Liability vs. medical payments coverage in car insurance

Auto liability vs medical payments

Auto liability vs medical payments

So, there are a lot of different car insurance coverages out there. They all have different (often confusing) names and they all do different things. The thing is that these coverages all work together to protect you from the various risks you face when you get behind the wheel. It’s important to understand how each coverage differs from the next so that you know what risks you’re protected from. Two coverages that might seem similar at first glance are your liability coverage and medical payments coverage. We’ll explain each of these coverages and why they’re different.

What is liability insurance?

When you drive, you’re sharing the road with other drivers. What happens if you hit another driver or cause an accident? You’d have some legal responsibility to the other driver. That’s where your liability insurance comes in.

Bodily injury liability can cover the other driver’s medical bills and their pain and suffering. It can even cover the wages they lost while unable to work due to the accident.

Property damage liability can help cover the expenses of repairing or replacing the other driver’s car. (It can also cover other property that you happen to take out, such as a fence.)

It’s also important to note that your liability insurance can help cover your legal expenses if you’re sued because of the accident.

Most states require drivers to carry liability insurance to legally be able to hit the road. Georgia requires drivers to have $25,000 of bodily injury liability per person, $50,000 of bodily injury liability per accident, and $25,000 of property damage liability. Again, this is to cover your obligation to the other driver if you hit them and cause an accident. With medical expenses being what they are, it’s easy to see why this is such an important coverage.

It’s important to have high enough limits of insurance to truly protect yourself if you’re involved in an accident. You want to be able to cover the expenses you’re obligated to pay to the other driver without putting your assets in jeopardy. Serious accidents can come with some very serious expenses.

What is medical payments coverage?

Medical payments coverage, on the other hand, is a no-fault coverage that can help you cover your own medical bills – and those of your passengers – if you’re in an accident. It may also help you if you’re riding in someone else’s car and get into an accident. Plus, if you’re walking or biking and you get hit by a car, medical payments might help you cover those medical bills.

However, you need to be sure that you understand how your medical payments coverage works with your health insurance. If you have health insurance that would be there for you in the event of an accident, you might not need medical payments coverage. Make sure that you check out your health insurance to see what would happen if you’re in a car accident.

The difference.

So, the main point we’re making is this: bodily injury liability doesn’t help cover your medical bills following an accident. That’s not what it’s designed to do. (Likewise, it won’t cover your own car following an accident. You would need collision coverage to help you out in that case.) Medical payments, however, can help with those medical bills.

The other point we’re making is that it’s important to understand the coverages you have for your car and how they work. Are you covered for all the risks you face? Do you have coverages like collision and comprehensive that can help repair your car if something happens to it? Do you have coverage like rental reimbursement that can help cover the costs of renting a car if yours is in the shop following an accident?

It might seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Our team of insurance agents can help you get the car insurance you need to make sure you’re protected when you hit the road. We strive to make insurance easy, too, so that you don’t have to worry about getting stressed out when you get auto insurance. Anyways, all this is to say that you can get in touch with our team by filling out our online form, giving us a call, or messaging us on LiveChat. We’re happy to help with your insurance needs.

8 things you need to know about maintaining your car

Maintaining your car

Maintaining your car

Whether you’ve had your car for a few months or a few years, sooner or later, you’re going to have to service all its little moving parts. It can be expensive, time-consuming, and just generally unpleasant if you’re not an auto enthusiast. But there are tons of benefits to maintaining upkeep of your vehicle. These are some of the core reasons why maintaining your car is so important.

The importance of maintaining your car.

1. You’ll have a smoother drive

The funny thing about cars is that they give you warning signs of the slightest issues, and we’re not talking about just your “Check Engine” light. There are tons of sensitive parts working together to keep your car going. If even one of these parts isn’t performing at its best, you could hear grinding, squeaking, or simply the sounds of your car working harder than usual. You might also feel a shake in the steering wheel, excess heat from the hood, or a new, weird way that your engine turns over.

In any case, regular car maintenance can catch small problems like these quickly so that you have less of a rough ride on the road.

2. It saves you money in the long run

Maintaining your car can also save you from more expensive vehicle repairs later on. If something seems expensive to repair now, the replacement cost of the malfunctioning piece is usually a lot more. For example, not getting an oil change can cause parts of your engine to fail due to a lack of lubrication between parts or warping due to temperature control.

It’s important to note that your car insurance probably won’t cover damages due to neglecting vehicle maintenance. So, if something like that does happen, you’ll need to come up with the money yourself.

3. You’ll get better mileage

Think about it like this: you would run a marathon much more slowly and with greater strain if you weren’t at peak condition than if you were, right? That’s kind of how your car works. If something is wrong with it or its parts aren’t at their best, it takes a lot more effort to run like it normally should – which means it needs more fuel to run at the same pace as a “healthy” car. So, think of maintaining your car as being good for its health.

Regular vehicle maintenance can make sure that there are no loose or cracked hoses leaking vital fluid everywhere. It can also help keep your filters and tanks clean and using all the respective fluids possible in the best way. That way, you can get the most out of each gas fill-up (which, these days, are not cheap).

4. It helps you keep control of the car

Your ability to handle a car can depend on everything from power steering fluid to alignment to certain gears. If you take your car in for maintenance, even just an oil change and tire rotation, your mechanic should be able to tell you about these issues before start struggling with your steering wheel. Some auto shops will even offer you a free diagnostic check if you tell them about your car issues, so maintaining your car can be really helpful.

5. Your tires last longer

In a regular maintenance check, a mechanic can usually tell you if there’s any uneven wear on the inside or outside of your tires. They can tell you if your air pressure is low, if your alignment is off, and if it’s time to get new tires.

