If you own a vehicle, then you know the vehicle has to be insured. Each state is allowed to set its own requirements about how much insurance drivers are required to carry to remain legal on the roadway. In Georgia, drivers are expected to maintain the minimum liability insurance requirements, or they could face significant penalties. Here, we want to discuss Georgia’s vehicle insurance requirements, the penalties for driving without insurance, and what happens if a person is struck by an uninsured driver.
What are the Minimum Insurance Requirements in the State?
When we turn to the Georgia Office of Commissioner of Insurance and Safety Fire, we can see that the minimum car insurance requirements for this state are as follows:
- Bodily injury liability: $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
- Property damage liability: $25,000 per accident
In the state of Georgia, you will see that the law does not require vehicle owners to purchase comprehensive or collision coverage to help pay for physical damage in the aftermath of an accident. However, if a person finances or leases a vehicle in this state, most lenders or leasing companies will require these coverages.
Additionally, Georgia does not require drivers to carry uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. This type of protection is designed to cover the costs associated with accidents caused by drivers who do not have insurance or do not have enough coverage to pay for all of the losses caused by the incident.
Penalties for Driving Without Insurance
Drivers in Georgia have to maintain continuous mandatory liability insurance on each vehicle they own. They must have this insurance in order to drive their vehicle, register the vehicle, or obtain, renew, or replace their license plates. Any lapse in coverage could result in significant penalties.
The Georgia Department of Motor Vehicles knows when a person’s insurance has lapsed because the insurance carriers are required to submit this information to the DMV. Additionally, all drivers in Georgia must have insurance cards on them at all times when operating their vehicles.
If vehicle insurance has lapped, a person typically has 30 days from the date of expiration of the policy to provide proof of new insurance. If there has been a lapse but proof of insurance has been received within 30 days, a person will face a $25 lapse fee.
If a person’s insurance lapses and they do not show proof of insurance within 30 days, the DMV will send a notification of impending registration suspension. If proof of insurance is not provided in a second 30-day period, a person’s vehicle registration will be suspended, and it will be a misdemeanor to drive. In order to get the suspension lifted, the person will have to provide proof of insurance, pay a $25 lapse fee, and pay an additional $60 reinstatement fee.
If a person is caught driving without valid insurance in Georgia, they will be charged with a misdemeanor which will go on their permanent record. Additionally, the driver will have to appear in court and could face fines ranging from $200 to $1,000. Additionally, a person could face a license suspension ranging from 60 to 90 days.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim Against an Uninsured Driver
If you or somebody you care about has been struck by an uninsured driver, your first line of defense will be your uninsured motorist coverage (if you carry such coverage). However, you can also file a personal injury lawsuit against an uninsured driver if they are apprehended. This will move the claim to civil court. However, recovering compensation from an uninsured driver can be challenging. Often, when drivers do not pay for insurance coverage on their vehicle, they will lack the assets necessary to pay any judgment against them. That is why we recommend that all drivers obtain uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.