Under Georgia law, vehicle owners must carry liability insurance. The minimum liability coverage required in Georgia is:
Bear in mind, these are minimum coverage amounts. It is wise to carry additional coverage, if possible. If you are at fault for a car accident, and the damages are more than your coverage limits, you may be on the hook for the difference. Here is a good resource to learn more about the different types of car insurance coverage.
UIM coverage, as the name implies, is designed to protect you if you are in an accident with an at-fault driver who does not have enough insurance to cover the damages -- or a driver how has no insurance at all. It is an additional feature you can include with your insurance to improve your overall coverage. You are not required to carry UIM coverage in Georgia. To find out more about UIM coverage, check out these articles on Uninsured Motorist Coverage and Underinsured Motorist Coverage.
Something unique to UIM coverage in Georgia is that it is subdivided into two categories: "reduction" coverage and "excess" coverage. Reduction coverage subtracts the other driver's insurance from your UIM coverage. Excess coverage stacks onto the other driver's coverage. The type of UIM coverage you carry can make a big difference in how a claim is resolved. If you are not sure which kind of UIM coverage you have, it is worth calling your insurance provider to find out.
In Georgia, your insurance company should provide a report regarding your insurance status to the Georgia Electronic Insurance Compliance System (GEICS). In turn, GEICS informs the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) when, and whether, your insurance status changes. DDS has taken the strong position that driving is a privilege -- not a right. Accordingly, if you are caught driving without insurance in Georgia you may incur serious fines or penalties. You may lose your driving privileges -- or even go to jail. You can learn more on the Georgia DDS website, under "Frequently Asked Questions."
For more details on car insurance rules in Georgia, check out our article Georgia Car Insurance Laws and Regulations.