In Georgia, accident victims often face challenges when trying to recover for their injuries and losses. The majority of these issues arise from inadequate insurance coverage. Although the law requires Georgia insurance companies to provide under or uninsured motorist (UIM) coverage, many claimants face difficulties evoking the coverage. The three main issues that arise in these situations concern the stacking of commercial and personal insurance policies, recovering against an uninsured motorist, and uninsured motorist offsets.
Stacking occurs when insurance companies provide coverage to a driver under more than one policy. This is usually applicable when a driver suffers injuries when operating a non-owned vehicle with permission from the vehicle’s owner. In these situations, most policies consider the non-owner driver an additional insured under the policy. Issues typically arise when there is proration among more than one insurance company or policy. However, it is essential to note that there are exceptions to the general rule that “insurance follows the car.”
Exceptions and exclusions to UIM coverage may apply in situations where the car owner is a dealership, or the policy provides for specific exclusions. The law provides that Georgia statute OCGA § 33-7-11 covers UIM litigation, and resolution of coverage disputes must comport with the policy’s terms. A recent state court opinion stemming from a coverage dispute illustrates the common challenges that claimants face when evoking coverage.