduced by the coverage that the at fault driver has. This means that you would get $25,000 from the at-fault driver, but since your policy is only $25,000 of “Reduced By” UM coverage, there is no additional coverage at all. If your “Reduced By” UM was for $50,000 coverage, you would have an additional $25,000 in UM, after it was first reduced by the $25,000 afforded under the at-fault driver’s policy.
Although this can be confusing, it is extremely important that you understand the coverage you currently have. Speak with your insurance company and be certain that you have the coverage you want. Clearly, “Add On” UM coverage is superior and will go much farther toward protecting you in the event that you are hit by a driver with insufficient coverage. As always, if you have any questions about a DeKalb or Atlanta car accident, you are always encouraged to call the DeWoskin Law Firm to speak with one of our experienced and knowledgeable attorneys.