You may also be able to diagnose this part for yourself. There’s a small notch of rubber that looks like it links between certain treads. It’s raised to the point just before any more friction on your tire would pop it. On new tires, you won’t be able to see this easily. However, on worn tires or nearly bald tires, if you can see this notch, it’s time to get new wheels.

The treads on your tires are especially important for maintaining a safe stopping distance as well as driving and braking safely in the rain. So, this is definitely not a type of vehicle maintenance you want to put off.

6. Your car will last longer

Let’s turn back to our body analogy. If you feed your body the right fuel and keep your parts working well, then you’ll generally live longer. If you give your car the right fuel and keep its moving parts working properly, you’ll have the car longer. A mechanic is like your vehicle’s doctor. They check what may be wrong with your car, what you need to keep an eye out for, and how to keep its “body” healthy for the future.

7. Your car is safer overall

Even minor car issues can negatively affect the way your car drives. However, it can also affect your ability to stay safe on the roads. Of course, you want to get regular oil changes to keep the moving parts of your engine from grinding against each other. Of course, you want to replace your brake pads before they stop working while you’re driving. Still, some people neglect another vital part of their car’s maintenance that can keep you safe – how clean the car is.

Keeping your car clean, dusted, and vacuumed can help keep your cabin filters clearer, your windshield and mirrors crisper, and generally make your driving experience more comfortable. In turn, this gives you a clearer view of your surroundings, a greater sense of alertness, more attentiveness, and greater reaction times while you drive.

8. It’s the law

In some states, certain types of vehicle maintenance are required. Emissions testing has been a huge example of this in the past few years, and for good reason. Besides preventing the pollution of the environment, your emissions system can keep vital parts under your car from getting dusty, dirty, and therefore potentially damaged or not running optimally. So, check your state and city laws regarding how frequently you need to test your emissions and other systems.

There are tons of other ways that maintaining your car can benefit you in the long run. But if you keep these major reasons in mind, your next trip to the mechanic might not seem so bad.

If you’re looking for lower rates on the car insurance you need, talk to our experts today. We love making insurance easy, and we’re masters at finding the discounts that fit you. To start your free quotes on affordable auto insurance, just give us a call, fill out our online form, or LiveChat with a specialist today.

What do I do if I hit someone’s parked car?

What do you do if you hit someone's parked car?

What do you do if you hit someone's parked car?

Even the best and most experienced drivers may hit a parked car in their driving career. You may think, “How could someone possibly hit something that’s not moving?” But it’s more common than you think. In fact, a study showed that around 69 percent of hit-and-run accidents happened to parked cars. But how can you be the responsible party if you’ve made this small oopsie? Let’s take a look.

Read moreWhat do I do if I hit someone’s parked car?

Am I covered if someone hits my car in a parking lot?

Are you covered if someone hits your car in a parking lot?

Are you covered if someone hits your car in a parking lot?

Imagine this – you’re in the grocery store. You’re pretty pumped because they had your favorite ice cream on sale. You walk out to the parking lot and to your car…only to have any thoughts of sundaes vanish. The rear end of your car is pretty smooshed. Someone hit your poor car. Now instead of debating topping choices your question is this – are you covered if someone hits your car in a parking lot? We’ll explain.

If the other driver left you a note with their information…

Well, it would be nice if the other driver left a note on your windshield with their name and contact information. That would be helpful – and it’s also common courtesy. If you have the other driver’s information, you can give them a call and see about getting the damage repaired through their property damage liability coverage. That could be a viable option for getting the damage repaired. (In theory, the other driver should have property damage liability insurance – Georgia requires drivers to carry $25,000 of coverage per occurrence.) Then you could get your car all fixed up.

Pro tip: Take pictures of the damage.

What if the other driver took off after hitting your car in a parking lot?

What if the other driver is nowhere to be found? They might have backed into your car in the parking lot and split. (Which is pretty rude.)

You could get the damage to your car repaired through your collision coverage. (This is the coverage that can help repair or replace your car if it’s damaged in an accident or by a, well, collision with something.) If that’s what you want to do, you might want to give your insurance company a call and let them know what happened. They can give you some guidance on how to proceed.

However, you have to consider your deductible. Are the costs of the repairs going to be higher than your deductible? If they aren’t, your insurance might not be too much help. (Your deductible is how much you agree to pay if you have a claim – you have your deductible and insurance helps take care of the rest up to the policy’s limit.)

Pro tip: Call the police and have them file a report. This could help with the insurance claim.

But – if you don’t have collision coverage and you can’t locate the other driver…that’s unfortunate. Your liability insurance won’t help cover the repairs because, quite simply, that’s not what it does. Your liability insurance can help you cover your legal obligation to the other driver if you’re at fault in an accident, but it doesn’t cover your car. Bodily injury liability can help cover the other driver’s medical bills and pain and suffering while property damage liability can help cover repairs of the other driver’s car – and possibly other property you happen to damage.) It can also cover your legal expenses if the other driver sues.

Long story short – if you only carry liability insurance, your insurance isn’t going to be super helpful. That’s not its job.

So, that’s how you could get your car repaired if someone hits your car in a parking lot. You might be able to go through the other driver’s liability insurance. Or you could go through your own collision coverage if there’s no way to get ahold of the other driver. So, you have options! Your poor car will not have to stay damaged forever.

And another option you have is choosing what car insurance you want. We can help you get quotes for your car insurance to help you get great insurance at a great rate. All you have to do to get started with your auto insurance quotes is fill out our online form, give us a call, or message us on LiveChat.

