Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Georgia: Do You Need It?

Uninsured motorist coverage isn’t legally required in Georgia, but it’s protection you may want to have.
Written by Amy Bobinger
Edited by Kathleen Flear
While not legally required in Georgia,
uninsured motorist coverage
is a vital protection to have due to high accident rates and the large number of uninsured drivers in the South. 
  • Nearly 1 in 10 drivers in Georgia are uninsured—which means they likely won’t be able to pay for another driver’s property damage or medical bills if they cause an accident.
  • Georgia car insurance companies are required to offer uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM) but drivers aren’t required to carry it.
  • Adding UM/UIM coverage to your auto insurance policy will provide you with insurance coverage in case you’re in an accident caused by someone who doesn’t have insurance—or whose insurance limits don’t cover the full cost of your damages.
  • UM/UIM may also cover damages caused by a hit-and-run.

Uninsured motorist coverage can help protect Georgia drivers

Georgia car insurance laws
don’t require drivers to have uninsured motorist coverage—but it might still be a good idea.
According to data from 2019 (the most recent year available), the Insurance Information Institute (III) reports that around 12.4% of drivers in Georgia do not have auto insurance. That means more than one in ten drivers on the road is uninsured—not the worst rate in the nation, but still a dangerously high amount. 
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage means that if you are in an accident caused by an uninsured driver, your medical expenses and damages to your car will still be covered
  • Without UM/UIM, you would be responsible for all of it out of pocket—which could be financially disastrous
It’s typically very inexpensive to add UM/UIM to your policy. The exact cost for UM/UIM coverage varies according to location and how much you purchase, but typical Georgia costs range from around $50 to $150 per year—or about $4 to $13 per month. 
Next time you’re
shopping for car insurance
, consider adding this coverage if you haven’t already. And if you need help to make insurance shopping easier, try
industry-leading insurance comparison app!
Key Takeaway Uninsured/underinsured (UM/UIM) coverage is a smart addition to your policy. It helps protect you from massive out-of-pocket costs for medical bills and property damages.

How uninsured motorist insurance works in Georgia

The Peach State only requires drivers to maintain basic
liability insurance
in the relatively low amounts of $25,000 per person/$50,000 per accident for bodily injury and $25,000 for property damage. 
But this is just the minimum coverage that you need to drive legally—and while minimum-only coverage can mean saving money in the short term, it leaves you open to an incredible amount of risk. The average cost for an ER visit in Georgia is around $1,600, and if you’re in a severe accident, that could be just the beginning of your medical costs. 
If the accident was caused by a driver who doesn’t have insurance, they probably won’t be able to cover those costs out of pocket. If you don’t have uninsured motorist protection, that could leave you financially responsible for thousands of dollars in repair bills and medical expenses on your own.

When does UM/UIM apply?

UM/UIM insurance available in Georgia (and most states) is typically used in the following cases: 
  • After an accident with an uninsured driver or with a driver who carries less than Georgia’s required minimum amount of liability insurance coverage
  • If the other driver is underinsured, meaning they don’t have enough insurance to cover your costs
  • In a hit-and-run with conclusive evidence, like paint scrapes on your vehicle or an eyewitness account from a third party
  • If the other driver’s insurer declines to cover the accident
  • If the other driver’s insurer has declared bankruptcy and can’t afford to cover the accident
Even though you’re not legally required to have UM/UIM, Georgia insurance law requires that all insurers offer it in the same amounts as the liability minimums. But you can opt to purchase a different amount—more or less—if you like.
Did you know? UM coverage follows you, not your car—which means you’re still protected if you’re riding in another person’s car or traveling as a pedestrian.

What it covers

Broadly speaking, the UM/UIM coverage offered in Georgia covers the same kind of expenses that the liability coverages do. But rather than pay for the other driver’s damages, it covers yours if you’re involved in an accident where the at-fault driver is uninsured. 
The medical expenses that a UM/UIM policy covers aren’t just limited to ER bills and surgical costs—it will also cover things like: 
  • Future medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Long-term rehabilitative or nursing care
  • Medical devices such as wheelchairs
  • Retrofitting your house to accommodate a disability caused by the accident
  • Services such as yard work or cleaning that you’re no longer able to do
  • Pain and suffering (under some circumstances) 
Medical expenses can be extremely high in the US, and no one wants to worry about how they’re going to manage in the event of serious injury in a car accident. UM/UIM coverage offers a lot of peace of mind for policyholders, especially for the low monthly premium.

