Georgia Car Insurance Requirements

Minimum car insurance coverage requirements in Georgia, plus other auto insurance rules in the state.

By , J.D. · University of San Francisco School of Law

Georgia requires vehicle owners to carry certain minimum amounts of liability car insurance, in the event that they cause a traffic accident on the state's roads and highways. In this article, we'll discuss:

  • Georgia's laws as they relate to financial responsibility for a car accident
  • how Georgia's car insurance rules work in the context of an insurance claim or lawsuit after a crash, and
  • the minimum requirements for liability car insurance coverage under Georgia law.

Georgia Is a "Fault" Car Accident State

Georgia follows a "fault" system when it comes to financial responsibility for a car accident. This means that an at-fault driver is liable for any personal injury or property damage resulting from the crash, and their liability insurance policy will be used to satisfy the financial impact of these losses (called "damages" in legalese).

What Are My Compensation Options After a Car Accident in Georgia?

After a car accident in Georgia, depending on the kinds of insurance coverage that's in play, you might be able to seek compensation for your accident-related losses by:

  • filing a claim with your own car insurance company regardless of who caused the accident, if you've got personal injury protection/medical payments coverage (for injuries) or collision coverage (for vehicle damage)
  • filing a claim directly with the other driver's insurer (sometimes called a "third party" claim) which is usually an option if the other driver is clearly at fault, or
  • filing a personal injury lawsuit in civil court (especially if car accident settlement negotiations break down); keep in mind that car insurance will still cover any court award up to available policy limits, and settlement can happen at any point before trial.

Note: In no-fault car insurance states, claimants don't have this same range of options, but Georgia drivers don't need to worry about no-fault for an in-state accident.

Minimum Auto Insurance Requirements In Georgia

Georgia requires that the owner of a motor vehicle registered in the state carry liability insurance on their vehicle. The minimum liability coverage you are required to carry in Georgia is:

  • $25,000 for the injury or death of one person (a passenger, another driver, motorcyclist, or pedestrian) in an accident you cause
  • $50,000 for total injuries or deaths of more than one person in a single accident you cause, and
  • $25,000 for property damage resulting from an accident you cause.

This basic coverage pays the medical bills, property damage bills, and other costs of drivers, passengers, and pedestrians who are injured or have their vehicle damaged in a car accident you cause, up to coverage limits.

You can (and in some situations should) carry more coverage to protect you in case a serious crash results in significant car accident injuries and vehicle damage. Remember, once policy limits are exhausted, you are personally on the financial hook, so higher insurance limits can help protect your personal assets in the event of a serious crash.

Your liability coverage will kick in if any family member is driving your vehicle, or if you've given someone else permission to use it. It will likely also cover you if you get into an accident in a rental car.

Finally, remember that the liability coverage we discussed here doesn't apply to your own injuries or vehicle damage after a car accident. You'll need different (additional) coverage for that if you're involved in a car accident and no one else's coverage applies to your losses. For example, personal injury protection (PIP) or MedPay coverage can be used to pay your car accident medical bills, and collision coverage can pay for repairs to (or replacement of) your damaged vehicle after a car accident.

Do I Need Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage in Georgia?

Georgia does not require that every motorist purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UIM), as long as the policyholder rejects it in writing.

UIM coverage is a supplemental feature of your own policy that is intended to protect you if you get into an accident where the at-fault driver either has no insurance coverage at all, or carries an insufficient amount of insurance to cover your damages.

One twist of Georgia law related to UIM coverage is that the state subdivides UIM coverage into two categories: "New" and "Traditional" coverage. Under Traditional coverage (or "set-off" coverage) your UIM availability is diminished by the other driver's available liability insurance. So, if you have a $25,000 Traditional UIM policy and the at-fault driver has the state minimum coverage of $25,000, the two cancel each other out; your UIM policy is completely set off by the at-fault driver's liability policy.

By contrast, "New" UIM stacks on top of the at-fault driver's coverage; using the same numbers, you would have another $25,000 of UIM after the at-fault driver's policy is exhausted. This distinction makes it very important to understand which variation of UIM you have. (It should come as no surprise that "New" UIM coverage is more expensive than Traditional.)

How Can I Show Proof of Car Insurance In Georgia?

In Georgia, you can show proof of car insurance—when requested by a law enforcement officer, for example—in a variety of ways, including:

  • by producing a physical insurance card issued by your insurance company, or
  • by verifying your insurance details online using the state's Georgia Drives E-Services (this proof is filed by your insurance company in the Georgia Department of Revenue's database).

For more details on establishing your insured status, check out the Georgia Department of Revenue's Acceptable Proof of Insurance page.

What Are the Penalties for Driving Without Insurance In Georgia?

If you drive without car insurance in Georgia, you could face a variety of penalties, including

  • suspension or revocation of your vehicle registration
  • multiple fines, and
  • denial of renewal or reinstatement of vehicle registration.

Of course, these penalties can pale in comparison to the financial peril you might find yourself if you cause a car accident while you're driving without insurance. Especially if injuries are serious, you could be on the hook for tens (even hundreds) of thousands of dollars. Learn more about what happens when you're in a car accident and you don't have car insurance.

Getting Help After a Car Accident In Georgia

For more information on Georgia's car insurance rules and requirements, straight from the state, check out the Georgia Department of Insurance's Automobile Insurance information page.

Of course, you may need more than the basics on how car insurance works in Georgia. Learn more about what to do after a car accident, and how a lawyer can help with your car accident claim. And if you're ready to discuss your situation and your options now, you can use the features right on this page to connect with a Georgia car accident attorney in your area.

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