What is UM/UIM coverage, and why is it important?

UM/UIM coverage can help protect you if you're hit by a driver who doesn't have insurance.

UM/UIM coverage can help protect you if you're hit by a driver who doesn't have insurance.

Everyone wants to save money on car insurance. Maybe you’ve done the research, and now you have the exact types of coverage you need for the lowest price you can get. However, some people settle for the bare minimum of car insurance coverage to save money, or they just don’t get insurance (despite that being extremely illegal).

What do you do if you’re in an accident with someone who cut corners in their coverage? Carriers have actually come up with a great solution: Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist insurance. Here, we’ll tell you what it is, what it does, and why you should consider adding it to your policy.

What is Underinsured/Uninsured Motorist Insurance?

When you’re in an accident, whoever is at fault has a legal duty to the other driver to help cover any repair fees, medical bills, lost wages, etc. resulting from the accident. If the driver’s car insurance policy doesn’t have a high enough coverage limit to do that, then how do you get the extra money to handle the damage?

In comes Underinsured (UIM)/Uninsured (UM) coverage. This part of your policy can help pick up the slack from what the at-fault driver’s insurance doesn’t cover.

What’s the difference between an UNinsured and an UNDERinsured motorist?

An UNinsured motorist Is someone who just doesn’t have car insurance, whether they’ve had it lapse, they haven’t paid for a plan, or they just didn’t apply for a policy in the first place.

“Wait, isn’t it illegal to drive without car insurance?” Yes. Very. However, the Insurance Research Council reports that about 1 in 7 drivers still don’t have car insurance. So, while they’ll have their own set of problems to deal with (including fines and possible jail time), it’s important that you have UM/UIM coverage so that you can minimize your own issues after an accident.

UM/UIM coverage can protect you if you're hit by a driver without enough insurance.

An UNDERinsured motorist is someone who just doesn’t have enough car insurance to pay for the damages of an accident. An underinsured driver may just have the legal minimum of liability coverage for their car insurance. While that may legally give them insurance coverage, the liability limits of minimum requirement car insurance are rarely enough to help cover your medical bills or damage to your actual car.

Will my insurance cover a hit-and-run?

Say someone hits your bumper in a parking lot or scrapes the side of your car when they’re pulling out of a parking space, or just slams into the side of your car and takes off. In cases like these, you have no way of contacting the driver, nor getting ahold of their insurance (unless you’re a mind reader). So, in insurance terms, you were hit by an uninsured motorist and would need UM/UIM coverage to help pay for the damages.

Am I required to have UM/UIM coverage in Georgia?

You’re not technically required to have UM/UIM insurance in GA but consider this: The minimum requirement for insurance in GA is only 25/50/25. This means that the minimum amount of coverage required is $25,000 bodily injury liability per person, $50,000 per accident, and $25,000 in property damage.

So, if the person who hits you only has that $25,000 to cover bodily injury liability, some of that money can be taken out for their court fees if you decide to sue them. So, you’ll only be compensated for less than $25,000 to help pay for your hospital bills, follow-up doctor visits, physical therapy, and other medical expenses resulting from the accident.

With UM/UIM coverage, your insurance can help fill in that gap between the other driver’s coverage limit and the actual cost of your medical expenses. So, the peace of mind can be worth the extra policy or endorsement to your personal umbrella insurance policy.

Keep in mind that UM/UIM insurance also has a minimum coverage limit that may still be less than the bodily injury and property damage bills you incur. So, the best course of action for determining the UM/UIM coverage you need is to get a policy that offers the same amount of coverage as your normal car insurance policy.

So, why should you get UM/UIM coverage? The simple answer is peace of mind. When you first started driving, you may have heard the adage that you have to drive for you and everyone else on the road. So, that can also include parts of your insurance coverage.

If you’re worried about the cost of adding this policy to your car insurance, don’t be! Our insurance experts are the best at asking the right questions to help you save money on the auto insurance you need. So, call us today or fill out our online form to start your free, easy quotes.