What to do if you get a speeding ticket in Atlanta

Speeding ticket

Speeding ticket

Getting a speeding ticket can put a lot of stress on your mind, your wallet, and your car insurance rates. On top of a fine or worse punishment, your insurance can take quite the hit, depending on the offense. So, what steps do you need to take after a police officer gives you that little printed sheet? Here are some tips.

What to do if you get a speeding ticket.

1. Pull the car onto a shoulder, side road, or parking lot as soon as possible.

The instant you know that the officer is pulling you over, look for a safe place, out of the way of traffic, to bring your car to a complete stop. Not stopping in a timely manner could give the officer the impression that you are trying to evade them or a negative outlook of your situation before they even speak to you. When you do stop, put the car in park and turn off the engine.

2. Have your information ready and both hands on the wheel when the officer gets to your car.

If you have time before the officer gets to your car, it can help to have your license and registration already out in the open. Use slow, even movements to retrieve your documents, roll your driver side window down, and place both hands on the wheel while the officer is approaching the car.

3. Answer the officer’s questions and respond respectfully.

The officer may ask you a few questions, and they’ll explain why they’re pulling you over. Respond to any questions honestly and respectfully. Don’t give any more information than necessary or argue. During the traffic stop, this could be construed as disobeying an officer, which could result in another charge. If you have any complaints or arguments against the tickets, save them for the court date that will be printed on the ticket (more on that later).

4. Listen carefully to the officer & be observant.

Make sure you clearly understand all of the information they’re giving you and what you’re being cited for. Note the road conditions and if there were any external factors preventing you from obeying the speed limit. The officer may also ask you to sign a document when they pull you over. The document isn’t an admission that you were speeding; it’s just an acknowledgment that you have received the speeding ticket.

What to do if you get a speeding ticket

5. After you’re given the ticket, drive safely to your destination.

You may be a little shaken up from an encounter with the police. Breathe slowly in and out before you pull off. After you’ve safely arrived at your destination, carefully read the information on your ticket. It’ll tell you how to proceed.

6. Read over the ticket carefully

Read over the ticket carefully and understand the noted reason for the stop. Make sure you know how far over the limit they registered your speed, and if they’re citing you for any other offenses. These factors can affect the number of points added to your license. In the state of Georgia, if you have 15 total points on your license within two years, you could have your license suspended.

7. Find the court date/due date of your ticket.

Every traffic ticket issued will have a court date noted on the document. This is the date on which you must appear in court if you have not paid the fine beforehand. Here’s where it’s important to understand your options:

  • Pay the fine

The easiest and quickest way that most drivers put a traffic ticket behind them is to pay the listed fine before the court date on the citation. Remember to read your ticket carefully when it comes to paying your fine. Some counties in Georgia may still require you to show up in court even if you pay the fine beforehand.

Paying the ticket may be an immediate fix, but depending on where you were issued the speeding ticket, the fine may be hundreds of dollars. Plus, the offense will be marked on your MVR, which may raise your insurance rates in the long run.

  • Take a defensive driving course.

In some cases, a speeding ticket may be dismissed if you agree to take a certified defensive driving course. You’ll need to call your local municipal court to find out if this is an option for your situation, where to take the course, and what type of documentation you’ll need to prove that you’ve attended.

  • Appear in court

You can also choose to fight your ticket in court on the date that’s printed on the citation. Before you appear, build your case noting what type of speed tracking device the officer was using, the time of day you were pulled over, and any legally justifiable reasons that you may have been going over the speed limit (i.e. a speed limit sign that was not clearly visible, a recent change in the timing of a speed limit in effect, a medical emergency, etc.) You’ll have to do some research on what a court may find to be a “legally justifiable” reason to speed.

Keep in mind that if the citing officer doesn’t show up in court on your court date, the ticket will more than likely be dismissed. But don’t count on them not showing up! Be prepared!

  • Do nothing

Of course, you could always choose to do nothing. You could choose to ignore the court date and not pay the fine. However, this would either result in your license being suspended and/or a warrant for your arrest for failure to appear in court.

Overall, it’s important to remain alert and drive at a safe speed whenever you’re on the road. Doing so can keep you and other drivers safe, save you from paying hefty fines, as well as keep your car insurance rates down. However, if you do find yourself being pulled over, it can help to know exactly what to do during and after you’re given a speeding ticket.

For other sticky situations, our experts are here to save you money on the right car insurance. We can give you quotes on the coverages that fit your specific situation at prices that fit your needs. To get started with your quotes, call us today, fill out our easy online form, or LiveChat with an insurance specialist today!

8 tips for buying a car in Atlanta

Buying a car

Buying a car

Buying a car is a big purchase. There’s a lot you have to consider when you decide to get a new vehicle, and it can be a time-consuming process. As evidenced by Atlanta traffic, many people in the city and metro areas need cars to get around. Public transit in Atlanta…well, they tried. Anyways, you want to make sure you’re completely happy with your new ride, after all, because if you’re not…well, that’s unfortunate. You might just be stuck with that car for a while. Anyways, we’ve got a few tips for buying a car in Atlanta.

8 tips for buying a car in Atlanta

1. Know your budget.

Well, first things first, right? You need to know how much you’re willing to spend on your car. It’s a good idea to know what your price range is when you’re going in. That way you might be able to avoid falling in love with a car, only to find that it’s not exactly realistic. That only leads to heartbreak. So, protect your heart – and your bank account – by knowing what’s going to work out for you money-wise.

2. Do your research.

When you’re buying a car, you need to make sure the car is going to suit your needs. Consider what you’re going to be using the car for. Are you going to be commuting a ways for work? Or are you looking for a vehicle to drive the kids around? Think about what kind of car will make the most sense for you.

