If you read my article in Born To Ride Magazine, you know how strongly I feel about uninsured motorist coverage. I believe it is a must have for every Georgia driver and motorcycle operator.
Over the last few years, I've seen too many hard working people lose everything after a motorcycle accident, auto accident, or trucking accident. While an accident is a terrible tragedy, and can alter your life forever, purchasing a UM policy is simple and less expensive than you think, and can compensate you and provide you with some financial protection.
The amount of coverage I recommend is as much as you can reasonably afford. The more you have, the better, and the more protection you will have in the event an uninsured, or more likely underinsured driver, hits you. UM insurance may be used in either situation. When obtaining UM insurance, I recommend "added-on" or "additional" coverage, which means your limits are added on to the insurance amount available from the at-fault driver.
While this is important for all motorists, I feel it is particularly important for motorcycle riders. We all love the freedom of the open road, and our bikes, but with being a biker comes certain risk that may or may not exist in a cage. Simply speaking, most people involved in a motorcycle accident have exceeded the liability limits of the at-fault drivers insurance company before they leave the hospital. If someone is injured and needs Life Flight, the helicopter ride costs more than an at-fault driver may have in limits, which is $25,000. The last bill I saw for a Life Flight ride for a critical patient was $35,000. Georgia only requires $25k in liability coverage, which is more often than not the case. I often see a correlation between low liability limits and a poor driving record as well. These are the people who will often be at fault in an accident.
So, when you go beyond their policy limits, or they have no insurance coverage at all, the only remaining resource on an auto policy is UM coverage. That applies regardless of how badly you are hurt, how much treatment you need, how many days of work you miss, and how much pain you must endure before you recover. It is possible that you could be left with nothing but unpaid hospital bills if you don't have UM insurance coverage.
If you have been in an accident, and you aren't sure what is available to you, contact an experienced personal injury attorney like myself. The law allows possible access to UM policies belonging to you, a driver of a vehicle in which you are a passenger, as well as certain relatives living in your household at the time of the accident. Policies can be often stacked together, depending on the type of policy. If you have separate policies with UM insurance, they can be stacked together as well. Just make sure to always select added on or additional coverage, never reduced or take away.
Contact your agent and make sure you are protected. If you have questions regarding coverage and what your policy declarations cover, feel free to call me anytime at 7707483601 or email me at [email protected] Read more about Stefanie Drake Burford at www.STEF-LAW.com.
Ride safe everyone!