Decoding 7 different auto insurance coverages

There are many different auto insurance coverages.
There are many different auto insurance coverages.

The world of car insurance can seem very overwhelming and complicated. Insurance isn’t as simple as choosing a one-size-fits all policy. There are different coverages to think about as you’re getting insurance for your vehicle. But what do each of those coverages do? How can they help you and how to do they protect your bank account in the event of a loss or claim? We’re going to decode 7 different Atlanta insurance coverages for you.

Breaking down 7 auto insurance coverages.

1. Auto liability.

Okay, this one is really important as far as auto insurance coverages go. It’s the coverage that’s required by the state. Basically, it helps you cover the costs that you’re legally obligated to pay to another driver if you’re at fault in an accident. It can also help you cover legal expenses if you get sued.

There are different parts to auto liability insurance.

Bodily injury liability can help cover the medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages of the other driver and their passengers if you’re at fault in a car accident. It can help you cover your legal obligations to them.

Property damage liability can help cover the damages to other peoples’ property if you damage it with your vehicle. For example, it can help cover the repairs or replacement of the other driver’s car if you get into a car accident. (Note that it will not cover the damages to your own vehicle.)

Pro tip: The minimum limits of liability insurance in Georgia are 25,000/50,000/25,000. That means that you would have $25,000 of bodily injury insurance per person, $50,000 of bodily injury liability per accident, and $25,000 of property damage liability. (However, you might want to consider getting higher limits of coverage than the state minimum in order to protect yourself in case you ever get into a serious accident.)

2. Collision coverage.

Now, we mentioned that liability insurance won’t cover damages to your car if you’re at-fault in an accident. But that’s where collision coverage comes in – it can help you cover the repair or replacement of your own car if you’re in an accident or otherwise have a collision. (As far as auto insurance coverages go, this can help you protect your car.)

3. Comprehensive coverage.

Once again, liability coverage does not provide protection for your car. Comprehensive coverage can help you repair or replace your car if it’s damaged by something other than an accident. It covers losses like animal strikes, fire, vandalism, and falling objects (i.e. trees). It can even cover theft.

Pro tip: If you have a loan for your car, your lender or lienholder may require you to carry comprehensive and collision coverage.

4. Uninsured motorist/Underinsured motorist (UM/UIM).

Uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist coverage (UM/UIM) can help protect you financially if you are ever hit by a driver who does not have insurance (uninsured motorist) or who doesn’t have enough insurance to cover the total cost of the accident (underinsured motorist.)

Liability insurance is required by the state of Georgia, but not all drivers carry it. And some drivers might only have the minimum limits, which might not be enough to cover all the expenses resulting from a serious accident. That’s why you might want to consider UM/UIM when you’re thinking about auto insurance coverages.

5. Medical payments.

Medical payments coverage is a no-fault coverage that can help you cover your medical bills and the medical bills of your passengers following an accident.

6. Rental reimbursement coverage.

If you’re in a car accident, you might need to get a rental car while your own vehicle is in the shop being repaired. Rental reimbursement coverage can help you cover the expenses of renting a car while you’re waiting for your car to be fixed. It’s usually a fairly inexpensive coverage to add to your car insurance policy, but one that could come in handy. There will typically be a limit of coverage per day and per accident (for example, $30 per day and $900 per accident.)

7. Gap insurance.

Gap insurance can help you if you buy a new car and take out a loan. Since car values depreciate rapidly over time, you might find yourself owing more on your loan than your vehicle is actually worth. If you get into an accident, you might not get enough reimbursement from the insurance company to cover the balance of your loan. Gap insurance can help cover the difference.  

Those are seven auto insurance coverages decoded. When you’re getting Atlanta car insurance, it’s important to make sure that you have enough coverage to fully protect yourself in the event of an accident. It’s also important to evaluate whether you want your own vehicle to be covered by insurance (meaning that you would want to get collision and comprehensive coverage.) Anyways, hopefully these bite-sized explanations help to translate the strange language that is car insurance!

