Just as most consumers purchase insurance on their autos and homes to protect their property and themselves in the case of an accident; many individuals, likewise, insure themselves and their families against unforeseen expenses arising from illness, injury or accidents.
Georgia consumers must have automobile liability insurance for at least the minimum limits required by law to drive on the Georgia public roads and highways. The minimum limits of liability required under Georgia law are Bodily injury Liability of $25,000 per person, $50,000 per occurrence and Property Damage liability of $25,000 per occurrence. Liability insurance is insurance that pays damages to others, on behalf of an insured, for injury to or damaged property of others, up to the policy limit, which an insured may have caused by his negligence or may protect him against claims made against him by someone who alleges he was at-fault.
Physical damage insurance is insurance to pay for loss or damage to your own vehicle. Physical damage insurance consists of two types. The first part which pays for theft, vandalism and fire type losses is referred to as either “comprehensive” or “other than collision coverage.” The second part is “collision” coverage. Physical Damage coverage is not required by State law, but is usually required by the lender (bank or finance company) if there is a loan on the vehicle or by the leasing company if it is leased. An insured can file a claim under his own Physical Damage coverage even if someone else may have caused the accident.
Uninsured Motorist Insurance may also be included on a policy. Although Georgia requires all drivers to have “liability insurance” to drive, there are unfortunately those that either do not obey the law or may have unknowingly allowed their insurance to cancel. Uninsured Motorist would protect you when that other “uninsured” driver causes an accident which damages your vehicle or injures you or your passengers. This coverage is for protection of the policyholder's loss or damages inflicted in that accident.
The Consumer Services Division is the investigative arm of the Department of Insurance and attempts to ensure fair and equitable dealings between insurers, agents, and policyholders regarding all insurance transactions. This division receives all complaints against agents or insurers. Action by this division can be instigated by a written complaint, a personal visit to the Atlanta office, or a meeting with one of the division’s field insurance investigators who travel throughout the state. Any inquiry that requires additional information or that appears to be a valid complaint is made into an investigation file. The file is then assigned to an insurance investigator qualified to conduct the particular type of investigation involved. The investigator gathers all available data necessary to properly analyze and evaluate the problem or claim. The division frequently holds an informal conference between complainants and company adjusters, agents, or underwriters regarding the problem in question. These conferences often bring about an amiable settlement. The division takes calls Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.