Accidents happen unexpectedly and can leave you scrambling for solutions. One pressing question you might have is, ‘Can I buy insurance on the same day as the accident?’ If you’re a resident of Georgia, understanding the state’s specific insurance laws is important
The Legal Insurance Framework in Georgia
In Georgia, driving without minimum liability insurance is not just risky, but also illegal. State law in Georgia mandates that drivers carry at least $25,000 per person for bodily injury, $50,000 per accident for bodily injury, and $25,000 for property damage. These figures might seem large, but when you’re facing medical bills, car repairs, and potential legal fees, they can quickly prove insufficient.
So, the question is, can you rush to buy an insurance policy right after an accident in Georgia? The short answer is yes, you can apply for insurance the same day. However, it’s important to keep in mind that insurance purchased after the accident will not cover the costs of that specific incident. Insurance plans generally cover you for future events and in most scenarios they won’t apply to anything that happened before you actually got the policy.
When Does Your Policy Start?
If you’re considering purchasing insurance after an accident, it’s important to understand when your policy will actually activate coverage. In Georgia, an insurance policy can be activated as quickly as the same day you apply, provided all paperwork is properly filed and signed. This is typically known as an insurance “binder.” An insurance binder is a temporary contract between you and your insurer that proves you’ve purchased insurance coverage. It can provide you with full coverage while you await a more formal issuance. But remember, until that contract is complete, you’re not covered. This means that if you’ve been in an accident and then decide to get insurance, your new policy will not cover the costs of that accident.
Understanding the timing and legal consequences can save you from further complications. For instance, if you’re found driving without insurance at the time of an accident in Georgia, you could face hefty fines, license suspension, and even jail time in extreme cases.
What is the general application process?
Applying for car insurance in Georgia is generally a straightforward process, but preparation is key. You’ll need to have several pieces of information at hand, including the names and dates of birth for all drivers to be insured, driver’s license numbers, Social Security numbers, and Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINs) for all vehicles you wish to insure. Additionally, if you’ve had prior insurance, your declarations page can be helpful. The more prepared you are, the quicker the application process will be, often taking as little as 20 minutes.
What you should be cautious about when getting insurance in Georgia?
While it’s technically possible to purchase insurance on the same day as an accident, doing so comes with its own set of risks and limitations. For one, insurance companies may view this as a red flag, potentially leading to higher premiums. Moreover, Georgia law is clear that the insurance cannot be backdated to cover an accident that occurred before the policy was active.
Choosing the right insurance policy in Georgia
Choosing the right insurance policy is not just about finding the cheapest option but it’s about understanding what you’re actually getting for your premium. Different insurance carriers offer varying levels of coverage, and it’s crucial to know what each policy entails. You must take your time to compare quotes, read the fine print, and consider any additional coverage you may need. We always recommend adding the following coverages to your bodily injury coverages:
- UM Coverage: Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Coverage ADDED ON to the liability limits.
- Medpay: Medical Payments coverage. Max this out to the highest amount available. Medpay coverage goes directly to medical providers or you to pay for medical bills. Attorneys cannot claim fees from the medical payments coverage that you recover.
Factors Influencing Insurance Premiums
The cost of your insurance is determined by factors such as your driving history, the coverage you select, and your location. These factors can influence your premium and it is important for you to understand them so you can make a more informed decision and possibly save money in the long run.
Consult with a Georgia Insurance Claim Attorney
Understanding how insurance policies work can be hard to understand without expert guidance. If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident or need help with insurance laws, don’t hesitate to reach out to Flanagan Law. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, we are committed to helping you go through the complexities of personal injury law. Contact us today to schedule a consultation!