If you need to get car insurance quotes, we can help. Our agents can help you get multiple quotes for Atlanta car insurance so you can get the coverage you need. Getting started with quotes is easy – all you have to do is give us a call or fill out our online quote form.

What is gap insurance and do I need it for my car?

If you're buying a new car, you might want to consider gap insurance.

If you're buying a new car, you might want to consider gap insurance.Buying a car is probably one of the biggest purchases you’ve ever made or will make. It’s a pretty big deal. Beyond choosing which model and make you like – not to mention which paint color – you also have to think about which insurance coverages to choose for your new ride. One insurance coverage that might have you scratching your head is gap insurance. What is gap insurance? And, well, do you really need it? We’ll explain what you need to know about gap insurance.

What is gap insurance?

So, plenty of people think that if they’re in an accident, their car will be replaced for either the amount they paid for it or the amount they owe on the lease. But that’s not quite the case. The vehicle will be likely be replaced for what it was worth at the time of the accident or total loss.

And a new car’s value depreciates quickly (depending on the vehicle), and the value drops by quite a lot the second you drive off the lot. That means that if you’re in an accident a short time after getting the vehicle and the car is totaled, you might find yourself in the rather awkward situation of owing more money on the loan than the car was worth at the time of the accident.

That’s where gap insurance comes in. (It’s “real” name is guaranteed asset protection, but it so happens that the acronym is quite apt.) It’s an optional auto insurance coverage that can protect you if you owe more on the vehicle than the vehicle is worth at the time it was totaled. It will help you cover the difference between what the car is worth and what you owe on your loan. It covers the gap – get it?

Gap insurance can protect you financially.

Pro tip: If you’re taking out a loan on a car, your lender might require you to have collision and comprehensive insurance.

Here’s an example.

Let’s say you take out a $30,000 loan to buy a car (we’re assuming the vehicle costs $30,000.) After a year, the car is worth $24,000. But you still owe $27,000 on the loan.

So, these are the circumstances when you accidentally total your new ride.

You’ll come up $3,000 short when it comes to the balance on your loan, but gap insurance could step in and cover that amount. And then that $3,000 won’t be coming out of your own pocket.

Do I need gap insurance?

There are a few situations in which you might want to think about getting gap insurance to protect yourself against being “upside-down” (meaning you owe more on your loan than the vehicle is worth.)

If any of the following apply to you, you might want to give gap insurance some thought:

  • You took a zero percent down payment option.
  • You put a small amount down on the vehicle.
  • Your loan will last beyond three years.

In any of these scenarios, you could find yourself owing more on your loan than your vehicle is actually worth if it’s totaled.

What if I’m buying a used vehicle?

If you’ve decided to buy a used vehicle, you will most likely not be able to get gap insurance. It’s typically for new vehicles. However, you can cover your risk by making a sufficient down payment on the car and financing the vehicle for the shortest timeframe possible.

Do I need gap insurance if I leased my vehicle?

If you’re planning on leasing a vehicle, gap insurance is often considered crucial because there is no trade-in and little cash to put down on the vehicle to lease it. You could end up owing the difference between what you’ve paid and what you still owe on the balance of the lease if the car is totaled, just like if you bought a new vehicle.

So, it’s definitely something to think about.

How much does gap insurance cost?

Gap insurance is usually available for a nominal fee. It’s not super expensive considering the added protection it gives you for your new vehicle.

Pro tip: Don’t forget to ask your agent about car insurance discounts to save money on your auto insurance premium.

So, that’s the deal about gap insurance. It’s designed to protect you when you buy a new car and could potentially owe more on your loan than your vehicle is worth. If you’re buying or leasing a car, you might want to give some thought to adding gap insurance to your car insurance plan.

And if you’re buying a new car, we can help you get the insurance you need. We know that car insurance can get overwhelming, which is why our goal is to make car insurance as easy as possible. We can help you get quotes for your car insurance, and all you have to do to get started is fill out our online quote form or give us a call today.

Does my Atlanta car insurance cover a rental car if I’m in an accident?

If you need a rental car after an accident, you'll need rental reimbursement coverage.