This can give you a place to start when you’re thinking about what kind of car you want to get. Do you want a sedan? An SUV? A van? A crossover? (Or maybe start simpler – do you want a small car or a big car?) Once you’ve got an idea of the kind of car you want, you can start considering make and model.

Next is thinking about other details. What are the safety and crash ratings of the car you’re thinking about? Is the car a reliable one? (Since you probably want your car to last you a while, safety and reliability are kind of important.) Do some reading up on the types of cars you’re thinking about. You can also ask friends and family about the cars they drive – maybe they happen to drive a car that you like, or maybe they once had the same make and model of car that you’re thinking about.

Okay. If you have a general idea of the make and model of car you want, you also have to decide whether you want to buy a new car or a used car. Would you rather have a brand spanking new vehicle, or are you okay with one that’s gently used with a few miles on it? (This may make a difference in the price you’ll pay for the car – keep that in mind.) There are pros and cons to both a new car and a used car.

Phew. That’s a lot of things to consider…and it doesn’t end there.

Now comes the super fun part – price. Since buying a car is a big thing, you want to make sure you’re getting a fair price. And that means you need to do yet more research to find out what’s a good price for the year, make, and model of the car you’re considering. You’ll have an idea of how much you need to be prepared to pay when you go to actually purchase the vehicle. That way you know if the car salesperson is giving you a price that’s decent or a price that’s ridiculous. Even if you really want the car, you might need to be patient if it means saving some money. (You also might want to compare the price of getting a used car versus getting a new car – will you save a significant amount by getting a car that’s a year or two old?)

Pro tip: If you’re getting a used car, you might want to take it to a trusted mechanic to have a once-over to make sure everything’s okay.

If you're buying a car, do your research.

3. Consider how you want to finance the car.

Okay, unless you’re absolutely rolling in money or you’ve been saving up for quite a while, you’re probably thinking that you’re going to need to get a loan for the car.

Check out some different options to get the money to buy the car. Do you want to finance the car through the dealership, or do you want to take out a loan from your bank? What’s going to be the best game plan in the long run? There’s more than one way to finance a car.

4. Do some test drives.

It’s also important to test drive different vehicles. That way you can decide on the make and model that works best for you. Reading about a car online might give you an idea of what it’s like, but that’s not the same as actually being able to see the car itself – or taking the wheel and going for a test drive. You need to see how the car handles. (And more importantly – does it have enough cup holders? Just kidding. But not really.)

And when you’re ready to buy a car, you might want to test drive the specific vehicle that you’re going to purchase. (That way you can see if it has any issues and if it handles the way you thought it would.)

5. Consider going to different dealerships.

If you’re not finding what you’re looking for at the dealership you visit, go to a different one. Find out what dealerships are in your area and maybe plan to go to a few of them before you get your car. You never know – you might be able to get a vehicle with different features.

6. Be prepared to negotiate.

You’ve got to be prepared to negotiate when you walk into a dealership. It can be a little scary, so don’t let yourself get pushed around and don’t get pressured into buying a car that you’re not 100% sold on. It can be intimidating, so go into it knowing that you can walk away. (Also – don’t be afraid to walk away if it doesn’t seem like you’re going to get a good price.) The negotiation process can be a bit of a rigmarole and a little back and forth. Try not to get too flustered. And remember – they can’t force you to buy a car. It’s your money.

7. Don’t forget car insurance.

There’s another expense you have to remember when you’re buying a car: auto insurance. You can’t avoid it. The state of Georgia requires drivers to carry $25,000 of bodily injury liability per person, $50,000 of bodily injury liability per occurrence, and $25,000 of property damage liability. At any rate, it’s important to have a game plan for insuring your new car and to familiarize yourself with the coverages you might need. We’ll give a brief overview of some different coverages.

  • Bodily injury liability: Helps cover the other driver’s medical expenses and pain and suffering if you’re at fault in an accident. (Can also help with your legal expenses if you get sued.)
  • Property damage liability: Helps cover the repairs or replacement of the other driver’s car if you’re at fault in an accident – and may help replace other property you might damage, i.e. a fence.
  • Collision coverage: Helps repair or replace YOUR car if you’re in an accident or if you hit something.
  • Comprehensive coverage: Helps repair or replace YOUR car if it’s damaged by something other than an accident. Losses covered typically include fire, theft, vandalism, animal strike, and falling objects, i.e. a tree branch.
  • Uninsured/Underinsured motorist: Helps you out if you’re hit by a driver without insurance (uninsured) or without enough insurance to cover the damages of the accident (underinsured).
  • Rental reimbursement: Helps cover the cost of a rental car if your car is damaged in an accident and needs to be in the shop.
  • Medical payments: Helps cover your medical bills and those of your passengers if you’re in a car wreck.

Note: You may be required to carry collision and comprehensive coverage if you’ve got a car payment and a lender.

8. Think about gap insurance.

Now. If you’re buying a new car, you might also want to think about gap insurance.

Here’s the thing:

The value of a car depreciates rapidly. It’s just a fact. So, if you’ve taken out a loan to pay for your car, you might end up owing more on the loan than your car is worth. If your car is totaled, you’ll probably only get the Actual Cash Value of the vehicle at the time of the loss – meaning its depreciated value. And, as we said, that amount might be smaller than the amount you owe on your loan – in which case, you’d have a bit of a sticky situation on your hands.

But that’s where gap insurance comes in. It can help you out if you find yourself in the pickle of having a loan balance that’s greater than the value of your car.