How to make a claim 

The filing process is almost identical to filing a normal insurance claim against a driver, except in a UM/UIM claim, you’re filing against your own insurance.
While your insurer is legally obligated to offer you a good faith settlement—meaning they have to pay you a fair amount for your damages—they may still look for ways to minimize how much they have to pay.
  • Act quickly: If you need to file a UM/UIM claim, be sure to start the process as quickly as possible—most insurance policies have strict requirements about how long you have to file. In Georgia, claims have been denied because the driver waited as little as 60 days to file.
  • Get a lawyer: To ensure your interests are protected, it’s best to work with a personal injury attorney who is experienced in car accident cases. They’ll know the correct steps for filing a claim, including how and when to notify the insurance company and what to do if the other driver contacts you with a settlement offer.
Need to know: If the at-fault driver has insurance but it’s not enough to cover your expenses, Georgia requires that the other driver’s liability insurance limits be exhausted before UM/UIM can kick in—so you’ll have to pursue that claim before filing a UM/UIM claim against your own insurer.

You may be able to stack UM/UIM policies

UM policies typically cover “resident relatives,” or family members who live in your household. If you and a resident relative have separate UM/UIM policies for different motor vehicles, you may be able to use both of those policies, effectively increasing your policy limits.
  • For instance, if you live with your brother, and you each have your own vehicle and insurance policies that match Georgia’s 25/50/25 liability requirements, you’ll each have $25,000 in UM bodily injury coverage per person and $50,000 bodily injury coverage per accident.
  • You may be able to stack those policies for a total of $50,000 in UM bodily injury coverage per person and $100,000 in bodily injury coverage per accident.

Request “add-on UIM” for the best protection

When you purchase uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance, you may be given the option between “add-on” and “reduced” (sometimes called “reduced-by”) coverage. You’ll get the best coverage by choosing “add-on”. Here’s why:
  • Add-on allows you to add your UM/UIM coverage limits on top of an underinsured driver’s liability limits.
  • Reduced-by UM subtracts the other driver’s limits of liability coverage from your UM/UIM policy limits before you can use it.
How does that work? Let’s say you have $50,000 in UM/UIM bodily injury coverage and you’re in an accident with someone whose policy just meets the $25,000 bodily injury requirement. 
  • If you have a reduced-by policy: You’d only be able to collect $25,000 in UM/UIM after the at-fault driver’s policy paid out. If your medical bills exceed $50,000, you’d have to pay for the difference out of pocket.
  • If you have an add-on policy: You’d be able to collect up to your whole $50,000 UM/UIM policy, for a maximum total of $75,000 paid out.
Need to know: A statutory amendment from 2009 added a “non-duplication of coverage” provision that states you can not collect under UM/UIM for benefits that were paid through MedPay or worker’s comp. That said, you can collect for uncompensated damages, like lost wages or pain and suffering.
is a great product with great customer service! The quote comparison found me lots of options being in Georgia.” —Gregory K.


Uninsured motorist coverage in Georgia can include both bodily injury liability and property damage liability insurance. It will pay out if you’re in an accident caused by a hit-and-run driver, someone who doesn’t have insurance, or someone whose insurance won’t pay for your expenses.
Georgia law requires insurance companies to offer UM/UIM coverage that meets the state’s 25/50/25 liability limits. Drivers don’t need to carry this coverage—but it’s almost always a good idea to add it to your automobile insurance.
If you’re hit by an uninsured driver in Georgia, your damages may be covered under your own collision/comprehensive policy. But if your costs exceed your policy limits, you may be able to collect the rest through UM/UIM.  To ensure your interests are protected, we recommend having a free consultation with a licensed personal injury law firm.
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