If you need a rental car after an accident, you'll need rental reimbursement coverage.

So, you’ve been in an accident, and you need to take your car to a mechanic or a collision center to be repaired. But there’s still tons of stuff you need to do that all depend on your car – you need to get to school or work, you need to get the kids to practice or lessons, or you just need to be able to get your weekly groceries. In any case, you’re dependent on your dependable transportation. So, you get a rental car.

The problem is, rental cars can cost you hundreds of dollars a week, and you may not have that kind of money lying around. So, how can you get help in paying your rental fees? For that, there’s rental reimbursement coverage. Here’s how it works.

What is rental reimbursement insurance?

Rental reimbursement coverage is just like it sounds – it can help reimburse you for the costs associated with renting a car while your car is in the shop after an accident. However, this type of coverage isn’t automatically included in your car insurance. It can usually require you to have an endorsement to your policy. In other words, you have to have this coverage on your car insurance in order for your rental car to be covered if you’re in an accident.

How long will my insurance help pay for my rental car?

Well, it is a rental car – you can’t just keep it forever, even if you do like it more than your regular ride. Your policy will usually have a per-day and a per accident limit which will vary based on your coverage. In Atlanta, your typical rental car can cost about $20 – $30 a day, depending on the type of rental you get. So, your rental reimbursement coverage may only cover about $20 a day and up to $900 per accident.

For exact coverage numbers, it’s important to talk to your agent or look at your auto insurance declarations page. You agent or carrier may also give you some recommendations for rental car companies they’ve worked with for an even smoother reimbursement process.

How much does rental reimbursement insurance cost?

Rental reimbursement coverage usually isn’t that expensive in relation to your current monthly rates. It depends on your plan, your insurance carrier, and your driving history, but even with the worst driving record it’s not going to cost you a lot to have that peace of mind.

If you’re looking for the absolute lowest rates on car insurance, you may be tempted to skip rental reimbursement coverage. However, if you’re in an accident, a few dollars more on your policy is probably going to be more appealing than spending around $200-300 a week on a rental car. And that’s on top of any repair costs you may have to pay before you meet your car insurance deductible.

How can I save money and afford rental reimbursement coverage?

If you’re still worried about the added cost of rental reimbursement coverage, there are tons of ways to save on your original auto insurance policy:

  • Make sure you have a good driving record – it makes you seem less risky to the insurance company.
  • Ask about discounts (especially bundling)
  • Ask your agent if your car’s safety features can lower your premium
  • Boost your credit score
  • Shop around for car insurance

These tips can help you save some money on your car insurance so that you can add rental reimbursement coverage. It may seem like a pain to shop around for a great car insurance rate, but the peace of mind will ultimately pay off. After all, the whole point of car insurance is to be able to take care of your needs in a worst-case scenario.

That’s why our agents are insurance experts. We’ll use our knowledge and exclusive connections to get you customized quotes for the coverage you need. And we’ll save you money through it all! To start getting your free auto insurance quotes, give us a call or fill out our easy online form.

Will Atlanta car insurance cover a cracked windshield?

If you have a cracked windshield, it's important to get it repaired.

If you have a cracked windshield, it's important to get it repaired.

Whether it’s a tink or a thump, it can be annoying at the very least to have a cracked windshield. “Whatever,” you may think, “it’s just a little crack. What’s the harm in leaving it there?”

Thinking about the unexpected time it will take to repair the windshield and the cost of getting your windshield repaired or replaced can be one big headache. Plus, it can be tough knowing where to start to get your glass repaired. Here are some of the biggest questions you’ll need to ask yourself if your windshield is cracked.

If there’s a small crack in my windshield, should I get it repaired?

In short, yes.

Even if it’s just a tiny chip in your windshield, that nick can quickly transform into something more. Whether another rock hits your windshield or you run over something, another impact could cause that crack to spread or shatter a part of your windshield. Even running over a speed bump, a road plate, or a pothole could make a chip or tiny crack ten times worse.