For example, let’s say you take out a $28,000 loan to pay for your car. You’re paying it off. You owe $26,000 on the loan and the vehicle is worth $24,000 when you’re in a bad wreck and the car is totaled. That $2,000 is the “gap” we’re talking about here. (Well, it actually stands for guaranteed asset protection, but gap just makes sense.)

Okay. At this point, you might be asking yourself if you’re still set on buying a car. It seems exhausting. But it’s worth it. If you take your time and remember to be patient, you’ll be cruising along in your cool new ride in no time.

And if you need insurance for that new car, we can help. Give us a call, message us on LiveChat, or fill out our online quote form and we’ll be happy to help you get the coverage you need to protect yourself and your new baby.

Why do I need to get car insurance in Atlanta?

Why do you need to get car insurance?

Why do you need to get car insurance?

So, car insurance is a thing. It’s just something you can’t avoid if you want to drive on Atlanta’s streets. And the problem is that it’s a hit to your wallet when you have to cough over the money for your car insurance premium. So, why is that necessary? Why do you need to get car insurance? Well, there are plenty of good reasons, and we’re going to go over four of them.

Why do I need to get car insurance?

1. It’s the law.

States require drivers to carry certain amounts of car insurance. It’s just the law. Georgia, for example, mandates drivers to carry $25,000 bodily injury liability per person, $50,000 bodily injury liability per occurrence, and $25,000 property damage liability. These requirements for limits of insurance are meant to protect other drivers on the road from, well, you.

Bodily injury liability can help cover the other driver’s medical bills and pain and suffering if you’re at-fault in an accident, while property damage liability can help with the repairs or replacement of the car. (Basically, it helps you cover your legal obligation to the other driver if you injure them or damage their car in an accident.)

If you don’t have proper car insurance and you get pulled over or cause an accident, you could have some major trouble on your hands.

(Note that we didn’t mention anything about liability insurance protecting your car…because it doesn’t. We’ll get to that in a minute.)

So that’s one (but really two) good reasons why you need car insurance: because it’s the law and because it can help you help those that you could injure in an accident.

2. Car insurance can help you repair your vehicle if it’s damaged by a covered loss.

If you have collision and comprehensive coverage, your car insurance can help you repair or replace your vehicle if it’s damaged by a covered loss. (Remember, your liability insurance only helps you cover your obligation to the other driver if you’re at fault in an accident – it won’t cover damages to your car. It also won’t help you if your car is damaged by something other than a collision, like fire.)

So, that’s why you ought to consider having collision and comprehensive coverage.

Collision coverage – Helps you repair or replace your vehicle if it’s damaged in a wreck or by a, well, collision with something.

Comprehensive coverage – Helps repair or replace your car if something other than a collision damages it. Some losses that can be covered are: fire, theft, animal strike, vandalism, and falling objects (i.e. a tree branch.)

While Georgia technically doesn’t require you to have collision and comprehensive coverage, it’s definitely something to think about. It can be a real financial safety net if some sort of calamity befalls your car. Don’t overlook it – your car is a huge financial investment, after all. So, there’s another reason why you need car insurance.

3. Your lender/lienholder may require you to carry collision and comprehensive coverage.

If you have a lender or lienholder for your car (the people who ask politely for money for your car payment) they may require you to have collision and comprehensive coverage for your car. That makes sense – they want to make sure the car they helped you pay for is protected. It’s important that you know what their requirements are and that you get the insurance they want you to have.

4. With UM/UIM coverage, you can be protected if you’re hit by a driver without insurance or without enough insurance.

Let’s say that you’re involved in a car accident and the other driver is at fault. The only problem is that they don’t have enough insurance to cover all of your medical bills resulting from an accident – they’re underinsured. Or what if they don’t have insurance – they’re uninsured. With uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM coverage), your car insurance can help you if the driver who hit you doesn’t have enough insurance (or any insurance) to cover all of your medical bills or the total cost of the accident. (Even if the driver has the legal, required limits of car insurance, those minimum limits might not be enough to cover all the costs of an accident.) As we all know, hospital and medical expenses can be quite astronomical. With UM/UIM coverage, you could get some help covering those bills.

So, those are four compelling reasons to get car insurance. Not only is it the law, but it’s also a financial safety net. Get started with car insurance quotes by filling out our online quote form, messaging us on LiveChat, or calling us.

What is boat insurance?

Get the right boat insurance for your watercraft.

Get the right boat insurance for your watercraft.

If you’re ready to live a sea- (or lake-) faring dream, you might be interested in boat insurance. Buying a boat can be a huge investment that’s largely rewarding all around. However, owning a boat requires a lot of upkeep, an up-to-date knowledge of your local boating laws, and the ability to protect yourself and your vessel if worst comes to worst. So, here’s a guide to getting the best boating insurance to stay safe off the shore.

Is boat insurance required in Georgia?

While there are various regulations regarding age of operation, boat identification, and registration, Georgia does not require boat insurance to own a vessel. However, being out on the water can be more dangerous than you think. There are tons of risks that a boat owner may face and that may cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars to resolve without the proper boat insurance.

What are the risks of driving a boat?

Although boating may be a very low-stress activity, there are tons of high-risk situations that you can be exposed to. Many boating laws and safety training may specifically warn about hazards such as:

  • Drowning
  • Dams
  • Submerged objects
  • Powerful currents
  • Waves
  • Inclement weather
  • Hypothermia
  • Carbon Monoxide from gas fumes

While some of these instances may be preventable, you’re mostly subject to Mother Nature on the water. And nature is nowhere near predictable. So, it’s important to consider the type of protection you’ll need in the aftermath of a particularly harmful event before it happens.

Boat safety is a must.

What type of insurance do I need for a boat?

