Around 12 percent of Georgia’s drivers operate a vehicle without auto insurance according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). Like in most other states, lawmakers in Georgia look down on this behavior.
The penalties and financial consequences can be severe for uninsured drivers in Georgia who are involved in accidents. Drivers without insurance policies can be held liable for any damages and injuries they cause. If the liability is catastrophic, it can wipe out your personal assets entirely.
If you’re a risk-taker, you may be tempted to save some money by going without insurance, but it’s best to have at least the minimum insurance required in Georgia. Insurance can be confusing, as it’s hard to know exactly how much coverage is enough to protect you without breaking the bank. Insurify lets you compare insurance quotes from a variety of auto insurance carriers to ensure you’re getting the right amount of coverage at the right price.
State Minimum Car Insurance Requirements for Georgia
Under Georgia law, the minimum insurance requirements are:
- Bodily Injury Liability (BI): The minimum limits are $25,000 per person and $50,000 per incident. These figures refer to the amount you’d be responsible for if another driver or passenger is injured in an auto accident you caused.
- Property Damage Liability (PD): The minimum limits are $25,000 per incident. PD helps pay for damage caused to someone else’s property by your car.
Personal injury protection (PIP) is not a required coverage for Georgia drivers. Is it worth asking your insurer to add it to your auto insurance policy? That depends on your personal circumstances. Often, if you have good health insurance, you may not need PIP. However, if you or your passengers are injured by another driver who doesn’t have enough coverage or any insurance at all, your own PIP coverage can step in to pay for any medical bills for injuries sustained.
Is state minimum car insurance coverage enough in Georgia?
The minimum car insurance coverage limits in Georgia mean that the maximum amount of damages paid out to one injured person is $25,000. And the total amount allowed for two or more people injured is only $50,000. Depending on the severity of the accident, the amount needed to pay those damages could be significantly more—which the driver who caused the accident would be responsible for paying.
It’s wise to buy as much liability insurance as needed to protect your assets. Homeowners, for example, need to have enough coverage to protect their property, life savings, and other valuable assets. Otherwise, at-fault motorists risk losing everything.
What is the penalty for driving without car insurance in Georgia?
The state of Georgia comes down hard on citizens who drive without insurance coverage. The penalties are harsh, even for first-time offenders. The first time you’re stopped by a police officer and unable to show proof of insurance, you risk:
- Being fined anywhere from $200 to $1,000
- Your license and registration being suspended for two to three months
- A misdemeanor charge permanently on your record
- Possible vehicle impoundment
- Jail time (possible but unlikely)
For multiple offenses, the penalties get more severe, with higher fines and jail time becoming a real possibility. Even if you never get caught driving in your area without insurance coverage, you could still be penalized for letting your insurance lapse.
Your insurance company has to inform the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) if they terminated your policy or if you let it expire. You’ll have 30 days to show proof of insurance, and if you fail to do so, your license will be suspended.
Minimum Requirements in Georgia for SR-22 and FR-44 Policies
In Georgia, high-risk drivers—those who have been cited for an offense such as a DUI or reckless driving—need to file an SR-22 insurance form with the Georgia Department of Driver Services.
The insurance company can file the SR-22 form with the state on the driver’s behalf. The form, which must be maintained for three years, shows Georgia authorities that the driver has their own insurance and therefore carries at least the minimum amount of liability coverage required, which is $25,000/$50,000/$25,000. The SR-22 allows the driver to maintain their driver’s license.
If you’re looking for an SR-22, don’t fret! Insurify can curate affordable and customized SR-22 insurance quotes from top companies for you!
Additional Coverage Georgia Drivers Should Consider
While not mandatory, the following coverages are sensible additions to your auto insurance policy and should be considered to provide peace of mind and adequate protection:
- Uninsured Motorist Bodily Injury Liability Coverage (UMBI): This coverage comes into play if you’re hit by a motorist who wasn’t insured or didn’t have enough insurance to cover your medical expenses or fix your vehicle. It also pays if you’re in a hit-and-run accident.
- Comprehensive Coverage: This insurance covers your car if it gets damaged by something other than a collision with another vehicle. For example, if you hit a deer or if your car is vandalized or set on fire, this coverage applies. When paired with collision, these two are often referred to as “full coverage.”
- Collision Coverage: This coverage protects your vehicle. Unless your car is old and not worth replacing if damaged, you should consider buying this coverage. If you’re leasing your vehicle or carrying a loan, your lender will require you to carry collision and comprehensive.
- Medical Payments (Medpay): This coverage helps pay medical costs resulting from an auto accident for you and passengers in the car at the time. While similar in some ways to personal injury protection (PIP), this insurance coverage tends to be less expensive, partly because it doesn’t cover any accident-related lost wages.
- Roadside Assistance: This coverage provides peace of mind when you’re on the road. Typically, it will cover a dead battery, flat tire, breakdown, and car lockouts. Most policies also cover towing if your vehicle breaks down.
Georgia Minimum Car Insurance FAQ
Is car insurance mandatory in Georgia?
Yes. Drivers in the Peach State must carry the minimum requirements of liability insurance. But you can—and should, if possible—purchase more coverage from your insurer. If you’re found at fault for an accident, this coverage helps pay for others’ injuries or property damage.
In what situations do drivers in Georgia have the right to sue?
If a Georgia driver is injured in a car accident, they can file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court against the at-fault driver for damages. This step typically only happens if the injured driver’s insurance company has filed a third-party claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier and negotiations break down.
Are there alternative proofs of financial responsibility in Georgia?
No. Georgia motorists must carry auto insurance as a means to show they are financially responsible if they ever happen to cause an accident, injure someone, or damage others’ property while driving.