Other than being an eyesore, your windshield can be responsible for up to 60 percent of your car’s structural integrity. Additionally, the larger the crack is, the more money it’s going to take to repair in the long run. You could even end up paying to replace the entire windshield if the crack gets too big. So, it’s probably just better to nip the problem in the bud.

Does my windshield need to be repaired or replaced?

There are three main factors that will determine whether your cracked windshield will need a quick repair or a replacement. You’ll need a full replacement if:

  • The length of the entire crack is more than 6 inches long. (It depends on the company you use, but this is usually the standard that glass repairers use. Anything larger can still severely impact the structural integrity of the vehicle if it’s simply repaired.)
  • The damage is close to the edge of your windshield. (Again, cracks that are located close to or on the edge of your windshield are compromising the structural integrity of the car and are probably a lot deeper than a surface crack.)
  • The driver’s line of sight is obscured by the damage. (Even with all of the repair technology out there, the resin that is used to repair a windshield may still warp the glass slightly, which is something that you don’t want as a distraction while driving.)

Otherwise, you should be in the clear to have your windshield repaired! If you have the repair done by a reputable glass repair company, repairing your car’s glass shouldn’t be that expensive or time-consuming. Rather than replacing a piece of glass, windshield repair companies use a special resin that works with the properties of the glass, which is made to splinter into extremely fine cracks on impact.

Comprehensive car insurance can help you cover the cost of repairing the cracked windshield.

Will my car insurance cover a windshield replacement?

So, maybe you do fall into one of the categories we mentioned. Great. Now you have to pay to have an entire cracked windshield replaced and installed. Or do you? Can Atlanta car insurance cover a cracked windshield?

If you have comprehensive car insurance, more than likely, you can be covered for the cost of replacing your windshield. Unlike collision coverage that covers damages to your car due to you hitting another car, comprehensive coverage can help you handle losses not caused by a crash (i.e. fire, vandalism, burglary, falling objects, car theft, and animal strikes).

However, it’s important to take a look at your plan’s declarations page and the amount of your deductible to make sure that your insurance will actually help you cover the costs. If your deductible is more than the cost of the new windshield and you haven’t met that amount, you may still have to pay for the windshield out-of-pocket. Some states allow the deductible to be waived in the case of glass damage, but unfortunately, Georgia is not one of those states.

What company should I choose to replace my windshield?

Just like any other business, you want to make sure that you do your research. Simply going to a major retailer doesn’t necessarily mean that the company is the best fit for you. Here are some things to consider when you’re looking for a company to replace or repair your cracked windshield.

  • Do they have good reviews? – Places like Google and Angie’s List can be extremely helpful when finding feedback on a business’s service quality.
  • Are they a reputable business? – The Better Business Bureau’s website will usually have information, ratings, and any formal complaints listed for a legitimate repair business.
  • Do they have warranties for their work? – Most reputable glass repair services will warranty or guarantee their work for 90 days at least.
  • What is their employee training like?
  • Is the company certified by the National Windshield Repair Association (NWRA)?
  • What kind of tools do the employees use/wear when working on your windshield?
  • What kind of adhesive do they use?

These are just some of the things to keep in mind when looking for a windshield repair company, whether they’re a major retailer or not. You may also want to ask your insurance carrier if they have any preferred providers for windshield repair, even if you haven’t met your deductible.

So, there we are! Not a lot of people know that their car insurance can help cover this type of damage because it just seems like a cosmetic issue. However, if you want to keep your car sturdy, any damages to your windshield should be addressed as soon as possible through a reputable repair service.

And to find the perfect insurance coverage for anything that you and your vehicle are up against, our agents are the experts at finding the best car insurance for your particular area and situation for low rates! Call 404.352.0304 or fill out our online form to get free quotes on Atlanta car insurance and find out how much you can save.



Did you know the answers to these ten Atlanta car insurance questions?

There are a lot of details that go along with car insurance.

Auto insurance can get confusing. You just want to be able to drive and get yourself to where you gotta go. It’s easier to put insurance out of your mind and assume that you’re covered for the what-ifs, but there are a few questions that you should know the answers to when it comes to car insurance. Knowledge is power, especially when you start talking insurance.