If you have a small watercraft such as a canoe, paddleboat, or rowboat, the personal property portion of your home insurance policy typically covers damages and theft to those boats.

However, if you’re setting sail fairly soon in something bigger, you’ll need personal watercraft (PWC) coverage. This type of insurance works a little like your car insurance in the way that it can help you cover costs due to:

Liability & Medical Payments

Let’s say that you set sail with a few passengers after checking a weather report.  The forecast is set to be bright and sunny until that evening. However, halfway through the day and your leisurely cruise, there’s an accident. Everyone on the ship is tossed around, and one passenger suffers a concussion and a few other major injuries.

If you have the right boat insurance, your carrier could help you pay for the injured passenger’s medical expenses, including any hospital stays, doctor visits, medications, or therapy.

The liability portion could help you cover legal expenses if there’s an accident and an injured party takes you to court. PWC insurance also usually covers water sports liability coverage in case someone is hurt while they’re waterskiing, wakeboarding, tubing, etc. off of your boat.

Property damage

Your boat is an expensive investment. So, paying out repairs or replacing your boat entirely after an accident isn’t the ideal situation. Fortunately, PWC insurance also usually includes physical damage coverage.

This part of your insurance may not just help you cover your watercraft itself. It can also help you cover the costs of repairing or replacing your boat’s equipment, such as anchors, oars, fuel tanks, life jackets, dinghies, and other tools if they’re damaged in an accident or stolen.

Additional Boat Insurance Coverages

Liability and property damage coverages are, of course, only the baseline types of coverage for a worst-case scenario. There are still other specific situations in which your vessel may need to be covered. So, talk to your agent about adding these types of boating-specific coverage:

  • Reasonable repairs: Unlike car insurance coverage, you may be able to add coverage to help you with the costs of repairing the equipment on your ship before it becomes a bigger, more hazardous problem.
  • Emergency service: If someone has to tow your boat or provide other emergency services to you out on the water, you might want to have emergency service coverage for your boat to help you handle the bill. Think of it like the roadside assistance coverage you can get for your car.
  • Wreck Removal: It’s not fun to think about, but if your boat is wrecked into pieces and beyond recognition, normal PWC coverage may not cover the costs it will take to clean up the debris of your boat. It may also not cover the hazmat costs of clearing up any pollution from the water. That’s why it’s important to talk to your agent about adding wreck removal coverage in case your boat is broken apart, has sunk, or has been ordered to be destroyed.

Sometimes, it can be difficult to properly insure your belongings if you don’t know where to start. Hopefully, this guide can give you the building blocks to consider and properly cover the risks of owning and operating a rewarding watercraft.

Once you’ve made the decision to buy a boat, protecting yourself from these risks can be smooth sailing with our insurance experts. Whether you have a broad idea of the risks you need to insure or if you need help every step of the way, our specialists are here to help you get the unique boat insurance you need for the best price. Call us today, fill out our online form, or LiveChat with an agent now to start saving money on your PWC coverage.

10 GA driving laws to know about

You need to know about these Georgia driving laws.

You need to know about these Georgia driving laws.

Drivers’ ed may be a course that’s long behind you, but Georgia driving laws are updated more regularly than you would think. In fact, if you’re a seasoned driver, you may not be aware of some of the most vital GA driving laws and their conditions. So, here are the top 10 GA driving laws that you need to know to remain a safe and informed Georgia driver.

10 Georgia driving laws you should know about.

1. You’re required by law to have car insurance.

Georgia law requires all drivers to have a certain amount of car insurance. However, many people don’t know that the minimum requirement for car insurance in Georgia does NOT cover their car or their passengers and may not even be enough to cover the other driver if you’re in an accident.

The state minimum requirement for auto insurance is only 25/50/25, which means that every driver is required to have at least $25,000 worth of bodily liability insurance per person, $50,000 of bodily liability insurance per accident, and $25,000 of property damage insurance. Again, bodily injury liability and property damage coverage do NOT cover damages to your car or the injuries of you and your passengers. If you want coverage for your vehicle, you may want to consider collision and comprehensive coverage for your auto insurance policy.

Additionally, Georgia’s minimum coverage limits may not be enough to completely cover the other driver if you’re in an accident. If they sue you and you’re found liable for more than your insured limit, you could be on the hook. That’s why you should also consider increasing the amount of liability and property damage coverage on your policy or consider personal umbrella insurance.

2. Hands-free Driving

In 2018, Georgia passed a totally hands-free driving law, making it illegal for any driver to simply hold an electronic device while operating a car. This law extends farther than restricting texting and driving. The law was passed this way so that it would be easier to enforce distracted laws throughout the state. Before the law, in most cases, police would not be able to prove that a driver was texting and driving instead of simply holding the phone to speak.

However, this doesn’t mean that it is completely illegal to use a device while driving in Georgia. On the contrary, it is still legal on the road to:

  • Use hands-free technology to talk on the phone
  • Use Speech-to-Text to text or make notes
  • Use GPS or a navigation app
  • Use a smartwatch
  • Use an earpiece (but not headphones)
  • Use your phone to report an accident, medical emergency, fire, crime, or hazardous road condition
  • Use a radio, CB radio, subscription-based emergency communication device, prescribed medical device, or in-vehicle security system
  • Use your phone while parked in an off-the-road location (NOT stopped at a stop sign/light)

So, this is one of our important Georgia driving laws to know about.

3. Don’t be a “slowpoke”

That’s right: you may be stopped in Georgia for going too slowly in the improper lane. The Georgia “Slowpoke Law” mandates that if a faster car approaches you while you’re driving in the left lane on a highway, you must move out of the way of that car, even if you are going the speed limit. You may even see highway signs that state “Slower traffic, move right.” Failure to move over may result in a fine or a ticket.