So here we go: ten questions about auto insurance and the answers – in fun-sized packages!

1. Is the minimum level of car insurance enough?

Probably not. The limits of car insurance that states require, called minimums, do give you some protection for your car. They might seem like a lot – for instance, Georgia requires $100,000 of bodily injury liability and $25,000 of property insurance. But if a serious accident happens, chances are that those limits will be exhausted quickly, leaving you to take the fall for the remaining amount. So, it’s up to you as far as what limits you want on your insurance, but you may want to consider going above the minimum.

2. Will bundling my home and auto insurance help me save?

Yes, it very well might! Insurance companies often offer a significant discount if you get both your home and auto insurance from them (this is called bundling.) Insurance companies love it when their customers like them so much that they get multiple products from them.

3. If a tree or branch falls on my car, am I covered?

Only if you have comprehensive auto coverage. This is different than the liability insurance required by the state, so it’s important that you know what comprehensive car insurance covers and if you have it. Comprehensive insurance covers your car if it’s damaged by something other than an accident. So, if a tree squishes your car into a pancake, you’d be covered if you had purchased comprehensive insurance.

4. Do I still need to keep my teen on my auto insurance when they go to college?

Yes. Your college student will still be driving when they’re home on breaks – chances are they’ll be begging you to borrow a car, so yes, they need to be on your insurance. You need to make sure your college student is properly insured.

5. Do I need to get rental car insurance from the agency?

Well, that depends on your personal auto policy. You may or may not need to get insurance from the agency – you’ll have to check your auto policy and see if your own insurance carries over to the rental vehicle, and you’ll have to decide what levels of coverage you’re comfortable with.

Rental car insurance will often be offered by the rental agency.

6. If I’m in an accident and have to rent a car while mine is being repaired, am I covered?

You would have to add rental reimbursement to your policy for a small additional charge for the rental car expenses to be covered. Cars are often in the shop for two weeks following an accident, so it might be worth it to think about getting this extra coverage.

7. What happens if an uninsured driver hits me?

Your uninsured motorist coverage or collision coverage would take care of it if you’ve purchased either of these coverages. Again, these are not included in the minimum liability insurance coverages required by many states, so you’ll have to make sure that you’re fully covered.

8. If I drive a friend’s car, am I covered?

Their insurance would follow the car and kick in if you’re in an accident, but you have to be extremely careful because if their limits of coverage aren’t high and the damage goes above them, your own insurance would come next.

9. And if a friend borrows my car?

The same goes if your friend borrows your car. If they’re just borrowing it a few times, your policy should cover them. However, if they start driving your car more than you do, your premiums could be affected – the premiums are based on the primary driver and the vehicle itself. If they’re borrowing your car and using it more than you are, you should have them added to your policy to prevent any coverage mishaps.

10. Will car insurance cover things stolen from my car?

No. The belongings that you have in your car may, however, be covered by your home insurance or renters insurance, which should follow your possessions regardless of where they happen to be. So, if you have a suitcase in the trunk and it gets stolen, your home or renters insurance would be the best place to start. But you’ll have to check your policy.

Now, as far as things like sound systems or radios go, those are not covered. So, if you’ve tripped out the stereo system in your car, you may want to consider purchasing additional insurance to make sure that it’s covered in case of theft.

Your home insurance, not your car insurance, may cover items stolen from your car.

Phew. Auto insurance can be tiring. You may have noticed that a lot of the above answers include a fancy form of saying “it depends.” You need to make sure that you’re familiar with your auto policy and the coverage you’ve purchased to know exactly what you are and aren’t covered for. Don’t take any chances when it comes to insuring your vehicle – accidents can become very costly, and you don’t want to find out the hard way that you don’t have as much coverage as you thought.

If you’d like to get some free quotes for auto insurance, we’d love to help you out with that! We can help you do your car insurance shopping. To get started with your car insurance quotes, all you have to do is fill out our quote form or give us a call today!