4. Slow Down/Move Over

Speaking of moving over, Georgia has also created a law to slow down and move over for not only police cars stopped on road shoulders, but emergency responders, tow truck drivers, and garbage trucks. Numerous emergency responders and assistance workers are killed because of vehicles that fail to obey this law.

So, if you see a vehicle with, not just flashing blue lights, but flashing orange or yellow lights, either move over one lane away from the vehicle or slow down to at least 10 mph below the speed limit.

There are lots of Georgia driving laws that you need to know about.

5. Make sure your headlights are on in the rain

This law is more than just a safety recommendation. Georgia law requires cars to turn their headlights on in the rain, even in the daytime. Headlights can increase your ability to see other cars in the rain, but it can also help other cars see you. So, even if you have automatic headlights, make sure that they turn on and that you’ve maintained them well enough to see through a storm and at night (at least 300 ft in front of the vehicle). Also, make sure that your taillights are operational and visible when your headlights turn on as a part of your regular vehicle maintenance.

6. If an intersection’s traffic light is out, treat it as a four-way stop

Sometimes power outages happen in your home or just within your neighborhood block. However, if you find yourself at an intersection usually lit up by a traffic light and its power is out, Georgia law dictates that you treat the intersection as a four-way stop. This means that whoever approaches the intersection comes to a full stop and then has the right of way. If two or more cars stop at the intersection at the same time, the driver to the left of the person on the main road goes first, and then each driver takes turns going, clockwise, around the intersection.

Of course, if the emergency lights for the intersection activate where there are either blinking yellow or red lights, follow those signals. And always stay alert!

7. Joshua’s Law

This law is essentially the series of Georgia-specific requirements to get a license. It generally focuses on proper driving education and knowledge for a teen to get their permit through a graduated license program. Most states have their own versions of this law. However, Joshua’s law is specific to Georgia’s requirements regarding written and field exams for GA drivers starting at the age of 15 with a learner’s/instructional permit. (It’s really important to make sure that teen drivers are aware of Georgia driving laws.)

8. Click it or Ticket

Seatbelts have a lot more benefits than just keeping you strapped down in an accident. However, before this Georgia law, many drivers still opted for keeping themselves unbuckled. The state’s “Click it or Ticket” law enforces a hefty fine for any driver in Georgia, whether they are licensed in the state or not, who drives without wearing a seatbelt. There are very few exceptions for this law, with most of them being emergency responders or slower vehicles.

9. You CAN drive without shoes

This one is more for the beach bums of Georgia or people looking for a little relief from the confines of shoes. It’s a large myth that law enforcement can pull you over for driving without shoes on. In fact, this “law” has never existed in the state. Unless it impedes your driving in another way, kicking off your shoes to ride around on the open road is not illegal in Georgia. Maybe that’s one of the weirder Georgia driving laws (or rather not laws) out there, but still worth a mention.

10. No open containers

Even if you’re playing the role of designated driver for a night out, make sure that no one in your car has an open container of alcohol. This includes resealable containers, cups, or bottles. While the charge may not be the same as a DUI, there is a large fine for the driver of the vehicle if there are any unsealed alcoholic beverages present. Plus, the officer may have grounds to issue a field sobriety test or a breathalyzer test if they see an open container.

These are by no means a complete list of Georgia driving laws you need to know. However, these basic reminders can put you on the path to creating a safer road system for you, your passengers, and other drivers out there. It can also help you save money on Georgia car insurance. Safe and knowledgeable drivers can qualify for discounts and lower rates.

Our auto insurance experts can help you uncover all of the secrets to saving on your auto insurance. To start getting customized quotes on the best rates for your Georgia auto insurance, give our experts a call, fill out our online form, or start LiveChatting with an agent today!

10 places to RV around Georgia

There are lots of places to RV around Georgia.

There are lots of places to RV around Georgia.

The summer means it’s the official start to RV season. The South is full of wide-open spaces and scenic routes that are perfect for stopping to smell the flowers. With so much beautiful scenery, it can be daunting to narrow down your next road trip destination. So, here are the top 10 places to RV around Georgia if you love the great outdoors!

10 places to RV around Georgia

1. Cloudland Canyon in Rising Fawn, GA

Cloudland Canyon has been one of the more popular picks for Georgia travel guides lately, and for good reason. Along with its stunning waterfalls and picturesque view of the North Georgia mountains, its hiking trails offer a challenging trek while providing breathtaking views. However, the canyon offers trails for every level of outdoor enthusiast, including the Overlook Trail, Waterfalls Trail, and the West Rim Loop.

In addition to its 72 tent, trailer, and RV campsites, visitors also have the option to book a stay in the park yurts. With activities like canyon climbing, caving, and horseback riding, a trip to Cloudland Canyon is sure to awaken and excite your inner adventurer.

2. Tallulah Gorge in Tallulah Falls, GA

Tallulah Falls has also been a popular pick as a place to RV around Georgia. The state park lies only a few miles west of where the Savannah and Chattooga Rivers meet to define the Georgia/South Carolina border.

Hikers can obtain a permit to trek the gorge floor, or they may test their skills on the sliding rock trail or the Hurricane Falls staircase. If a leisurely nature walk is more of your thing, the gorge has tons of other hiking trails along its rim, including the suspension bridge.

There are also tons of activities to partake in for a weekend getaway. You can try your hand at archery or take your family on a scavenger hunt with the gorge’s geocaching locations. There are also plenty of water features where you’re free to fish, swim, picnic, paddleboat, and white-water kayak to your heart’s content.

After you’ve had your fill of the great outdoors, it’s only a short trip to nearby towns Blairsville, Dahlonega, and Helen, which have tons of interesting exhibits showing off some Georgia history. Dahlonega even has a Gold Museum!

3. Cumberland Island in St. Mary’s, GA

Cumberland Island also makes our list of places to RV around Georgia. If you’re more of a coastal voyager, Cumberland Island offers tons of RV options to quench your thirst for adventure. While the island itself is undeveloped, there are tons of RV campsites near the ferry. The island also has a Leave No Trace policy, which makes for a gorgeous way to experience the seashore and Cumberland Island’s rich, and untouchable history as Georgia’s biggest barrier island.

Take a boat tour with Crooked River State Park or find tons of other places to park that offer activities like biking, boating, fishing, geocaching, and even mini golf! Learn a ton about nature around the Georgia coast at a wildlife reserve or just walk along Cumberland’s beach to catch a glimpse of the wild crabs, tortoises, herons, deer, or horses. You can even dive deep into the history of the island, from the Native American tribes that lived nearby to the Carnegie family and the island’s role in Southern history as a whole.

4. Jekyll Island in Glynn County, GA

Jekyll Island is a favorite for nature enthusiasts, whether they’re venturing out on their own or with a local school group. The island has tons of activities and trails to keep your weekend occupied.

Learn about the historic district through a golf cart tour, the island archives, or Mosaic, Jekyll’s official museum. Or take a peek at the numerous forms of wildlife found in the forests, beaches, and wildlife reserves. Even if you want to sidestep the beautiful beaches, take a stroll over to Horton Pond or glimpse a sea creature at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center.

You can pick from lots of places to RV around Georgia.

5. H. Stephens State Park in Crawfordville, GA

If you want to sneak away to a hidden gem this summer, take an RV ride over to Crawfordville, GA for a camping trip in A.H. Stephens State Park. There’s tons of history to take in and unique activities for the whole family.

This park is more for the easy-going camper who just wants to get away from it all, especially when you consider that Crawfordville is a “dark zone.” This means that the stars shine brightly almost every night without light pollution. So, you can count the constellations without interruption after a day of hiking, biking, and horseback riding in a quiet town.

6. DeSoto Falls near Helen, GA

Rumor has it that a piece of the armor of the explorer, Hernando de Soto, was found near the falls, giving the location its historic name. But whether you visit for the history or the views, you can bet you’ll have a breathtaking experience at DeSoto Falls.

The trail through the Chattahoochee National Forest to the legendary falls is lined with stunning rhododendrons. It’s fit for hiking for the whole family. The entire hike is relatively easy, so even your furry friend may be able to enjoy the walk to the park’s two waterfalls and nearby creeks, shaded by the beautiful canopy of trees along the way. And therefore DeSoto Falls makes our list of places to RV around Georgia.

7. Racoon Mountain in Chattanooga, TN

Racoon Mountain in Chattanooga also makes our list of places to RV around Georgia. If you’re up for going a bit off of the beaten path and outside of the state borders to frolic through some foliage, Raccoon Mountain Caverns & Campground might be the RV destination for you. Not only can you take in spectacular views of the Tennessee mountains, but the campgrounds offer opportunities to pan for gems! Not to mention that the area around the mountain is a state-designated wildlife observation area.

The Raccoon Mountains offer playgrounds and seasonal pools for your family outing, but there are also cavern tours and swinging/hiking bridge trails to tap into your inner mountaineer. This particular campsite is also close to other popular hiking sights such as Ruby Falls and Lookout Mountain. Plus, if you want to extend your adventure to the city of Chattanooga, there are tons of attractions that the nearby city has to offer.

8. Noccalula Falls in Gadsden, AL

Whether you know it as Black Creek Falls or Noccalula Falls, the legend of love stays the same and stays prevalent in this scenic Alabama location. The entire park emits energy of love and awe, whether that’s for your loved one, yourself, or just the beauty of nature.

You can take a walk on the wild side with 5 miles of crushed stone hiking and biking trails or take part in a bit of living history with the Falls’ theatrical production of The Noccalula Experience. The park also offers mini golf and various couples’ packages if you have a few passengers tagging along for your out-of-town RV ride.

9. Black Mountain in Pisgah Forest, NC

North Carolina is no stranger to beautiful natural scenery, but Black Mountain takes the cake! Black Mountain is considered the Cradle of Forestry. So, take advantage of the access to the Heritage site or hike up tons of hiking trail options near this part of the Appalachian Trail. The park’s campgrounds are also near the South Toe River. So, if you want a cool way to cool off, check out their options for swimming, fly fishing, and tubing as well! And that’s why Black Mountain makes our list of places to RV around Georgia.

10. Table Rock State Park in Pickens, SC

Last, but not least, Table Rock State Park can be one for the RV books – especially in fall. The view of color-changing trees far and wide can make the trek to the top of the mountain all the more worth it.

Of course, there are tons of sights to see year-round, including the park’s waterfalls and the 80-mile Foothills Trail that leads to various other state parks in South Carolina. The park also hosts a “Music on the Mountain” bluegrass concert every second Saturday of the month. Plus, Table Rock hosts various events and activities like birding, fishing, and kayak rentals throughout the entire year.

So, that concludes our list of 10 places to RV around Georgia. How’s that for a start to your summer RVing road map? Remember, before you hit the road, make sure you have the right insurance coverage for your RV. That way, you’ll be protected from whatever adventure comes your way. Call our auto insurance experts today to get the RV insurance you need while saving money for your summer road trips!